It’s been a matter of so close yet so far the last three weeks for the Effingham County Rebels football team.
The Rebels (2-4) have dropped their last three games by a total of 23 points and are now 2-3 in Region 3-AAAA.
They fell to Ware County 20-7 after the Gators ran back a kickoff for a touchdown following a Rebels’ score to cut the lead to 14-7. They lost to Evans in overtime after the Knights took advantage of two onside kicks and gave up a last-minute touchdown to Glynn Academy last week in a 10-6 setback.
“We haven’t put a complete game together yet,” Rebels coach Jack Webb said. “More than one coach said after the Glynn game some of our kids individually played their best game of the year. That’s encouraging.”
For some of the Rebels’ losses, Webb can point to mistakes that wound up being fatal. Two fumbles against South Effingham wound up costing the Rebels, two breakdowns against Ware were costly and there were the two Evans successful onside kicks.
“The other night, we played great defense until the last four and a half minutes,” Webb said.
The coach also pointed to having first-and-10 at the Red Terrors 18-yard line and managing only a field goal out of the great field position.
Even with the frustrating stretch, the Rebels coaches are preaching to their players to continue play hard every snap. Webb said a key play can come during any time in the game.
“You’ve got to keep playing hard,” Rebels coach Jack Webb said. “You’ve got to finish it. Like the University of Georgia team says, ‘finish the drill.’ You’ve got to finish the drill. There are three or four plays every game that some teams can overcome and some can’t. We haven’t been able to overcome that.”
If anyone can feel the Rebels’ pain, it might be the Wayne County Yellow Jackets. The Jackets (1-5, 1-4) have been outscored 105-8 in the last three weeks and have scored just 41 points all season.
Webb hopes his team can repeat the intensity it had against Glynn.
“If we play like we’re capable of, like we did against Glynn, I feel good about our chances,” he said.
Even at 2-3 in the region and seventh in the 10-team region, the Rebels are still very much alive, and Webb made a note of that to his team earlier this week. Statesboro and Brunswick each lost last week, two teams the Rebels still have to face, and the Rebels also need for Evans (6-0, 5-0) to keep winning.
“We really haven’t lost any ground,” Webb said.
Effingham County at Wayne County
• Records: ECHS 2-4, WCHS 1-4
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Where: Jaycee Stadium, Jesup
• Radio: WSGV FM-105.7