LIVE OAK, Fla. — There’s jumbo packages and then there’s a Rhino package.
Needing a win to boost its playoff hopes, Suwannee turned to its Rhino package to power its way past Godby for its biggest win of the season, a 39-36 thriller Friday at Langford Stadium.
The formation moved the largest Bulldog — 6-foot-7, 335-pound Josh Braun into the backfield as a blocking back.
The Georgia commit didn’t disappoint, helping spring the Bulldogs’ trio of backs – Jaquez Moore, Tyree Taylor and DeMarius Thompson — for more than 300 yards rushing.
“That was a little wrinkle that we had in,” SHS coach Kyler Hall said, adding the Bulldogs had two great weeks of preparation leading into the game, which helped with the productive formation. “We had a lot of guys back there, Jaquez, Josh, Robert (Robinson), DeMarius, and then up front doing damage. And then we hit a couple passes out of it.
“That was just a gritty performance.”
It was also a dominating performance.
The Bulldogs ran approximately 2/3 of their 53 offensive plays out of the Rhino package. In the second half, Suwannee basically lined up in it exclusively.
With their most productive rushing performance of the season, it was obviously an effective formation as well.
“We could smash them in the mouth the whole game and just keep moving the ball down the field and scoring,” Taylor said about the Bulldogs’ decision to utilize the formation.
And Taylor, Suwannee’s three-year starting quarterback, was one of the biggest benefactors of the package which produced more than 300 yards in those 35 snaps. Suwannee had 342 yards of total offense for the game.
Rushing 21 times for 97 yards, Taylor scored three touchdowns, all with Braun as a lead blocker out of the backfield.
Braun also helped spring Moore on his 55-yard score in the second quarter that tied the game at 21. Despite his size as the largest player on the field, Braun accompanied Moore down the field for most of the run.
Thompson’s 24-yard score late in the third that gave the Bulldogs the largest lead of the game at 36-28 also came out of the formation.
“You don’t see many of those,” Hall said of a 335-pound fullback. “And he played his tail off. He really did.”
Taylor, too, admitted it helps to have a road grader like Braun in front of you when trying to find room to run.
“We just executed what we had to do and fight our hearts out,” he said.