The Swainsboro Tigers were shut out in the 2020 football opener 28-0 by Metter in a game dominated by defenses. Swainsboro opened the season ranked in the top 10 but was never able to get on track offensively and made several key mistakes on special teams.
The Tigers opened the season with plenty of new faces after graduating a large class from the past football season. Sophomore Ty Adams got the start at QB and was flanked by senior RB Robert Allen. Allen accumulated over 1,000 yards last season and got the ball early and often. Metter was extremely aggressive on defense, especially early, and caused Swainsboro’s offense lots of issues with loss for yardage plays. However, it was a wayward long snap that helped put the first points on the board as Swainsboro attempted to punt on their opening possession. Punter Elijah Loyd chased the rolling football back to the 1-yard line, where he was tackled, setting up Metter’s offense in the best possible situation. Metter punched it in and took a 6-0 lead with just 3 minutes off the clock.
Swainsboro was forced to punt again on their next possession, and another snap just to the right of Loyd bounced off of his right hand. Loyd gave chase and picked up the football, getting off a short punt as he was being pulled down by the defense, setting Metter up on Swainsboro’s 19-yard line. Metter scored from 10 yards out and, with only 20 yards of total offense, took a 14-0 lead with 4:32 left in the opening quarter.
Swainsboro finally got a successful punt off later in the quarter and flipped the field on Metter, giving Swainsboro’s defense some much-needed breathing room. Two plays into Metter’s drive, Swainsboro forced a fumble and recovered on Metter’s 37-yard line. Swainsboro drove down to the 9-yard line but was unable to dent the end zone in what would be their best scoring chance.
Midway through the second quarter, Metter busted their biggest play of the game with a 50-yard burst right up the gut down to Swainsboro’s 22-yard line. With 4:42 left in the half, Metter scored again to lead 21-0 going in to the half. Metter scored again in the third quarter to provide the final margin of victory, 28-0.
Metter’s defense was too stout for Swainsboro’s offensive line, and frequently defenders were in the backfield before a RB or the QB had an opportunity to get their footing and get up field. One of the best defenses Swainsboro played in 2019, Metter proved to be a handful, and Swainsboro will need to learn from tough early season competition to find an offensive rhythm and put points on the scoreboard.
They gave us a lot of trouble shooting gaps and we didn't pick it up very well,” explained Head Coach Scott Roberts. “They played faster than we did. As we gain some experience, I expect us to handle that better.
The Tigers will be playing a gauntlet of powerful teams early this season and will need to get better quickly.
“If nothing else, it should definitely humble us,” said Roberts about learning from his team’s first game. “It better make us realize that we have to take advantage of every second on the practice field and in the film room. If we do that, I expect it to start showing up on film Friday night.”
Swainsboro only accumulated 50 total yards on offense. Allen had 26 rushing yards on 13 carries. Adams completed 5 of 10 passes for 32 yards, and Lenox Lively completed 1 of 5 passes for 12 yards. Cedric Seabrough, Fred Seabrough, and Derrick Jones had 2 receptions apiece.
Swainsboro's game against Jefferson County this past Friday night was canceled due to the Warriors having a case of COVID on their team. The Tigers instead picked up a game against Washington County and won. Look for a full report in the September 16 edition of <i>The Blade.</i>