The Bradwell Tigers suffered another difficult loss Friday when the Statesboro Blue Devils shut them out, 17-0, at home.
The Tiger defense spent too much time on the field, and the Blue Devils were quick to shut down the Tigers’ running game.
But the Tigers did display their athleticism and fight.
When the Blue Devils knocked at the door of the Tigers’ end zone, BI’s defense buckled down and the Statesboro boys had to settle for a field goal.
In the second quarter, Blue Devil Ron Williams scored on an 8-yard run and the Statesboro squad held a 10-0 lead going into half time.
Tiger quarterback Duane Johnson started under center but soon was replaced by senior quarterback and Tiger newcomer Michael Moore.
Moore struggled with the snap and hand off a few times, but he caught the Blue Devils off guard with his passing accuracy.
Moore, unofficially, went 4 of 13 for 81 yards passing. He had a 32-yard pass to Trevon McCoy, a 31-yard completion to Deangelo Smith and twice tossed the ball to Deion Stewart for big gains. Two of the passes were thrown as Moore scrambled to his right and tossed on the run. In just two games played, Moore has more than doubled the Tigers’ passing stats.
“Michael is a senior, so he has a little bit more maturity and has a little more awareness when it comes to the game,” Tiger coach Greg Hill said after the game. “He has a pretty decent arm that allows him to do some things, but unfortunately, we are just getting a guy like that in … we will build on it and hopefully make the guys around him better.”
The downside was the Tiger offense unofficially killed its own drive three times on turnovers.
Tiger Evan Crystal did a good job punting, pinning the Statesboro boys all the way down to the nine on his first punt. Crystal averaged, unofficially, 30 yards per punt in the game.
There were opportunities for the Tigers to take the ball and run. Stephen Felton and Terrius Crimiel both had near-interceptions that could have been pick sixes. Instead, the ball bounced out of their hands.
And the Blue Devils took themselves out of scoring opportunities with holding calls and a few false starts. Yet the Statesboro team managed a good drive that ended in a 20-yard touchdown run to close the third quarter up 17-0.
The Tigers did keep the Blue Devils from running up the score with blitzes and a strong defensive showing from Isiah Barnes, Felton, Jeff Andrew, Darrell Hawkins and Shaun Maschino.
Crimiel did his best to give the home team good field advantage on kick returns. His longest return was 46 yards, his shortest 28.
But even with good field position, the Bradwell team didn’t get a chance to punch the ball through and score.
The Tiger boys are 0-7 overall and 0-5 in Region 3-AAAAA. They play another region contest at South Effingham next Friday.