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Gators host Briarwood

    In 2006, Briarwood quarterback David Russell ran for two touchdowns and netted 129 yards passing to lead the Buccaneers to a 25-16 win over Bulloch Academy in Warrenton.
    But one good thing did emerge from Bulloch’s loss. It was the last time the Gators would ever have to see Russell.
    “He’s graduated and I’m glad,” said Bulloch Academy head coach Clint Morgan as his top-ranked Gators prepare to meet the 2007 Briarwood Buccaneers tonight at Gator Alley. “He really hurt us.”
    This year, the Bucs run a two-quarterback scheme with multiple offensive looks.
    “We’re not sure what they are trying to accomplish by playing two quarterbacks,” said Morgan. “Chase Walker is a pretty good quarterback. Garrett Mohr is just as good but he’s a freshman. They may be trying to get Mohr some experience.”
    But no matter which one is snapped on, passing will be on his mind.
    “They’re probably do a little more passing than running,” said Morgan. “They’ve still got that 6-5 receiver (Dave Joesbury) who hurt us last year. Also, split end Hughlon Mays is a speed threat. They line up in so many different offensive formations that it can be confusing to a defense. One of our major keys will how quickly we can recognize those formations so we can align the defense properly.”
    Bulloch’s defense has been one of its major strengths so far this season. The Gators have allowed opponents an average of 144 yards rushing and 12 yards passing per contest. Through four games, opposing quarterbacks have only completed four passes in 38 attempts. Only 32 points have been scored on Bulloch.
    “The key to our defensive success has been the line,” said Morgan. “Nathan Brown has been a pleasant surprise at defensive tackle. He compliments the efforts of Michael Kimbrell (nose guard), Ben Newton (defensive tackle), Drew Cheshire (defensive end) and the team of Corey Owens and Eli Strickland (defensive end/tackle).”
    Linebacker Michael Deloach heads the list of all Bulloch defenders with 17 solo tackles and 14 assists. Other leaders include Newton (16, 12), linebacker Ethan Lovett (13, 17), Brown (12, 18), Strickland (9, 18), linebacker Matthew Sapp (9, 18), Kimbrell (11, 13) and Cheshire (11, 11).
    Defensively, the Buccaneers run a 5-3 formation with a monster middle linebacker.
    “We’ve got to get John Spivey blocked,” said Morgan. “He can create havoc in our backfield.”
    The Gator offensive line of Kyle Ellis (center), Owens and Kimbrell (guards) and Newton and Cheshire (tackles) have provided ample running room and good pass protection for Bulloch’s skill players. But both Newton and Cheshire will be sidelined this week with minor injuries. Strickland gets the call at left tackle while freshman Jonathan Lumpkin and sophomore Paul Son will share the right tackle duties.
    “We’re playing real well right now,” said Morgan. “Our attitudes are great. We, coaches and players, all seem to be on the same page as far as how to go about reaching our goals.”
    Quarterback Jordan Walker has led the Gators to a great start. At 3-1, Bulloch is averaging 297 yards of total offense per game (252 on the ground) and 29.5 points per game.
    Running a deceiving option, Walker has 415 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns while Lovett, from his wingback position, has 242 yards and five scores. Fullback David Poole has 213 yards. Against Bethesda last week, Lovett had 134 yards on eight carries, one being for a 49-yard sprint to the end zone. Walker had 102 yards on 17 carries and two TDs.
    Will Powell is the Gators’ leading receiver with four catches for 76 yards and a score. But transfer Darion Carter, a member of the WTOC Pre-season All-Star Team, has subtly made his presence known. Against Bethesda, Carter had two catches for 50 yards and two scores.
    “He’s like finding that last piece of the puzzle,” said Morgan. “He gives us that added dimension that makes it hard to prepare for us. I would hate to be a defensive coordinator trying to find a game plan to stop all of the weapons we have.”

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