Bradwell Institute’s 1965 state-championship football team, then known as the Bradwell Lions, gathered Friday night to pay tribute to the team’s head coach, Hokey Jackson.
Former Lion Candler Boyd led the ceremony as the stadium was renamed Hokey Jackson Stadium.
Boyd unveiled the plaque displaying a photo of Jackson and his biography.
“This plaque will be mounted on the brick column at the at the home entry gate,” Boyd said, adding that the name “Hokey Jackson Stadium” will also be placed under “Olvey Field” at the entrance facing Gen. Stewart Way. “From this day forward, this place will be known as ‘Olvey Field at Hokey Jackson Stadium.’”
Many former players under Jackson stood on the field and were recognized. Players from the state title-winning team also were recognized, and a moment of silence was held to honor the memory of former Bradwell Institute Principal Joan Hollingsworth, who died Wednesday.
The special guests and their families were then seated in the reserve seating area to watch the Tigers take on South Effingham in a Region 3-AAAAA contest.
The Tigers fell 35-0.
South Effingham’s Patrick Brown pounded the Tigers on the ground game, while Brown Matthew caught the passes from Tyler Pullum for the shutout win.
The first score came three plays into the game, after the Mustangs completed a 15-yard pass on second and 10 and scrambled to the 2-yard line after the catch.
Pullum then scrambled to the corner of the field and, from 2 yards out, spotted a receiver in the end zone and completed the pass for the score.
The Mustangs made the two-point conversion.
A three-and-out gave the Mustangs good field position, starting at the Tigers’ 49.
Pullum completed a 20-yard pass, and the receiver plowed his way to the end zone. The Mustangs failed the two-point conversion, but were up 14-0.
Matthew scored South Effingham’s third touchdown of the night, still in the first quarter, off a quick catch-and-go from the 41.
In the second quarter, Kareem Taylor scored on a 31-yard pass, and Brown added the final touchdown off a 29-yard run.
It was 35-0 going into halftime, and that’s when the scoring ended.
The Tigers came out of the locker room determined to stop the bleeding. The defense swarmed the Mustangs and killed South Effingham’s momentum.
“South Effingham was a lot faster than what we expected,” Tiger head coach Greg Hill said. “We did a decent job stopping the run, but got exposed in the passing game. Their staff did a good job creating mismatches with their speed guys on our linebackers in coverage.”
The Tiger offense moved the ball, but mental errors broke down the plays and pushed them in the wrong direction.
“We started out with too many mistakes against a good team last night,” Hill said. “You can’t afford to make those mistakes against a team that is well-oiled.”
According to unofficial statistics, freshman quarterback Quin McMassey went 4 of 7 for 26 passing yards. Freshman running back Kevin Harris led the rushing game with 67 yards on 15 carries. Senior Luther Echols had 64 yards on 10 carries. Freshman Desmond Brown had 19 yards, and McMassey ran for 14 yards.
Harris led the team in reception yards with 13 on a catch. Duane Johnson had two receptions for 10 yards, and Echols had a 3-yard reception.
Tiger Terrius Crimiel, a junior, had a big night with kick returns of 15 and 40 yards.
Hill said he is still impressed with how well his younger players are stepping up and meeting adversity head-on.
“They never give up,” he said. “They continue to give good effort.”
But the coach added that they are working hard to give something back to the upperclassmen who have led the way the past two years.
“I want it so bad for the older guys to experience some success,” he said, looking forward to Friday’s game at Brunswick. “Brunswick has an athletic team that plays fast. We have to eliminate the false starts and mental mistakes next week.”