By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Rebels miss opportunities, fall to Southeast Bulloch, 20-13
Lamar Roberts
No. 2 Lamar Roberts hauls in the 28-yard touchdown pass from No. 7 Nate Hayes, Jr. late in the first quarter to put the Rebels up 7-0. (Photos by Gilbert Miller/Effingham Herald.)

By Jeff Moeller,

For the Effingham Herald


            Coming off a 24-19 victory over Statesboro Sept. 1, Effingham County headed into Southeast Bulloch last Friday night with a confident feeling.

            Their opponent had suffered a 12-7 defeat to Statesboro two weeks earlier. In 2022, Effingham County routed Southwest Bulloch by a five-touchdown deficit in a 42-7 victory.

            However, Effingham County (1-3) was once again plagued by the stumbling block that has affected them throughout most of their four games this season -- missed opportunities.

            The Rebels wasted some chances, and they suffered a 20-13 defeat to the host Yellow Jackets.

            “We had our chances like we have all season long,” said Rebels’ head coach John Ford. “They battled us and played hard. Our effort was there. We didn’t get the ball in the end zone as often as we should have. We also have to clean up some things.”

            Effingham recovered a Southeast Bulloch fumble on the game’s opening play, but they couldn’t take advantage. They moved the ball inside the 20-yard line, but their drive stalled. Faced with a fourth down, Effingham sent kicker Mason Lien onto the field; but his 35-yard attempt was wide.


Nate Hayes, Jr.
No. 7 Nate Hayes Jr., calls his own number and scrambles for 6+ yards with one minute left in the first half.
However, the Rebels did take advantage of their next possession when they reeled off a 76-yard drive in nine plays. Quarterback Nate Hayes Jr. culminated the drive when he found Lamar Roberts on a 28-yard scoring strike, and the Rebels took a 7-0 lead.

            Southeast Bulloch answered with their own drive, moving 93 yards on nine plays. The key play was quarterback Will Nelson’s 71-yard scramble. On a third down, the Rebels were flagged for a roughing the passer call that took the Yellow Jackets down to the Rebels’ 28. Two plays later, Nelson found Kyon Taylor in the flat, and he dashed 18 yards down the sideline to tie the game at 7-7.

The Rebels went three-and-out on its next possession, and Southeast Bulloch pierced together another scoring drive, this one a 73-yarder in nine plays. Nelson’s 52-yard screen pass to Taylor that placed the ball on the Effingham 18.

Four plays later on their own six, Effingham jumped offside, and Southeast Bulloch had the ball on their three-yard line. From there, Nelson scooted around the right side for the go-ahead score at 14-7 with 2:12 left in the second quarter.

Just before the first half ended, Southeast Bulloch’s Cole Snyder booted a 39-yard field goal for a 17-7 cushion.

Late in the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets upped their lead to 20-7 when Snyder added another field goal from 24 yards.

Effingham’s final score came when A.J. Butts plowed on a one-year plunge that narrowed the gap to 20-13 with 4:46 remaining.

The Rebels recovered an onside kick, but were unable to convert on a fourth down, and the Yellow Jackets took over with 4:12 left in the game. They converted two first downs and were able to run out the clock.

For the game, Effingham had three turnovers and 259 yards of total offense, 116 yards passing and 143 yards rushing. They have a bye this week and will travel to meet undefeated South Effingham (3-0) Sept. 22.