The Border Bowl Blitz returns, with senior football stars in the spotlight on Saturday


For some, it’s another chance to show college scouts what they can do on the football field. Others are enjoying the opportunity to dress up one last time with the guys they played junior football with growing up.

Many top high school students from the Coastal Empire are ready to don their pads and helmets once again Saturday in the Blitz Border Bowl, an all-star football game against a team from South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The game is sponsored by WSAV and benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities. Kick-off is scheduled for Saturday noon at Memorial Stadium.

After missing a year due to COVID-19, this will be the fourth installment of the annual game. New Hampstead coach Kyle Hockman, who manages the Coastal Empire team, said working with the team was a great experience.

“It’s great to train with so many great players, with so many others that you’ve played against. It’s amazing how quickly the guys come together and pick things up,” Hockman said. “The game is great fun, but these guys are competitors and have a lot of pride. They want to represent Coastal Empire and Southeast Georgia, and win this one for bragging rights. We just saw Georgia win the national championship, and the Braves won the World Series – so they want to continue that streak in Georgia.”

Johnson High’s Ted Hurst is in a unique position for this one as the 6-foot-4 standout receiver and defensive back is set to play a basketball game for the Atom Smashers against Savannah High on Friday night, before taking the field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Hurst had 41 catches for 591 yards and six touchdowns for the Atom Smashers last fall, helping lead the Atom Smashers to a playoff berth.

Following: Edwards-to-Hurst connection scores 4 times in Johnson’s shutout of Savannah High

“This is a great opportunity for me to get more college looks,” said Hurst, who has offers from Savannah State and St. Andrews. “It was an honor to be chosen for the game and it’s going to be a lot of fun because I know all these guys I’m going to play with.”

Savannah Christian’s George Futch is another dynamic receiver to watch. The 6-2, 185-pounder had another stellar season for the Raiders with 47 catches for 782 yards and 10 total touchdowns. Last week, he signed up to play Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, NC

“It means everything to me to be able to play in this game. It’s a chance to play Savannah one more time before I go to college,” Futch said. “I took a trip to Lenoir-Rhyne and they treated me and my family so well, I knew it was the right place for me.”

Tavare Brewton II of the Islands said he wanted to play in this game since he started playing for the Sharks.

“I appreciate that they noticed my talent and asked me to play in this game,” said Brewton, who received an offer from SSU. “There’s a lot of talent here and I’m trying to pick up everything I can. I want to show my skills in this game and bring home a win for City.”

Jenkins’ Tre Brown was named Region 3-4A Athlete of the Year and has signed on to play at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

“I missed my freshman year after being transferred from the Islands,” Brown said. “So being able to play in this game is a blessing for me. We’re all seniors, and it’s special for us to have this opportunity to play.”

Following: Jenkins comes back from a 22-point deficit to beat New Hampstead to clinch a playoff game at home

Marques Johnson had a great season in his senior year at Liberty County as the running back rushed for 1,105 yards and 13 touchdowns to lead the Panthers to the 3-3A Area title, while earning league honors. regional player of the year. Johnson said he plans to join the military, so this will be his last football game.

“We’re going to play hard and try to win,” Johnson said. “I want to play well because that’s it for me, it’s my last race and I want to come out strong.”

Tickets for the game are $10 and will be sold at the door or at The match will be broadcast live on WSAV with Andrew Goldstein handling play-by-play.


QUARTERBACKS: Keon Edwards (Johnson), Matthew Ford (County Effingham)

CURRENT BACKS: Miquel Allen (County Effingham), Cameron Edwards (South Effingham), Marques Johnson (County Liberty)

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: Tre Brown (Jenkins), Ted Hurst (Johnson), George Futch (Savannah Christian), Langston Lewis (Islands), Alex Wynn (Savannah Country Day), Kaden Sonnabend (New Hampstead), Tommy Bliss (Richmond Hill), Tavare Brewton II (He is)

OFFENSIVE LINES: Audrick Fuller (Bradwell Institute), Peyton Beasley (South Effingham), Kamren Bing (New Hampstead), Julius Linton (New Hampstead), Ashton Jackson (Jenkins), Larry Johnson (Jenkins)

DEFENSIVE LINES: Christian Johnson-Hall (New Hampstead), William Jones (McIntosh County Academy), Quan Proctor (McIntosh County Academy), Rasheed Knowles (Windsor Forest), D’Angelo Sheppard (Jenkins), Caleb Womble (Savannah Christian), Donald Hardy ( Savannah High), Ryan Gilmore (Swainsboro), Joshua Johnson (Statesboro), Josiah Tate (Savannah High)

LINEBACKERS: Cooper Bachman (Islands), Trayvon Savage (Windsor Forest), Jamie Speight (Statesboro), Rodney Wade (New Hampstead), Anthony Kusilka (St. Andrew’s), Peyton Cromwell (Savannah Christian)

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Juwan Johnson (Calvary Day), Tommy Bliss (Richmond Hill), Caz Creasy (Liberty County), Jashawn Gibbs (Windsor Forest), Tyler Cooper (New Hampstead), Elijah Melford (Bradwell Institute), Jashard Richey (Jenkins)

SPECIAL TEAMS: Cooper Bachman (kicker, Islands), Gilbert Brown (kicker, Richmond Hill), Peyton Beasley (long snapper, South Effingham), Kaden Sonnabend (long snapper, New Hampstead)

STAFF: Kyle Hockman (head coach, New Hampstead), Bradley Warren (defensive coordinator/linebackers, McIntosh County Academy), Mark Stroud (offensive coordinator, Calvary Day), Kenderrick Bonner (defensive backs coach, Johnson), Michael Moore (coach line coach, Savannah High), Deshawn Printup (wide receivers coach, Islands), James Latimore (running backs coach, Groves), Blake Henry (offensive line coach, St. Andrew’s), John Ford (coach quarterbacks, Effingham County)


QUARTERBACKS: Tyler Haley (Beaufort), Jamian Risher (Wade Hampton)

CURRENT BACKS: Amariee Morris (Beaufort), Joseph Hicks (Whale Branch), Chase McCracken (Hilton Head), Speedy Robinson (Hilton Head Christian), Jeremiah Dilbert (Battery Creek)

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jaden Gilliam (Hilton Head), Evan Elliott (Hilton Head), Kendrick Clark (Woodland), Robert Brown (Bluffton), Dreshaun Brown (Battery Creek), James Townsend (Thomas Heyward)

OFFENSIVE LINES: John Asher Howell (Beaufort), Xavier Chaplin (Whale Branch), Willie Webb (Whale Branch), Ryan Clark (Hilton Head), Chase Wilfong (Bluffton), Alvin Black (Battery Creek), Max Hickey (Thomas Heyward), Symir Mitchell (Thomas Heyward), Justin Barrow (May River)

DEFENSIVE LINES: Alvin WIlson (Beaufort), Willie Webb (Whale Branch), Amare Ford (Hilton Head), Matthew Larkby (Hilton Head), Jake Rodney Brown (Hilton Head Prep), DJ Aiken (Bluffton), Alvin Black (Battery Creek), Caleb Tkaczyk (May River)

LINEBACKERS: Robert Johnson (Woodland), Jackson Lanier (Hilton Head Christian), Andrew Robinson (Wade Hampton), Cortez Pringle (Woodland), Brandon Howard (Thomas Heyward), Cade Carpenter (May River), Cam Scott (May River)

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Hunter Rast (Beaufort), Jaden Gillian (Hilton Head), Kendrick Clark (Woodland), Jamian Risher (Wade Hampton), Amari McQuire (Wade Hampton), James Townsend (Thomas Heyward), Jaeon Allen (May River), Naszier Chisolm ( May River)

SPECIAL TEAMS: Trevor Weldon (kicker, Hilton Head Prep), Robert Johnson (starter, Woodland)

STAFF: Bryce Lybrand (Head Coach, Beaufort), Rob Gorrell (Defensive Coordinator, Beaufort), Logan Powell (Offensive Coordinator, Beaufort), Nic Shuford (Quarterbacks Coach, Thomas Heyward), Adam Kinloch (Running Backs Coach, Whale Branch) , Terrence Ashe (wide receivers coach, Battery Creek), John Houpt (defensive line coach, Bluffton), Coby Peeler (linebackers coach, Beaufort), Eddie Ford (defensive backs coach, Woodland)

Dennis Knight covers sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN


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