LUDOWICI — Quarterback Taylor Jackson has been waiting a long time to showcase what he can do and he led a record-setting barrage against Long County that resulted in a 62-27 win for South Effingham on Friday.
In their first game under head coach Nathan Clark, the Mustangs accumulated 560 yards of offense and a school record for points. Jackson accounted for more than half of the yards, using his legs to pick up yards and his arm to amass 200.
Clark knew what Jackson was capable of doing and now the rest of the state does, too. Jackson threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two.
“On a read play, he pulled it and went 55 yards,” Clark said. “That was a pretty big play for us. He was efficient, explosive and he made a lot of big plays. He didn’t turn the ball over and he didn’t make any bonehead decisions.
“He is an explosive player and I think that anybody that watches the film is going to have to prepare to stop him as well.”
Noah Hoang, Alex Cela and Cameron Edwards were among Mustangs that contributed to the big night of scoring with touchdowns.
Liam Rickman nailed eight of nine PATs, a statistic that Clark didn’t overlook.
“The kicking game really changes everything,” he said “It can flip the field and turn the momentum. He was successful on his PATs.
“He had a touchback and that was huge.”
To make things even better for the Mustangs, they welcomed back defensive back Eric Norman. Although he’s not back to 100 percent after a miniscus, he’s inching closer to it.
Hunter Tindall led the Mustangs with a team-high 10 tackles, including one for a loss, and Norman added five stops.
“Eric Norman — he’s back,” Clark said. “He started the other night. He played well considering that he’s been out for such a long period of time.
“As he continues to get healthier and get more experience, we’ll be a little bit better back there.”
Now the Mustangs will turn their attention to Jenkins, a team loaded with talent. Clark is aware of what the Warriors bring to the table but doesn’t want his squad to be deterred by their skillset.
“They are loaded defensively and they are very explosive on the offensive side of the ball,” he said. “It’s going to be a major challenge for us. We are going to have to be firing on all cylinders. We can’t make mistakes.
“I told our boys they are more athletic than we are but that doesn’t mean they are a better team. I think if we play as a team, are efficient and don’t make mistakes we can be victorious.”