By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Early morning finish as Jackets top Tigers
Wayne County-Bradwell Institute
Bradwell's Tyus Jones (3) tries to elude Wayne County defenders during the Tigers' loss to the Yellow Jackets. - photo by By Charles Smith

It was a long night, in many ways, for the Bradwell Tigers against the Wayne County Yellow Jackets.

The Yellow Jackets downed the Tigers 34-14 Friday night at Olvey Field/Hokey Jackson Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

It also may go down in the lore of Bradwell Institute football as the latest finish to a game. By the time Wayne County’s Nicholas Bynes touched a knee to end the game, it was 12:22 a.m. Saturday.

Despite the long night and being on the short end of the score, Bradwell coach DeShon Brock said there are elements from which his team can build.

“I saw a lot of good things,” he said. “There are some things that need to be fixed, that can be fixed and will be fixed. But the kids showed a lot of character. They fought for four quarters, and that’s what we ask them to do, compete.”

When play resumed at 11 p.m., after a stoppage of more than two hours, the Yellow Jackets put the game away with two quick scores late in the first half. Bynes hit Terrione Graves for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 3:30 remaining in the half, and after a 7-yard punt, Wayne County turned that into Jah Ross’ 16-yard touchdown run on the next play.

“I was proud of the way we came out and fought and competed and wanted to win,” said Wayne County coach Jaybo Shaw, the former Georgia Southern quarterback who had a successful run at Rabun County before taking the Yellow Jackets job.

The Tigers mounted two long drives in the first half, chewing up nearly 12 minutes of the game clock. A sack ended the first drive, and a missed field goal capped the second possession.

Wayne County ran for 260 yards as a team, with 161 coming in the first half. The Yellow Jackets defense held the Tigers to 77 yards rushing on the night and recorded four sacks.

“I thought our two lines of scrimmage were very positive,” Shaw said. “I thought our run game was a positive and I thought getting pressure on the quarterback was a positive.”

The Tigers threw for 169 yards and their passing attack led to Bradwell’s two touchdowns. Tyus Jones, keeping his toes just inside the back of the end zone, hauled in Christopher Garrett’s 15-yard pass midway through the third quarter, and Caden Guy caught Marquan Houston’s 4-yard pass near the sideline with 5:04 to play in the game.

“We definitely could have packed it in at halftime,” Brock said. “I wanted to see what we had in us. I wanted to get the whole game in. Coach Shaw was gracious enough to stay.”

Wayne County scored on all five first-half possessions, including its three before the lightning delay. Rodricus Jordan scored on 1-yard run on the first drive, Matthew Fuller added an 8-yard run and Graves outraced the Bradwell defense for an 83-yard scoring dash.

Shaw, whose Rabun County teams won more than 30 games in three years, said starting off with success will help a team that went 0-10 a season ago.

"Number one is just believing, believing in our process, believing in what it takes to win, and what that looks like on a daily basis,” he said. “We’re far from there but we made some strides tonight. I don’t think we played very well coming out of the lightning delay. I thought we started off the game really well.

“Our guys are trying to do right, trying to do what we’re asking them to do and trying to believe in our process.”

The game’s start was pushed back because of lightning in the area, and lightning brought the game to a halt with 5:58 left in the first half. Brock and the Tigers put the extended break to use.

“We have replay and were able to watch and see some adjustments we wanted to make for the second half,” he said.

Wayne County will travel to Quitman this Friday night to take on Brooks County. Bradwell hosts Liberty County on Friday night.

Wayne County-Bradwell Institute
Treshaun Peggis finds running room against the Wayne County defense.
Wayne County-Bradwell Institute
Bradwell quarterback Christopher Garrett reads the defense as he decides on giving the ball to running back Treshaun Peggis.
Sign up for our e-newsletters