GPB - The Statesboro Blue Devils are back in the playoffs and will play at Griffin on Friday night.

Bulloch County will be represented in the state high school football playoffs for the Georgia High School Association and the Georgia Independent School Association by three different teams.

One of those is Statesboro High which is back in the state playoffs for the first time since the 2013 season when it lost to Griffin in the second round. The Blue Devils were ranked eighth in the state going into that game while the Bears were ranked second.

Ironically, Statesboro has drawn Griffin for its Class 5A first-round matchup on Friday.

The Blue Devils will take a 4-6 record into the playoffs. They finished third in Region 2 behind Wayne County and Ware County with a 2-2 record.

Statesboro defeated South Effingham and New Hampstead, the region’s fourth seed, in back-to-back weeks to close the season.

The Bears are 7-3. They finished second in Region 3 behind Starr’s Mill which handed Griffin its only region loss.

Griffin lost in the first round last season to Jones County.

This is the second season for Antonio Andrews as the head coach of the Bears. This is also the second year for Jeff Kaiser with the Blue Devils. He played for Statesboro as a high-school football standout.

Also, Southeast Bulloch is set to take the field Friday in the Class 3A playoffs at Liberty County.

The Yellow Jackets finished the regular season with a 9-1 record that includes a 7-1 mark in Region 3.

The only team to beat SEB during the regular schedule was perennial power Benedictine which finished a perfect 8-0 to win the region championship.

The Jackets started out with seven straight wins before the loss to Cadets. They won their final two games over Groves and Johnson by a combined score of 99-6.

This is the first season for Barrett Davis as the Southeast Bulloch head coach.

The Jackets did not make the playoffs last year. They lost in the first round to Pike County two years ago.

Liberty is coached by former Georgia player Kirk Warner. The Panthers finished the regular season with a 6-3 record that included a 3-2 mark in Region 2-3A.

The Panthers lost their second game of the season to Statesboro. Their region losses were to Pierce County and Appling County, which finished first and second, respectively, in the league standings. Liberty settled for the No. 3 seed after winning region titles the last two years.

Libery is led by senior running back Kris Coleman who has rushed for 1,507 yards and 17 touchdowns going into the postseason. He also has a team-best 18 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

Also, Bulloch Academy will be in action in the GISA Class 3A playoffs on Friday night as it hosts the Brookwood School in the first round.

The Gators are 8-2 for the season and are coming off a 49-24 loss at home last Friday to rival Frederica Academy in a game that decided the Region 2 championship.

Bulloch’s only other loss was a 29-15 setback against state-title contender John Milledge Academy on Oct. 5.

The Gators would get a rematch with John Milledge in the next round if they can defeat Brookwood this week. John Milledge has a bye in the first round as one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 12-team tournament.

The Warriors played 11 regular-season games and were 6-5 for the season. Brookwood finished fourth in Region 3 with a 1-3 record.

For more info on these teams and games, visit www.maxpreps.com.

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