BROOKLET—For the first time in a while, Southeast Bulloch is playing with a sense of swagger that has driven them to a 4-0 start. Guided by senior quarterback Blaize Minick’s stellar night and a stout defensive performance, SEB was able to stay undefeated with a 42-7 win over Beach.
“We knew that we had a good game plan in place,” head coach Barrett Davis said. “We just preached to our kids to not be complacent each week and to stay humble.”
And the Yellow Jackets stayed humble, but had fun doing it. On offense, Minick was slinging the ball to fellow senior Tyler Bailey all night and the offensive line created holes for the slew of backs.
Minick put up 168 yards of total offense and rushed for a touchdown in a game that the Yellow Jackets owned from the first drive. In a completely efficient, 12 play, Logan Gomez scoring drive, the Yellow Jackets set the tone that they were going to do whatever they wanted to.
And the visiting Bulldogs responded with a fumble picked up by do-it-all Gomez, setting the home team up at the Beach 41 yard line. The offense picked up right where the left off just a minute before.
Unlike in years past, the Yellow Jackets spread the ball out more with jet sweeps and screen passes. But the dive and wishbone was still their bread and butter to help establish their power.
Minick started off the second SEB drive with a sack, but responded by placing the ball in junior running back Jamari Daniels hands to pick up a first down. After a Beach offside penalty on fourth down, Minick showed his athleticism by picking up 20 more yards on the ground.
On a second and two from the nine, Bailey rushed it in with ease to make it a two score game just before the end of the first quarter. And while many players would be quick to demand glory from the crowd, Bailey went straight to Minick who was celebrating with his offensive line.
Between the 115 yards picked up through the air and the vocal teaching on the sideline, the connection between the two seniors was on full display all night.
“They’re great senior leaders, great energy the whole game,” Davis said of Bailey and Minick. “Our kids feed off of them.”
But at halftime the Yellow Jackets only had a 14 point lead to show for Beach’s 54 yards of total offense. The second half is when the defense stepped up on swagger and got in on the celebration.
On the Bulldogs’ first drive after halftime, quarterback Jeremiah Mike threw two lofty balls and the Yellow Jackets couldn’t come down with the ducks.
Senior Jontrell Wells wouldn’t be fooled three times. On a second and fifteen from the SEB 35, Mike threw a ball right to Wells who weaved all the way back to the endzone.
Unlike Bailey and Minick, Wells gloated and celebrated by making a sprint to the new defensive reward—a turnover belt.
“We challenged our defense,” Davis said. “We had a defensive turnover belt that we brought out tonight to add to it, so the kids were excited about that.”
It wasn’t a perfect night for Davis’ squad, but it didn’t matter, as the Yellow Jackets accomplished something they haven’t in five years.
“It feels tremendous,” Minick said. “We’ve never done that. From freshman year up until now we’ve never been 4-0 and it feels amazing.”
The Yellow Jackets have a short week ahead of them, as the trip to Windsor Forest will be made on Thursday, but they are indulging in the success.
“The kids know when it’s time to have fun and we build relationships with them off the field, letting them know we care about them,” Davis said. “But when they step on the field it’s time for business and time to get to work. We’re having a blast.”