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Effingham County fights to the finish
Zach Garcia
Rebels quarterback Zach Garcia (7) scrambles for a short gain as Pirates Antonio Thomas (20) and Keon Leggett (21) close in to make the tackle Friday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

BRUNSWICK — The bright spots were few for Effingham County in its season-ending loss at Glynn County Stadium on Friday. Still, they didn't go uncelebrated.

The Rebels dropped a 49-0 decision against the Brunswick Pirates to wrap up the 2020 campaign with a 3-7 mark.

“Brunswick is really, really good,” Rebels head coach Buddy Holder said. “They are really, really fast. They have a lot of speed and good size. 

“They have a lot of athletes who are well coached.”

The 7-3 Pirates earned Region 2-AAAAAA’s No. 3 seed for the state playoffs, finishing behind Glynn Academy and Richmond Hill. They will visit Region 3-AAAAAA Alcovy (2-6, 2-1) on Friday.

“I’m pulling for them now,” Holder said. “I’m pulling for everybody in our region now.”

Holder’s last game at the helm of the Rebels — he announced two weeks ago that he is stepping down in favor of another school district job — got off to a promising start. Tucker Wilson recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, setting Effingham County up at the Brunswick 34.

The Rebels, however, didn’t capitalize on the miscue. They advanced to the 10 before losing a fumble of their own on a fourth-and-1 play.

The Pirates responded with a nine-play, 82-yard yard scoring drive that ended with a one-yard plunge by Chuckobe Hill

Three more long scoring marches followed for Brunswick. The touchdowns came on a seven-yard reception by Leon Charlton, a 60-yard grab by Tyrease Jones and an eight-yard romp by Hill.

Outgained 309 yards to 72 in the first half, the Rebels gained a little momentum in the third quarter, completing three of their first four passes. The fifth, however, was picked off and returned for a 36-yard touchdown by Derrick Smith.

Tyler Wells logged an interception for the Rebels later in the third period, which also featured a 32-yard scoring reception by Brunswick’s Kevin Thomas. 

The lone score of the fourth quarter was a 12-yard run by Charlton.

Effingham County’s best second-half play was a 24-yard run by freshman Colton Oglesby. He finished with 27 yards on five carries.

“We were very excited to see that,” Holder said. “He’s got a great future ahead of him and it was great to see the kids pour it all out there and give great effort, and not give up.”