The first half of the football season did not go as expected for Effingham County.
The Rebels lost to cross-county rival South Effingham, but more importantly lost two of four region games to make advancing to the postseason nearly impossible.
“I thought we’d be 3-1 or 4-0 in the region right now, but it didn’t work out that way so we’ve got to play better in the second half,” ECHS coach Jack Webb said. “Making the playoffs is a realistic goal. We just got to play better than what we have and get a few breaks here and there.”
The Rebels are 2-3 overall and 2-2 in Region 3-AAAA and the schedule just gets tougher, with Glynn, Statesboro and Brunswick remaining on the docket.
“They’re focused,” Webb said about his team. “They know what they have to do and what’s in store for them the next five games.”
Webb acknowledged that advancing to the postseason is a difficult challenge, but he said that it’s possible.
“As long as we take them one game at a time, be fundamentally sound and don’t make silly mistakes, then we’ve got a chance,” he said.
Effingham had Friday off, so the Rebels worked on fine tuning their game and getting healthy.
“We worked on our passing and we’re trying to get better technique,” Webb said. “We’re also getting ready for Glynn.”
The Rebels jump back into the fire next Friday when they travel to Brunswick to play Glynn Academy (3-2, 2-2 region). The Red Terrors beat Ware County last Friday and nearly upset both Statesboro and Brunswick.
Glynn, similar to most teams in the region, enjoys going to the air, so Webb said working on defending the pass is tantamount to success.
“We want to make sure we can recognize certain plays out of their formations,” he said. “They throw a lot of short, quick out routes.”
Glynn, like Effingham, was off Friday.
Webb has made some mid-season adjustments. Coming into the season there was no feature running back in the Wishbone-attack. Now, it seems that senior quarterback Chris Hamilton is being called to carry the load.
“We had some injuries and we had to move some people around,” Webb said. “We need Chris in there as a quarterback and a halfback, too.”
At times, Hamilton lines up as the halfback, while sophomore Dalton Couey lines up under center.
Hamilton has rushed for 265 yards on 62 carries, averaging 4.3 yards a play. He has scored four touchdowns.
The Rebels have used five different running backs this season. In addition to Hamilton, Stephen Tarpley has rushed for 180 yards on 29 carries, Michael Johnson has 175 yards on 47 carries, Raymond Hines has 174 yards on 25 carries and Dyone Youmans has 123 yards on 10 carries.
Effingham County football glance
•Record: 2-3, def. Richmond Academy 31-0, lost South Effingham 20-6, def. Greenbrier 24-7, lost Ware County 20-7, lost Evans 34-28 (OT).
• Next game: Friday, at Glynn Academy, 7:30 p.m.
• Rushing: 173 rushes for 917 yards
• Passing: 8-of-22 for 113 yards
• Total offense: 1,030 yards on 195 plays
• Leading rusher: Chris Hamilton, 62 rushes, 265 yards
• Leading passer: Chris Hamilton, 8-22-2, 113 yards
• Leading receiver: Michael Johnson 5 receptions, 65 yards.