South Effingham threw a legendary opening punch in its effort to upset visiting Brunswick High and earn its first victory of the season.
Hit in the mouth, the Pirates responded by dispatching the Mustangs 38-6 on Friday at The Corral in Guyton.
Entering the contest winless and averaging a paltry six points per game, South Effingham took the opening kickoff and was immediately backed up near its goal line when it was called for holding and a couple of false starts.
But lining up in an old-school offense, the Mustangs proceeded to drive 96 yards for a touchdown, chewing up the entirety of the first quarter — as well as five seconds of the second period — on its way into the end zone and an early 6-0 lead after a missed extra point.
South Effingham’s offense personified “three yards and a could of dust” throughout the evening, with the first drive feeling like death by 1,000 cuts for a Brunswick defense that entered the game holding opponents to 18.2 points a game.
“It was the old single-wing type look, and they ran it down our throats, just getting first down after first down,” said BHS head coach Sean Pender. “We had to make an adjustment because what they did on that first drive, they didn’t do that on film at all — we didn’t see it anywhere. It was something they came up with, they hadn’t showed it at all yearlong.
“Because their quarterback was hurt, they wanted to keep our offense off the field, and they did a great job of it for the first quarter.”
Looking to take advantage of the reeling Pirates, the Mustangs attempted a surprise onside kick, and actually recovered the ball before an illegal touching penalty gave Brunswick possession for the first time in the contest.
And the Pirates didn’t waste any time snatching all the momentum right back — taking just a minute and 35 seconds to go up 7-6 when Tyrease Jones took a screen pass 29 yards for a score.
That was the theme most of the night: South Effingham grinding out time consuming, and after the first drive, fruitless possessions before giving the ball back to a quick-strike Brunswick offense.
The Pirates had scored two touchdowns before possessing the ball for more than three minutes, and after forcing the second consecutive Mustang three-and-out, they pushed the lead to 17-6 on a 26-yard field goal with just over two minutes before halftime.
Desperately needing a stop as Brunswick High got the ball to open the second half, South Effingham almost got just that as a penalty and a few negative plays brought up a 3rd and 21 from the BHS 14-yard line. Instead, KJ Lee connected with Jones on an 86-yard touchdown pass to blow the game open.
Chuckobe Hill hit paydirt from three-yards out to cap off a 13-play, 76-yard touchdown drive on Brunwick’s ensuing possession, before Jeffery Waye rounded out the scoring with his own nine-yard touchdown jaunt.
By the end of the game, the Pirates had scored on six of their seven possessions — the only empty possession coming on a turnover on downs just before halftime when they just missed a few shots at a deep touchdown pass.
“They were good up front, that’s where they were strong,” Pender said. “In the secondary, we kind of knew what they were going to do, and so we just took care of that.
“Up front, they did give us a fit though.”
With its third straight win, Brunswick improves to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in Region 2-6A while South Effingham falls to 0-5, 0-2.