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Mustangs first-teamers handle Jenkins
0819 sehs scrimmage 1
The South Effingham defense, led by Cody Miller (39) hems in Jenkins running back Franklin Green as he fumbles. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

SE-Jenkins 1

South Effingham's Gage Marks plows in for the first touchdown in the scrimmage against Jenkins.

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SE-Jenkins 2

South Effingham's defense corrals the Jenkins offense.

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There was plenty to like for South Effingham head football coach Greg Manior on Friday night, in spite of the final numbers on the scoreboard.

His first team offense moved the ball up and down the field and outscored Jenkins’ varsity. His defense, for the most part, bottled up Warriors speedster Franklin Green.

The Warriors beat the Mustangs 21-16 in their preseason scrimmage at The Corral, but the Mustangs varsity held a 16-7 advantage while it was in the game in the first and fourth quarters.

“I’m happy,” Manior said. “It was a good experience for everybody.”

Gage Marks scored the first of his two touchdowns, a 2-yard run, with 5:46 to play in the first quarter. Green, bottled up in the first possession, broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run on the very next play.

But other than that bolt, the Mustangs defense kept the University of Florida recruit in check.

“He had one play,” Manior said of Green. “I was happy with our defense.”

Chris Zittrouer put South Effingham ahead 10-7 with a 40-yard field goal, but the Mustangs trailed 21-10 before Marks plowed in from the 5 to make it 21-16 with 2:33 to go. Jenkins, though, ran out the clock on their ensuing possession.

“They wanted to get back out there,” Manior said of his first teamers. "I didn’t have any timeouts left. I used them trying to line up my ninth graders in the right places at the right time.”

South Effingham’s varsity offense had taken over inside the Jenkins 20 to start the fourth quarter, a drive the backups started with more than 8 minutes to go in the third. But Jenkins stopped Frank Manker on fourth and 5 to end that threat.

In the third quarter, Jenkins discovered there may be life after Green graduates. Freshman Lance Ellison broke off touchdown runs of 70 and 67 yards against the Mustangs reserves, who played the second and third quarters.

“They’re not ready yet,” Manior said of his JV and freshman players. “But the ninth graders need to learn, too.”