It’s been a record setting season for Bryan County football and Friday night more fell at Redskins Stadium as the Redskins won their first ever region championship in football with a 66-8 victory over winless Savannah High.
“It feels good,” Coach Cherard Freeman said. “It’s been a long time coming here at Bryan County."
“These boys have stuck with it, the coaching staff has stuck with it,” Freeman said. “They have really worked hard; they’ve earned it. They took some whippings early in their high school career but they’ve showed you they never did quit."
“They continued to work hard, they believed in the system, they believed in the coaches and we got it.”
The Region 3A-D1 title was assured when Screven County beat Claxton, 28-0, while the Redskins (8-1, 3-0) were winning easily. Bryan County will conclude regular season play when it hosts Claxton (2-7, 1-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
In beating the Blue Jackets the Redskins matched the school record for most wins in a season and senior running back Erin Greene said he doesn’t expect any letdown against arch-rival Claxton. Only 15 miles separate the two teams.
“We expected to win tonight and to win big,” Greene said. “Winning the region means everything to us."
“We want to be known as the best team in Bryan County history so we’ll be focused on getting that ninth win against Claxton. Then we’ll have a playoff game, hopefully two, at home. And we want them to give us that region championship trophy on our home field next Friday.”
The Redskins will play their first ever state playoff game at home on Nov. 10 against the winner of Friday night’s game between East Laurens (2-7) and Jefferson County (0-9). As a No. 1 seed Bryan County is assured of playing at home in the second round should it win its opener.
Greene, one of 21 seniors who endured a 0-7 season as freshmen, had one of the team’s 10 touchdowns as he scored on a 19-yard run in the second quarter. He finished with 41 yards on three carries as Freeman substituted freely.
“These are not fun games,” Freeman said. “We weren’t trying to run up the score. I’ve been on the other end of that shoe and these boys have, too. We played a lot of young guys tonight.”
Bryan County dominated from the outset as it jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and then exploded for 40 points in the second against the mistake-prone Blue Jackets who had their highlight moment when quarterback Andrew Fox, Jr., and running back Stephen Fox, Jr., teamed on a catch-and-run 65-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
The 66 points are a school single game scoring record. The previous high was 60 against Long County in 2002. Redskins center Jet Lewis’ father, Ron, was Bryan County’s coach that season.
Austin Clemons, Carson Nunn and Gage Javis, who was getting his first carries of the season, all scored two touchdowns each, Trevor Lanier had an 11-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Sean Kelly Hill, Andreas McKinny scored on a 7-yard run and Ger’bravion Collins had a 41-yard interception return for a score. Cooper kicked six extra points.
McKinny’s touchdown was set up by an interception at the SHS 20 by defensive lineman Raul Parrish who was prevented from scoring by a balky knee brace which slowed him down. Parrish had missed five games this season due to a knee injury.
“I saw Carlin (Covington) tip the ball and I looked up in the sky and jumped up and caught it,” said the 5-foot-7 Parrish who is an outstanding wrestler. “I took off. I was carrying three guys and I thought I was running pretty fast but the brace started slipping and they caught me at the seven.”
The Redskins ran for 332 yards on 34 carries with Clemons picking up 83 on eight attempts to run his season total to 1,201 with 14 touchdowns. Nunn had 49 on four rushes, Collins 43, Jacari Carney 42, Javis 38, McKinny 30, Hunter Gibson 11 and Cooper Ennisadded five.
Hill completed four of eight passes for 52-yards.