Boys Brunswick High Football · Pirates Preview: BHS hitting the road to face Bradwell

Brunswick High players celebrate with BHS students following the win in their Homecoming game this season at Glynn County Stadium. The Pirates will play in Hinesville on Friday night against Bradwell Institute. (Photos by Michael Brinson)

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A look at the Pirates’ next game:

Opponent: Bradwell Institute

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Olvey Field in Hinesville

Radio: 107.7 FM

Records: BHS-5-3, 3-1 Region 2-AAAAAA; BI 0-5-1; 0-4 Region 2-AAAAAA

Last year/All-time: BHS won 21-13; Bradwell leads all-time series 11-10.

Fun Fact: Bradwell’s home field is Olvey Field. The field is named in honor of Lee Donne Olvey, the valedictorian of the class of 1950 at Bradwell. He played both basketball and baseball while in school.

After graduation, he attended West Point and graduated first in Academics and first in the Military. He was only the eighth person to do this in the 150-year history of West Point at that time. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and later earned his doctorate in Economics from Harvard. He retired as a Brigadier General from the U.S. Army.

The Skinny: The Pirates were off last week and have two games left to finish out the regular season. They play the Tigers on Friday before hosting Effingham at Glynn County Stadium next Friday in the final game of the regular season.

BHS defenders surround a Statesboro ball carrier earlier this season during a home game. The Brunswick defense will face a Bradwell offense that has struggled to score Friday night at Olvey Field in Hinesville.

Brunswick will be looking to get back on the winning track after suffering a 42-27 loss Oct. 30 at Richmond Hill which snapped a four-game winning streak and ended their chances of a perfect record in Region 2-AAAAAA games.

With Glynn Academy upsetting the Wildcats 7-5 last Friday, the Pirates, Red Terrors and Richmond Hill are now tied for first in the region standings with two weeks left in the regular season. Richmond Hill finishes its schedule Friday at home against South Effingham. Glynn is off this week and plays next Friday at Statesboro to close out the season while Brunswick has its final two region games left to play.

All three teams will be favored to win their remaining region games. If they stay tied for first, they would share the region title, but Glynn would get the top seed for the state playoffs through the tiebreaker that follows the head-to-head tiebreaker which can’t be used to undue the tie since the teams all beat each other.

The next tiebreaker agreed upon by the league coaches prior to the season was total points allowed in games between the teams involved in the tie, with a maximum of 25 points charged to a team in any one game. Glynn allowed the fewest points to the Wildcats and Pirates in their matchups and thus would be awarded the top seed. Richmond Hill would then get the second seed because of its victory over the Pirates in their head-to-head game. Brunswick would be relegated to the third seed.

The Pirates would be No. 2 if they win their final two games and Glynn loses to Statesboro, leaving Richmond Hill and Brunswick as the only teams with one league loss in the end if the Wildcats were to also defeat South Effingham.

BHS could still finish first alone by winning its final two games, but Richmond Hill would have to lose to South Effingham on Friday and Glynn would also have to lose at Statesboro next week.

The Pirates are heavy favorites to win Friday in Hinesville, but they have not won on their last two visits to Olvey Field. BHS lost at Bradwell two years ago when they won only three games all season, falling 41-14 to a Tigers team that made the playoffs. Bradwell running back Kevin Harris, now at South Carolina, ran for five touchdowns in that game.

Brunswick also lost to the Tigers in Hinesville in 2016 under Larry Harold by an 18-16 score. Harold stepped down as the team’s head coach after the season which was just his second with the BHS program.

This season has been a tough one for the Tigers who have not cracked the win column in five official tries including four region games. They did not play a game until Sept. 25 as Liberty County school officials chose to delay the start of athletics in their two high schools because of Covid-19 concerns.

Bradwell played rival Liberty County in an unofficial contest that last Friday in September and lost on the scoreboard, but the result was logged as a tie. Their official season opener was also against the Panthers the following Friday and the Tigers lost that game 30-20 on Liberty’s home field.

Bradwell opened region play the next week, falling 42-7 at home to Richmond Hill before coming to Brunswick and losing 41-14 the next week to Glynn. Following an open date, the Tigers lost 34-16 to Statesboro and fell again last week to Effingham in Springfield, albeit by a close 14-12 score. The Rebels blocked two extra points and also forced five turnovers by the Tigers in the victory.

The Tigers have scored only 69 points for an average of 11.5 per game. One of their scores against Glynn came on a fake punt that went for a touchdown.

Senior quarterback Jahki Newton is the team’s leading rusher. He averages 70.4 yards a game and has carried for 100-plus yards twice this season. He has passed for 330 yards, averaging just 66 yards passing per game.

BHS junior running back Ree Simmons leads the Pirates with 871 rushing yards for the season and could reach the 1,000 -yard mark Friday night. He needs 129 yards to reach the number and is averaging 108.9 yards per game thus far.  =

Senior receiver Tyrease Jones is the Pirates’ leading scorer with nine touchdown catches for 54 total points. Simmons follows on the scoring chart with eight rushing touchdowns and also a two-point conversion for 50 points.

Brunswick’s defense has recorded six sacks in eight games with four players having one each. Senior defensive lineman Kaleb Hampton and Sophomore lineman Kashawn Thomas both have two each.

The Pirates have registered 22 tackles for loss with four players having three each while Thomas has four to lead the defense.

BHS punter Anthony Elvine is averaging 37 yards per kick and has a long of 51 yards.