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South Effingham's playoff hopes alive despite lopsided loss
Terry Mitchell
Pirates wide receiver Terry “The Cheetah” Mitchell (10) carries the ball deep into Mustangs territory after catching a short pass at The Corral on Friday. South Effingham’s Dominic Martell (7) give chase on the play. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON — If ever there was a good time to have amnesia.

South Effingham has to forget about a lopsided 42-3 loss to Brunswick last Friday and focus on the upcoming weeks with games on the road against Grovetown and Evans for a chance to make the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.

But first things first. Last Friday never happened.

Undefeated Brunswick didn’t score on its first play or on all six possessions in the game, or average nearly 15 yards a play.

Never happened.

“Obviously, we have to flush this game and focus on Grovetown and get better,” Mustangs coach Nathan Clark said. “We have to practice well, we have to lift hard, we have to make the adjustments in the film room. We have to get on that bus and get up there and play well Friday night and then worry about the next week.”

Do that and the shipwreck that the Pirates administered last Friday will float out to sea.

SEHS players and coaches should be comforted knowing their remaining opponents don’t have Brunswick’s plethora of speed.

Pirates wide receiver Terry Mitchell wears No. 10 and did a good job emulating his favorite NFL player Tyreek Hill, who is nicknamed “The Cheetah” for a reason.

“You saw on the very first play of the game, they threw the ball to (Mitchell) and we had our very best player on him and he was there, but (Mitchell) caught the ball, regained his balance and just outran our best player. … Speed isn’t something you can simulate in practice.”

Five of Brunswick’s first eight plays went for 30 or more yards and South’s Senior Night turned into Senior Nightmare.

It was 35-0 at halftime. With a running clock in the second half, the game was over before 9:30 p.m.

Tyler Quick’s 44-yard field goal in the final two minutes ruined a Pirate shutout.

But beating Brunswick, the region’s defending champion, has always been a tough matchup for the Mustangs, who have lost nine of the 10 all-time meetings — dropping the last five by an average of 34 points a game.

“We knew (defeating Brunswick) was going to be a tough task,” Clark said. “We knew all along, if we could beat Lakeside and end up beating Grovetown and Evans, we’d have an opportunity (to make the state playoffs).”

South, Lakeside, Grovetown and Evans each have just one region win with two weeks left in the regular season. By winning twice, the Mustangs would rise to three region wins and have head-to-head tiebreakers over Lakeside, Grovetown and Evans in the six-team region.

South (3-4, 1-3) can’t pass Brunswick, Effingham County or Glynn Academy in the standings.

Regardless of what happens this week, Brunswick and Effingham County, both 4-0 in region play, will play for the region championship Nov . 4 in Brunswick.