By Jamie Gardner
The Appling County High School Pirates traveled to Guyton Friday night to face the South Effingham Mustangs in the Pirates’ first game of the season. The Pirates tamed the Mustangs in easy fashion winning 42-7.
Running back Sharode Roberts got Appling on the scoreboard first when he found an opening and darted 23 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was no good and the score was 6-0 at the 5:55 mark in the first quarter.
Tyrell Gibson intercepted a Mustang pass, which helped set up another Pirate score. Quarterback Jeremiah Holmes got the nod this time and scored on a keeper from four yards out. Holmes then connected with receiver Dawson Griffis on a two-point conversion pass play to make the score 14-0 at the 9:55 mark in the second quarter.
After some great defensive work by the Pirates, they again got the ball back with great field position and scored another touchdown. Holmes again scored for the Pirates, this time on a nine-yard run. Alex Gacia added the PAT kick and the score was 21-0 with 6:46 remaining in the second.
Before halftime Sharode Roberts hit pay dirt again from three yards out. Garcia’s PAT was good and the score was 28-0 and would remain unchanged until halftime.
It seemed strange not having the Pirate Brigade on the field during the halftime break. Fans look forward to seeing the Brigade this Friday night at Jimmy Swain Stadium.
Following the break, South Effingham finally got on the board when Quarterback Alex Cela connected with receiver Jeremiah Patterson-Young for a nine-yard passing touchdown. The PAT was good and the score at the 9:00 mark in the third was 28-7.
On the Pirates next possession they took over at their own 20-yard line. During the drive, running back Jaylen Johnson was able to get to the outside and ran 70 yards down the field to give the Pirates a great opportunity to score again. After a few plays, big fullback Justice Huntley capped off the 80-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Garcia added the PAT and the score was 35-7 at the 7:23 mark in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff Pirate Dennis Mims stripped the ball away from the South Effingham returner and the Pirates took over at the Mustangs 26. It only took a few plays and the Pirates scored again. QB Holmes completed the drive with a one-yard score. Garcia added the PAT and the score was 42-7.
The score would remain unchanged for the remainder of the game.
The Pirates had a strong showing in their opening game amassing 347 yards on 51 total offensive plays (6.8 yard average per play). The defense had a good game with 37 total tackles, which included seven tackles that resulted in loss of yardage for the Mustangs. The team did have a few mistakes as they were hit with 15 penalties throughout the game for 120 yards.
This week the Pirates will host the Seminoles of Westside High School of Macon for the team’s first home game. Westside lost its season opener to Central High School of Macon 12-7. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 Friday night at Jimmy Swain Stadium. Appling has only faced Westside once in the past and that was last year during the playoffs. The Pirates defeated the Seminoles in that game 28-7.
Come out and show your support for the Pirates this Friday night. Tickets may be purchased at the Appling County High School. For information on purchasing tickets, call 367-8610.
First downs – Pirates 16, Mustangs 6
Rushing – Pirates 44 att./307 yds., Mustangs 19 att./13 yds.
Passing – 4 com./8 att./43 yds., Mustangs 6 com./20 att./35 yds.
Total offense – Pirates 347 yds., Mustangs 48
Turnovers – Pirates 0, Mustangs 2
Penalties – Pirates 15/120 yds., Mustangs 4/55yds.
Time of possession – Pirates 32:02, Mustangs 15:58
Individual statistics (Appling only)
Rushing – Jaylen Johnson had 10 rushes for 142 yards, Sharode Roberts 8 for 77, Jeremiah Holmes 10 for 30, Jarvis Mims 2 for 28 and Keyshawn Walker 2 for 17.
Passing – Jeremiah Holmes had 4 completions on 7 attempts for 43 yards. Receivers were Sharode Roberts, Kobe Jones, Taylan Crosby and Dawson Griffis.
Defense – Dennis Mims had 7 tackles, Tyrell Gibson 5, Jarvis Mims 4, Sharode Roberts and Darris Smith with 3 each, Jamori Wright, Taylan Crosby, Toby Taylor, Justice Huntley, Jose Martinez, Dawson Griffis, Keyshawn Walker and Aaron Williams were all credited with 2 tackles each.