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Bulloch grinds out win against TCS

Bulloch grinds out win against TCS

Bulloch grinds out win against TCS

Hunter Perry and a host of Bulloch Ac...


    Bulloch Academy stopped two fourth-quarter drives, one with less than a minute left in the game, to secure a 14-9 victory over Trinity Christian School of Dublin Friday night at Gator Alley.
    The Gators (3-1) had their 14-3 lead cut with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter. TCS running back Stephon Johnson capped a seven-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. But Whiatt Smith’s PAT missed its mark, bouncing off the left upright to leave BA with a 5-point advantage.
    On the ensuing series, BA punter J.P. Padilla faced a hard rush and had his punt partially blocked. The Crusaders picked up the ball at the Bulloch 40 with 5:00 left in the game. But two plays later, Gator defensive back Matt Sheppard picked off a Gunnar Dixon pass.
    Bulloch couldn’t burn the 4:06 that remained on the clock and went three plays and out. This time, Padilla avoided the massive pressure and got a good punt away. TCS took over at its own 34 with 2:00 remaining in the game.
    Dixon completed a couple of passes and scrambled for 14 yards as the Crusaders drew nearer to the BA end zone.
    With 1:11 remaining, the TCS gunslinger hit Cyler Garrett for a 13-yard gain to the BA 28. But the Gators committed a face-mask penalty, which moved the ball half the distance to the goal line down to the Bulloch 14.
    Dixon lost a yard while scrambling on the first play, threw an incomplete pass on the second play and was sacked on the third play for a 10-yard loss by BA defensive tackle G.C. Kimbrell with 38 seconds left. The fourth-down effort also fell incomplete, giving the Gators the ball back with 19.6 seconds left.
    While Bulloch’s offense sputtered the entire game against the bigger and stronger Crusaders, the Gator defense kept the home team’s ship from sinking.
    Kimbrell, Hunter Perry, Dylan Stuckey, Eddie Howard, Andrew Howell, Reed Salter and Connor Fordham chased Dixon out of the pocket while Sheppard, Lee Waters, Daniel Hendrix and Will Rushing provided good coverage on the TCS receivers. Dixon was sacked several times and threw another interception, this one a ball that Perry batted up in the air and Howard came down with.
    Trinity (3-2) got on the scoreboard first with a 37-yard field goal from Smith late in the opening quarter. The Gators tried to answer back but Padilla’s 42-yard blast with just wide right.
    Bulloch went up 7-3 late in the second. After the Howard interception, Rushing hit Davis Duggan on an 11-yard slant, and then Will Bohlke on a 19-yarder down to the TCS 5. Two plays later, Rushing dove over from the 1-yard line with nine seconds remaining in the half. Padilla was automatic on the PAT.
    Trinity opened the third by running the ball straight at the Gators. It worked for a while but Bulloch finally stopped the mark and force the Crusaders to punt. Taking over at their own 18-yard line, the Gators got a little breathing room on two rushing plays. Then Rushing dropped back to pass and found a wide-open Sheppard in the middle of the field. After the catch, the senior outraced the TCS secondary to the end zone, giving the Gators a 14-3 lead on a 70-yard play with 5:11 left in the third.
    Late in the quarter, BA fumbled on back-to-back possessions, which gave the Crusaders momentum and good field position. But the Gator defense was able to right the ship and help it stay the course for the win.

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