In a battle of defenses last Friday night in Hazlehurst, Jeff Davis took a 2-0 win over Metter High School to even the Yellow Jackets’ record at 2-2.
The defenses so dominated play that neither team made a serious threat to score. And the Yellow Jackets had the far superior defense as the visiting Tigers crossed midfield only once during the evening — and that came courtesy of a 4th quarter Jacket fumble that the Tigers recovered at the JD 41. On that lone possession in Jacket territory, the Tigers got no closer than the 28 from where they missed a 45-yd. field goal attempt.
Other than that one time in Jacket territory, the Tigers deepest penetration was to their own 49 yard line. Konner Munsayac’s punting kept Metter bottled up most of the evening.
Meanwhile the JD offense made several forays into Metter territory but each time penalties and turnovers spoiled the threats. The deepest penetration the Jackets made was to the Metter 15 where a fumble ended the drive.
Later the Jackets got to the Metter 24 from where Fernando Vega tried a 40-yd. field goal but a defender roared in untouched to block the kick.
Yellow Jacket defenders came up with big plays over and over to stymie the Tigers all evening.
After intermission, the Yellow Jackets took 32 snaps while the Tigers ran only 18 plays.
Metter took the opening kickoff and made a quick first down, aided by a 5-yd. penalty against the Jackets. Haydon King nailed a Tiger runner for a 5-yd. loss and, on the next play, La’Trell Sellers picked off a long Metter pass at the JD 27.
From there the Jackets put together a 9-play drive with Elijah Benjamin getting 12-yd. and 15-yd. runs. But a fumble at the Tiger 15 ended the threat.
Starting at their 15, Metter had a 10-play possession but couldn’t cross midfield.
Jacket quarterback Colby Beach had a 25-yd., second quarter run that was nullified by a flag.
Metter started their next possession at their own 15 as well. After a pass interference flag gave them a first down, Carter Mullis nailed a runner for a big loss and, again, the visitors didn’t cross midfield.
On the Tigers’ next possession, Carter Galbreath blew into the Metter backfield to disrupt a play and Christian McDaniel nailed the runner for a 10-yd. loss. Ian Griffin broke up a pass and, again, Metter had to punt. Jude Worthington returned the punt and was hit out-of-bounds to move the ball to midfield.
Beach connected with Sellers for 14- and 12-yd. completions but the Jackets couldn’t get closer than the 24.
Metter kicked off into the end zone to start the second half and the Jackets moved the ball from their own 20 into Metter territory where, on 4th-and-1, they couldn’t pick up the yard for a first down.
The Tigers moved the ball out to their own 48 but were pushed back and punted the ball away from their 41.
The Jackets took over at their own 36 and a 10-yd. Jude Worthington run moved the ball to the 48 but a fumble gave Metter the ball at the JD 41. They got to the 28 where, on 4th-and-7 they kicked an unsuccessful field goal.
The Jackets took over at their own 20. Sellers had a 13-yd. run, Beach ran for 11 into Metter territory, and Mullis had an 11-yd. run to inside the Tiger 35 but a penalty halted the drive. Munsayac punted the ball into the end zone.
On 3rd-and-8 from the 22, the Tigers completed a pass in the flats but Josh Worthington flew in to nail the receiver for a 7-yd. loss. That play turned out to be the difference in the ball game. On 4th-and-15, the Tigers lined up in punt formation but the snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for the game-deciding safety.
After the safety, Metter kicked the ball to the Jackets and they started their final drive at their own 15.
The Jackets needed to get a couple of first downs so they could run down the remainder of the time on the clock. For a moment, it looked bleak as, on 3rd-and-6 from the 19, three Tiger defenders were closing in on Beach who had retreated to pass. But Beach was able to elude the tacklers and spotted Mullis near the left sidelines. He delivered the ball and Mullis gathered in the pass as he fell to the ground with just enough yardage to move the chains. Mullis then ran for five and Benjamin got another five to reset the chains. That gave Beach enough time to kneel on the ball three times to run the remaining time off the clock.