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After breezing past Terrors, Rebels turn attention to Grovetown
Nate Hayes
Rebels quarterback Nate Hayes breaks free for big gain early in an Oct. 30 game against the Terrors at Glynn County Stadium. - photo by Birk Herrath

BRUNSWICK — An approaching hurricane had nothing to do with Glynn Academy getting its doors blown off during a breezy game at Glynn County Stadium on Sept. 30.

Effingham County was the culprit.

The Rebels (4-2, 2-0) coupled a balanced offense with an opportunistic defense to post a 31-14 victory over the Terrors (2-4, 0-2). The win was the Rebels’ second straight in Region 2-AAAAAA play and fourth straight overall.

Conversely, Glynn Academy has dropped four successive contests.

The Rebels and Terrors played more than 48 hours earlier than scheduled because Hurricane Ian was lurking in Florida and headed toward the Coastal Empire. The short week of preparation didn’t appear to hinder Effingham County, however, as it scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions en route to a 21-7 halftime lead. Its fifth possession of the opening half ended with an errant 47-yard field goal try.

Effingham County accomplished a virtually perfect run-pass balance against the Terrors while playing in conditions that featured steady winds of about 20 mph. The Rebels tallied 220 yards on the ground and 221 through the air.

The Rebels’ offensive dominance was evident on their first snap as quarterback Nate Hayes connected with Wallace for an 80-yard score on a hitch-and-go route. Wallace slipped behind the secondary and caught the ball just before reaching midfield.

“We dialed that up yesterday at practice,” Ford said.

The lengthy pass answered a touchdown Glynn Academy scored on the opening possession of the game. The Terrors marched 67 yards on five plays. The touchdown came on an 11-yard option keeper by Tyler Devlin.

The going got tougher for Glynn Academy before the opening period expired. It advanced to the Rebels 22 on its second possession but the Rebels turned them away when Messiah Bacon notched the first of his two first-half interceptions. 

The Terrors totaled 160 yards in the first half but finished with only 243. Devlin settled for 39 rushing yards on 16 attempts after amassing 42 yards on his initial seven totes.

Effingham County also clamped down on Devlin’s passing, limiting him to five completions on 13 attempts. He tossed three interceptions, including one to Wallace.

Hayes enjoy success through the air throughout the contest, completing 13 of 21 attempts for 221 yards. He was also a thorn in the Terrors’ side on the ground, rushing for 98 yards and two touchdowns. His scoring jaunts covered 8 and 28 yards in the second period.

Jayden Daniels was a rushing force for Effingham County, too He amassed 108 yards and one touchdown on 20 attempts.

Effingham County’s other points came via Jonah Strickland’s 42-yard field goal.

Following the contest, it took a tad longer than usual for the Rebels to gather at midfield for their postgame huddle around their coach at midfield, prompting Wallace to say, “Y’all come on! We’ve got to go to school tomorrow.”

Wallace’s comment at approximately 9 p.m. prompted laughs from his teammates. They had no need to worry about a short night’s rest, however, as Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford, prompted by reports of the hurricane’s projected path, had decided a few minutes earlier to cancel school Thursday. Ford had previously said that  there would be no school Friday.

Coach Ford voiced appreciation for school administrators helping him with the logistical aspects of the game. This includes lining up buses and rescheduling postgame meals with a Brunswick restaurant.

While celebrating with them, the coach joked, “Practice? Who needs practice?”

Effingham County is set to his Grovetown (3-2, 0-1) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“I haven’t had much time think about Grovetown but coach (Cory) Evans is a good coach and I know he will have his team ready,” Coach Ford said. “I know they scored 39 points (in a loss to 6-0 Brunswick) tonight so they are pretty good on offense.”