The Wayne County High School football team can win when it counts. The Yellow Jackets may have lost scrimmages the past two years to Liberty County High school, but the squad logged a 14-6 region win over the Panthers on Friday in Jesup.
Panther coach Kirk Warner said his offense managed to accumulate 300 yards in the game but said, "We just couldn’t punch the thing into the red zone. We scored on an 80-yard pass and Shad (Shadrach Thornton) had close to 200 yards rushing, but we just couldn’t finish the drill."
Warner said LCHS entered the Yellow Jacket red zone twice, but came up empty on the scoreboard."For their first touchdown, we let them convert a third and 28 and they went on to score," he said. "It was just a couple of big plays they made and some we didn’t make."
The coach said starting quarterback Matt Desbiens took some snaps and completed a few passes. Desbiens sat out the last two games with a cracked finger.
Panther backup quarterback Jarrett Rivers also had a few snaps, but the coach said it was the team’s inability to break the red zone that kept the points off the board.
"We made some bone-headed mistakes and couldn’t score," Warner said.
The coach said the Yellow Jackets ran a passing offense, which his team struggles with.
"They got a kid that’s been offered by Alabama and he deserves that," the coach said of the Yellow Jacket quarterback. "He can throw the ball. We prefer to play teams that are going to line up and run straight at us and never have to worry about the passing. And that’s the biggest difference."
Warner said the defenses were evenly matched, but his offense didn’t capitalize on the opportunities they had.
The Panthers must win their final home game next week when Glynn County visits Donell Woods for LCHS’ senior game.
"I think if we beat Glynn then we are in," Warner said. "The winner between our game with Glynn will be the third seed and, assuming that Wayne doesn’t upset Ware, it will be a three-way tie with us, Glynn and Wayne. If it’s a three-way tie breaker, the first team eliminated is based on how many points they have given up in sub-region play, which would eliminate Wayne County."
Warner said the way the sub-region is set up, the fourth-seeded team from Region 2A-AAAA will play the fourth-seeded team from sub-region B. Fifth will play fifth and sixth will play sixth. The two top-seeded teams will play for the overall region championship.
However, the coach said he can’t focus on the playoffs just yet.
"We have to beat Glynn," he said. "There is no way we can lose to Glynn and have a shot at it."