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BA to play bittersweet Senior Night

    The only thing at stake for the Bulloch Academy Gators tonight when they host Memorial Day School is their character.
    “We’re all still hurting,” said Bulloch Academy head football coach Clint Morgan. “But we also realize that we still have another job to do.”
    Last Friday night, the Gators were in a win-and-you’re-in game with Windsor Academy to see which team would advance to the GISA Class AA state playoffs. After an action-packed first quarter, Bulloch took a 20-15 lead into the locker room.
    But in the second half, Bulloch threw two interceptions, was short on a 32-yard field goal attempt and the Gators found the going tough against a determined Windsor defense. The Knights used big, bruising fullback Dillion Mitchell to grind out second-half yardage. The Macon senior scored twice to give Windsor a 28-20 victory and the second playoff spot in Region 2-AA. The Gators were left to play for pride as they finish up their 2007 season.
    Tonight is Senior Night at the Alley with the school’s senior fall sports athletes being honored with their parents at halftime. These are football players Will Powell, Ben Newton, Michael Kimbrell, Ben Stephens, Drew Cheshire, Jordan Walker, Ethan Lovett, Darion Carter and Corey Owens; cheerleaders Katy Howard, Chelsi Lewis, Nicole Fowler, Chelsea Williams and Allison Smith and cross-country runner Matt Williamson. Stephens also runs cross country.
    “What I have been the most impressed about with my football team,” said Morgan, “has been the leadership of the seniors. Almost one year ago to the day, they started their leadership roles. And they haven’t taken it lightly. Their leadership has shone in the classroom, in the weight room, during our team devotions and obviously on the football field. They are a great group of athletes but, more importantly, they are a great group of young men.”
    This core group of nine will lead their teammates into battle against a much-improved Blue Thunder squad.
    “I’ve been real impressed with Memorial’s improvement from last year to this year,” said Morgan. “That’s a credit to their coach and to their kids.”
    Memorial (2-8) should test the Gator secondary by dropping back to pass on almost 80 percent of its offensive plays. The Blue Thunder runs a 4-4 defense.
    Offensively, Gator quarterback Jordan Walker could possibly reach the 1,000-yard plateau in both rushing and passing in a single season. Currently, he has 842 yards rushing (11 touchdowns) and 882 yards passing (54-for-122 and 13 TDs).
    Other offensive leaders are wingback Ethan Lovett (601 yards rushing, 14 catches for 191 yards and three TDs) and wide receiver Carter (24 catches for 432 yards and seven TDs).
    Defensively, linebackers Michael Deloach and Lovett lead the BA charge. Deloach has 46 individual tackles and 39 assists while Lovett has 42 solo tackles and 28 assists. Other defensive leaders are defensive tackle Nathan Brown (41, 54), defensive tackle Ben Newton (39, 31), cornerback Will Powell (34, 18) and nose guard Michael Kimbrell (31, 31).
    Bulloch (7-3) has several of its players who have opportunities to write their names in Gator lore but, a season-ending win is first and foremost on the minds of Morgan and his crew.

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