Ware County Gators

Southeast Georgia High School Week 5 Round Up

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Week 5 of the high school football season played out last night. Here are the games from around southeast Georgia.

Wayne County @ Appling County: Wayne County left the ranks of the unbeaten last week, going down to Glynn Academy. The Yellow Jackets will renew their rivalry with Appling.

Appling came into this game undefeated.

The Pirates dominated the first half and went into the locker room up 24-7 over the favored Yellow Jackets.

That lead would not last. Wayne County scored the 26 points and knocked Appling from the ranks of the unbeatens, 33-24.

Brunswick @ New Hampstead: Brunswick High is coming off a 48-20 loss to Camden, in a game that should have been closer, but the Pirates could not get out of their own way.

The Pirates took to the road to Pooler in hopes of getting their season back on track against the Phoenix.

New Hampstead scored on 2 turnovers in the first half and returned a kick to get up on the Pirates 19-7 early in the 3rd quarter.

The Pirates would not quit and came all the way back to take a 21-19 lead late in the 4th and would tack on later. Brunswick scored the last 22 points of the game to win 29-19.

The Pirates are now 2-3 on the season.

Calvary Day @ MCA: MCA is coming off their first win of the season, a 32-0 blowout of Jenkins County. The Buccaneers were hoping the momentum would carry over against Calvary Day at The Ship in Darien.

MCA’s defense played great, only down 7-0 at the half.

The Buccaneers kept fighting in the back and forth with Calvary Day. MCA took a 21-20 lead late in the 4th. However, Calvary Day responded to go back up 28-20. That would be the final. MCA falls to 1-3 on the season.

Berrien @ Brantley County: The last time we saw Brantley County on the field they were taking their first loss of the season from Jeff Davis, who was also undefeated at the time.

The Herons hosted Berrien looking to prove they are for real.

Berrien made it difficult for the Herons, taking a 17-7 lead into the half.

That would not last as Brantley battled back and would take down Berrien 31-24.

The Herons record improved to 3-1.

Ware County @ Glynn Academy: A huge rivalry game at Glynn County Stadium, in which Glynn Academy has owned recently. Ware County has looked underwhelming to this point and really needed this win on the road.

The Gators came out on a mission and took a 21-0 lead into the half.

The Terrors offense could never get going against the Ware defense and the Gators got a much needed win to bring their record at 3-2. The Terrors fall to 2-2. The final 35-13 in favor of Ware.

South Effingham @ Pierce County: Both South Effingham and Pierce entered into this game undefeated. South Effingham hasn’t been getting a lot respect despite their perfect record. A win at Pierce would change that.

The Mustangs held their own and went into halftime tied 7-7 with the Bears.

Pierce pulled away in the second half and gave South Effingham their first loss of the year, 42-28. The Mustangs fall to 4-1 and Pierce goes to 5-0.

Friday Night Lights Come On

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

High School Football finally kicked off on Friday night. There were several key games from around the area.

Frederica Knights @ Charlton County Indians: The game of the week pitted the defending GISA AAA state champion Frederica Knights against perennial power Charlton County.

The Knights almost knocked off the Indians last season on St. Simons but fell by a touchdown.

This time the Knights headed down to swamp in Folkston and turned the ball over 4 times and could never make that one big play against the Indians defense to get things rolling. Charlton walked away with a 20-7 victory over the Knights.

Rockledge @ Ware County: The Ware County Gators came in with expectations for 2019. However, the Gators dropped their opener at home to Rockledge from Florida 19-7. Rockledge was a 5A semi-finalist in the state Florida last season.

The Jason Strickland era has begun in Ware.

Coffee @ Brunswick: The evening started with the Home Broadcast Booth being dedicated to long time Brunswick High broadcaster, Teddy Bishop. That would be the biggest highlight of the night for Brunswick.

The Coffee County Trojans have dominated the Pirates over the last several years and this game would not end that trend. Coffee went to Glynn County Stadium and put 38 points on the board en route to a 38-21 win over the Pirates.

The Pirates are hoping to rebound from a 3-7 2018 season.

MCA @ Pierce: The MCA Buccaneers scored the first touchdown of the night but it would be the last one they scored. Pierce would score 49 unanswered points to take the win 49-7.

The Bucs did show some signs of improvement. Don’t forget MCA is a rebuilding program.

Camden @ West Forsythe: The Camden County Wildcats beat West Forsythe last season and was hoping for the same result. That result would be accomplished as the Wildcats barraged the Wolverines. The Wildcats put up a touchdown, in what seemed to be every few minutes.

Camden starts off on the right foot downing West Forsythe in impressive fashion 44-6.

Glynn @ Fort Dorchester: The Red Terrors come into the 2019 season with high expectations, but the offense struggled in this contest.

Glynn made the long trip to Charleston, SC and was only able to muster 6 points against Fort Dorchester and went down to the Patriots 31-6.

Coaching Carousel

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

There have been many high school football head coach openings in South Georgia this offseason. The biggest opening was at national high school power Colquitt County.

On March 14, 2019, Rush Propst was relieved of his duties as the high school’s head football coach in a unanimous vote by the Colquitt County Board of Education.

His dismissal followed an investigation that determined he had violated the Code of Ethics for Educators for legal compliance, conduct with students, honesty, and public funds and property; including giving pills to students “on more than one occasion” and owing nearly $450,000 in delinquent federal and state taxes.

The Colquitt job became a hot topic around the state, and rumors swirled in Glynn County for a few weeks as Colquitt showed some interest in Glynn Academy head coach Rocky Hidalgo. Hidalgo ended the speculation by announcing he had no intentions of leaving Glynn Academy.

After an extensive search, The Colquitt County Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Jones County head coach Justin Rogers.

Rogers, in five seasons at Jones County, has become the most successful coach in school history with a record of 45-15. He’s not had a single losing season at the school; his teams have gone 10-3, 9-2, 7-5, 11-2 and 8-3.

In the post-season, the Greyhounds have gone 5-5 under his leadership. Rogers will inherit a talent rich program and will move into a community that is as rabid for high school football as you will ever find. Expect Rogers to keep that program near or at the top of its classification. Great hire by the Packers.

Over at Ware County, Jason Strickland has been named the head coach for the Ware County Gators, after leading Pierce County for two years and leading the Bears to the third round of the state playoffs in 2018.

Strickland was the offensive coordinator for some great Charlton County teams, then he took the Lamar County job in 2008 and took that program from 1 win in 2008 to a 12-1 season in 2011. He took over at Fitzgerald in 2012 and led that program to back to back State title game appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Strickland took over at Pierce County in 2017 and in 2018 led the Bears to a 13-1 record, which is the best in school history.

He has been a head coach for 11 seasons and compiled a 99-39-1 career record. Strickland coached teams have won 10 or more games in 6 of 11 seasons he has been a head coach.

Strickland inherits a talented roster and he should be able to come in and contend for a state title immediately. Jason Strickland is the 15th Head Football Coach in Ware County history.

Pierce County, with the departure of Strickland, hired Ryan Herring as the new head football coach. Herring was head coach at Oxford, Alabama where his teams made multiple playoff appearances.

Herring coached five-star UGA signee Clay Webb, who was rated as one of the top offensive linemen in the nation during the 2109 recruiting cycle.

Look for Herring to continue the winning ways at Pierce County and build his winning brand of football in Blackshear.

And finally, this week Tony Glazer resigned as head coach at McIntosh County Academy.

The McIntosh County School Board chose Bradley Warren to replace him.

Let Spring Football begin!

Glynn Academy Beats Ware….Again

By: Christian Goeckel

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

What a difference a week can make. Glynn’s 31- 7 victory over Ware County was a huge momentum boost after the week one loss to Benedictine.

This time last week some were wondering if the success of Glynn’s past three seasons was behind them. Now those same people are wondering just how far the Terrors can go.

The Gators of Ware County came into this game under the impression that they were facing a down team. Instead, they ran into a meat grinder of a team that was looking to take it’s frustrations out on someone.

Offensively, Glynn was finally able to get the ball moving down hill. Coach Hidalgo stressed all week the importance of getting the dive game going. Well they did, and a whole lot more.

Like Denzel Washington’s Coach Boone said in “Remember the Titans”, the option offense is like novocaine, “Just give it time, always works.”, and work it did. Glynn rushed to the tune of 303 yards and were a couple shoestring tackles away from a lot more. Caine Crews was the bell cow, rushing 21 times for 139 yards.

The offensive line, which Coach Rock credited with a good performance last week, was borderline dominant in this one. Glynn running backs consistently found huge holes to run through.

Passing the ball wasn’t necessary much of the game, but when they did Jernigan looked more comfortable. Jernigan completed 2 of 3 attempts, but it was the noticeably different pace on the ball that has to be encouraging for Glynn as his injured right shoulder continues to heal.

Defensively, it was very much a bend but don’t break mindset in the first half. Gator’s quarterback Jeremiah O’hara was able to move his team up and down the field, but Glynn always came away with a 3rd down stop or turnover. Diandrez Wilcox was a huge part of that, forcing two fumbles and recovering one.

The return of linebacker Cameron McClellan can’t be overstated. His play was sorely missed, but his presence was missed even more. The defense looked much more comfortable behind his direction, along with that of Hunter Hall.

Once Glynn’s offense got going, the Terror’s defense was able to pin its ears back and attack as Ware had to pass more. E.J. Thomas constantly harassed the Ware County backs behind the line of scrimmage.

Just like last year, Glynn was able to steady itself against Ware after a week one loss, but this one seemed different. This game was a statement that the Terrors are not a team to be forgotten or looked over.

This team has studs all over the field and more coming back from injuries weekly. Glynn started to find it’s footing this week and everyone else in Southeast Georgia should be on notice.

Glynn Academy now goes on the road for the first time this year. Their opponent, Tift County, has outscored their opponents 76-7 in their first two games. The game will kick off at 7:30.

Sophomore running back Nolan Grant is getting more comfortable, rushing for 64 yards including a 20 yard touchdown.

Freshman Caden Hutchinson punched in his first career touchdown in the fourth.

Senior running back Tyler Grant returned from last year’s ACL injury. He played sparingly and left the field with what appeared to be a leg injury, but returned to the game.

Cameron McClellan returned to action nursing a foot injury. The injury isn’t expected to cost him anymore game time.

For the second year in a row, after allowing points in the first, Glynn was able to shut the Gators out in the final three quarters.