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Mustangs subdue Blue Jackets in scrimmage
Rocko Griffin
South Effingham senior running back Rocko Griffin (24) fends off a Savannah defender during Friday’s scrimmage. - photo by Photo by Birk Herrath

GUYTON — South Effingham scored five touchdowns en route to a scrimmage victory against Savannah on Friday. Mustangs head coach Nathan Clark opted not to keep score out of respect for the Blue Jackets’ small roster.

“They didn’t have as many players as we have and they didn’t have a way to substitute guys in,” Clark said. “We started subbing (second- and third-team players) and they were still going against our (first teamers) so it really wasn’t fair, and we had more players than they did.

“They did a great job but the attrition was going to take place.”

Alex Cela and Cam Edwards each scored two touchdowns, and Rocko Griffin added one.

Edwards started fall camp on defense but his move to offense has been productive. 

“Late in the summer, we switched Cam from linebacker to running back and he’s been tearing it up,” Clark said. “He just has to learn what to do. Between Cam, Andrew Coffee, Rocko Griffin and Joell Laldee, we have a good stable of backs. I am pleased with what they are doing.”

Cela’s ability to get outside and accelerate provided an offensive spark.

“Alex Cela is a player,” Clark said. “We have to find a way to get him on the field. He’s a baller.

“He makes plays at receiver.”

The Mustangs, set to open the season Friday at Long County at 7:30 p.m., still have a few kinks that need to be ironed out. A slow start raised some concern as the timing of routes and throws were a bit off.

Clark admitted it may have been pregame jitters that got the best of the offense early but he is hopeful his players will overcome their nervousness and execute.

“The quarterback has to do what he has to do, recievers have to run their right route and the line has to block,” Clark said. “Offensively, we have to be able to throw the ball more and do a better job of it. 

“Special teams did a good job tonight. We did a miss field goal early on but we made all of our extra points. 

“We came out in the second half and did a good job executing. I was not happy with the way they performed early but I think there was a lot of nerves. We did a lot of things we should not have done.”

South Effingham’s defense produced plenty of highlights. It forced five turnovers and displayed determination to get to the ball.  

“Kudos to Coach (Nick) Smith and the defensive staff,” Clark said. “We didn’t know what we were going to face because they installed a new offense. We went in the game blind.

“We knew they were going to run Georgia Tech’s offense from the past. We didn’t have any tape but we went off what Georgia Tech has done in the past. 

“I thought Stephen Kraeling and Nick Milbrandt did a good job. Brayden Bell played sound defense. Our secondary was very disciplined.

“Defensively, we played lights out. I am very pleased. They created a bunch of turnovers. I like how we finished but we have to start better.”