by TROUP BRINSON
The Swainsboro Tigers (4-4) battled for 4 quarters but lost a tight region game with Jeff Davis, 15-7. The defeat was Swainsboro’s first in region play and makes the final 2 games of the season immensely important for playoff seeding.
The Tigers entered the game 2-0 in region 2-AA but with the top teams still on the schedule for the final month of the season. Jeff Davis, Toombs County, and Vidalia are all vying for the best playoff position possible and Swainsboro has the most difficult road with a top-heavy end of the season.
The Tigers got on the board first with a terrific drive that culminated with a jaw-dropping 8 yard touchdown catch from Fred Seabrough as QB Lenox Lively tossed a jump ball to Seabrough, who went up high into traffic to bring down the game’s first points. Jeff Davis answered quickly, scoring on a 9 yard pass in the first minute of the 2nd quarter. The extra point was no good and Swainsboro held onto their 7-6 lead until the 3 minute mark of the quarter as the Yellow Jackets connected on a 28 yard field goal to take the lead 9-7. Swainsboro put together a drive to close the half that ended on Jeff Davis’ 10 yard line as Cedric Seabrough was brought down trying to get out of bounds as time expired.
Swainsboro’s defense brought their “A-game” even without leading tackler Zabrien Harden who was out with an injury. The Yellow Jackets came in averaging nearly 300 yards rushing and Swainsboro played maybe their best defensive game of the season.
Both offenses were held in check until the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter as Jeff Davis scored on a 25 yard run to push the lead to 8 points at 15-7. The Tigers who have shown the ability all season to perform in late game situations, flew down the field as Lively connected on multiple passes to Fred and Cedric Seabrough. Swainsboro got all the down to the Yellow Jackets 11 yard line before getting off track and then turning the ball over on downs on their final possession.
“I could not be prouder of the way our defense played Friday night,” said head coach Scott Roberts. “They definitely answered the challenge of the physical matchup that was presented to them. They played well enough for us to win the football game.”
With the defense doing the job, it was on the offense to perform and they were able to score but once on the night.
“We did some good things on offense, but took turns making mistakes that killed drives,” explained Roberts. “Consistency has been a problem for us. Some weeks we run the ball better. Some weeks we throw the ball better. I've got to do a better job of figuring that out faster during the game.
Lively had an efficient night throwing the ball, completing 14 of 20 passes for 163 yards. Fred Seabrough led the way with 7 catches for 96 yards and Cedric Seabrough was right behind with 6 catches for 63 yards. Swainsboro finished with only 45 total rushing yards with Jordan Williams getting 33 yards on 15 carries.
Around the region, Vidalia won against Toombs County in triple overtime, 39-36. Swainsboro will travel to Toombs County next week and hope to capitalize on a team coming off of an emotional loss to their biggest rival.