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Mustangs' ground game outlasts Tigers' air attack
Jones upfield
Bradwell Institute's Tyon Jones (3) follows a blocker upfield during the Tigers' loss to South Effingham on Friday night. Jones had two touchdown catches in the first half.

Task number one for the Bradwell Institute Tigers during this off week is taking another look at the defense.

The South Effingham Mustangs rolled up 431 yards rushing and held on for a wild 52-36 win Friday night over Bradwell Institute at Olvey Field.

The two teams combined for nearly 800 yards of offense – and 250 yards in penalties. South Effingham coach Loren Purvis was ejected in the fourth quarter after arguing against a targeting call on a Bradwell two-point try.

Bradwell quarterback Christopher Garrett scored on the ensuing try but was hurt on the play and left the game with his left arm in a sling. He finished 22-of-30 passing for 335 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for two scores.

Garrett is expected to be ready to play after the off week. The Tigers, 1-3, will host McIntosh County Academy on September 22.

But in three losses, the Tigers have yielded 143 points and twice have allowed teams to post more than 400 yards rushing.

“We want to try to fix some of our mistakes on defense,” Tigers coach DeShon Brock said. “We want to make a couple of changes and shore up our defense so we can get more stops.”

The Mustangs set the odd tone for the game on the opening kickoff, which went past the Tigers return men and stopped at the 1-yard line. Bradwell, backed up on its first possession, eventually was forced to punt.

Garrett ran for a score and twice hit speedster Tyon Jones on touchdown strikes, one covering 32 yards and another for 80 yards that brought the Tigers within 28-21 with less than a minute to go before halftime. Jones had 220 yards receiving for the game.

“Every time we’d do something good, they’d do something good,” Purvis said. “A lot of times our kids were there. We just didn’t make the play, and they did.”

The Tigers showed their quick strike ability with a two-play, 80-yard drive and a one-play, 80-yard possession. It’s the kind of football Brock has wanted his team to play from the start of his tenure.

“When I first got here, they didn’t believe me. When it started happening, now they believe,” he said. “Once the kids start believing, we can go toe to toe with anybody. Just give us the ball.”

South Effingham’s punishing Wing-T attack, though, never allowed the Tigers to even the score. Gannon White’s 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter, pushed the lead to 45-28.

His 64-yard gallop down the Tigers sideline led to the Mustangs’ final score, a DaMyon McFarlin 5-yard TD run with 6:55 remaining.

Garrett connected with Jones on a 41-yard gain, leading to his second rushing score and his two-point conversion. On the initial attempt, he tried to find Braelon Brock in the end zone, and Mustangs defensive back Ashton Troutman was called for targeting in breaking up the pass.

That led to Purvis getting into a protracted argument with the referee, and ultimately the umpire threw a flag on Purvis for his ejection.

“One hundred times out of 100, I’d do the same thing,” Purvis said. “I argued. I’d do it again, 100 times out of 100. I honestly said, ‘that’s awful,’ and they threw me out.”

South Effingham (3-0) secured the win with a fourth down sack of backup quarterback Carlito Savea at the Mustangs 32 with 4:50 to go.

Brock said they will work on pass protection and bolstering the run game during the off week.

In a game with 88 points, the Mustangs defense turned in two game-turning plays, including Aubrey Heath’s pickoff in the end zone a play after the Tigers recovered a fumble, trailing just 21-14.

Savea finished 2-of-5 passing for 29 yards after getting pressed into duty. He gave the Tigers a look at the future.

“He’s ready,” Brock said. “He believes he can step in and play right now. We have been preparing him for two years now just in case.”

Brock and his staff have been giving Savea time with the first team in practice and they have done that during summer camps and summer 7-on-7 drills.

“The kids believe in him,” Brock said. “The kids believe in Carlito that he can step in and do a good job. That’s the preparation. From day one, when he was in sixth grade, he knew he was next in line. We started preparing him as soon as I got here to be ready for this moment.” 

BI-South Effingham 3
Bradwell's defense tries to get a grip on South Effingham running back Hayden Purvis (9).
South Effingham-BI 2
Quarterback Carlito Savea scans the South Effingham defense looking for an open receiver.

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