Kalen DeLoach of the Islands football team entered the season relatively under the radar of college recruiters, with an offer from Savannah State.
But the 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker/running back is having an excellent season and the colleges are taking notice. The junior received an offer from South Carolina last month and recently picked up an offer from Georgia Southern, in addition to others from Western Kentucky and Kennesaw State.
DeLoach leads the area with 76 tackles (34 solos and 42 assists), and has four tackles for losses and a pair of sacks. He has rushed for 339 yards (6.28 yards per carry) and scored a pair of touchdowns.
“Kalen is always going full-speed at 100 miles an hour, he plays like a crazy person,” Islands coach Robert Zoller said. “Coaches that see his film love his effort. He just started playing linebacker this year, he’s improving each game and has a nose for the football.”
Zoller said he has been sending film of DeLoach playing against top recruits from the area to college coaches, who like what they see. Florida State and Georgia have been watching closely, Zoller said.
Sports runs in DeLoach’s family. His older sister Taylor starred for St. Vincent’s in track and field. She was the Class 2A 100-meter, 200-meter and long jump champion in all three events three years in a row — and she is now a sophomore at Ohio State competing on scholarship. His younger brother Jalen is a basketball player and track athlete at Islands. Kalen also plays basketball and finished eighth in the Class 3A meet last year in the discus.
“I always wanted to play Division I football and when my sister made it to Ohio State, my family let me know that I had some big shoes to fill,” Kalen DeLoach said. “When I got the offer from South Carolina, I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting an SEC offer that early in my junior year. That gave me confidence, now I’m in the mindset of just wanting to get better so I can help my team.”
Islands plays its homecoming game tonight at Pooler Stadium in a Region 3-3A matchup with Beach.
Benedictine improves to
7-0 with win at Toombs
LYONS — Defending Class 2A state champion Benedictine won its 22nd game in a row Thursday night as the Cadets beat previously undefeated Toombs County 28-14.
Travis Blackshear had a big night for the Cadets, who improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Region 2-2A play. The senior opened the scoring with a 44-yard run in the second quarter and added another 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter. He closed things out for the Cadets with a 36-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter.
Toombs County (6-1, 3-1) scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to keep things close.
Senior free safety Jonah Griffin came back after missing four games due to injury and had an immediate impact. He returned a fumble 55 yards for a score in the second quarter to put the Cadets up 14-0.
This was the third tough road win for the Cadets this year. They beat Swainsboro 30-18 and took down Vidalia 27-7 last month.
“I think those road wins are going to help us get better as the season progresses,” BC coach Danny Britt said in a phone interview after the game. “We’ve been having some bad luck with injuries, like our long snapper being hurt. And we have some things we need to clean up. But Toombs is a good, physical football team. Travis had a big night and this was a big win for us.”
BC-Travis Blackshear 44 run (Gavin Stewart kick)
BC-Jonah Griffin 55 fumble return (Stewart kick)
BC-Blackshear 44 run (Stewart kick)
BC-Blackshear 36 run (Stewart kick)
Jenkins rolls to
win over Groves
Jenkins, ranked No. 4 among Class 3A teams in the Georgia Sports Writers Association Poll, rolled to a 40-0 win over host Groves on Thursday night.
Quarterback Javonte Middleton rushed for a touchdown and threw a scoring pass to Tyrone Scott. Senior running back Ameen Stevens reached the 1,000-yard milestone for the year.
Taurus Simmons returned a punt for a touchdown in a game full of big plays for Jenkins.
Jeremy Smith, Ashantae Daniels and Patrick Blake added scoring runs for the Warriors, who improved to 7-0 and 4-0 in Region 3-3A play.
edges Savannah High
Southeast Bulloch went ahead on a field goal as time expired to beat Savannah High 24-22 in a Region 3-3A matchup at Memorial Stadium.
Dez’mond Brinson had a long scoring pass to Deven Thompson and Malik Nesbitt and Zaire Anderson had rushing touchdowns for the Blue Jackets (4-3, 2-2).
Brinson connected with Thompson on a 2-point conversion with about a minute left to put Savannah up 22-21, but the Yellowjackets (3-4, 3-1) were able to rally, setting up a short field goal for the game winning points.
“It was one of the best games I have been a part of,” Savannah High coach Dave Roberson said. “It was back and forth, and it was one of those games where the team who had the ball last won. They are a solid team, and very well-coached. But I’m proud of our kids. Now we have to get ready for Jenkins next week; there’s no rest for the weary.”
Savannah Country Day
volleyball wins playoff match
TALBOTTON — Savannah Country went on the road and beat Central Talbotton in the first round of the GHSA Class A state tournament 25-14, 25-8, 25-11.
Abigail Kahn (11 assists) and Lily Glass (15 assists) ran the offense well while Brittney Hodges had 9 kills and Madeline Wynn and Evelyn Khan added six kills each. Ivy Beaver collected a season high 14 aces in the match, while Anna Bolch contributed 10 digs. SCD improved to 19-11 and will play at Our Lady of Mercy Tuesday.
Savannah Christian rolls
to win over Greenville
The Raiders swept visiting Greenville to improve to 27-6 on the season. SCPS will be on the road Tuesday to face Mount Paran Christian.
Savannah Christian softball
splits with King’s Ridge
The Savannah Christian softball team lost the first game 5-3, but came back to beat King’s Ridge 6-2 in the second game. A deciding game three will be played today at 3:30 p.m at Savannah Christian.