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BA blasts Cavaliers
Bulloch Academy running back Jake Nelson, center, breaks into the open field for an 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against Augusta Prep Friday.

On a muggy night in Gator Alley, Bulloch Academy played a choppy game that featured plenty of big plays, but that also saw 22 penalties, multiple lengthy delays for official discussions and even an ejection over more than three and a half hours of play.

In the end, the Gators were frustrated with how some parts of the game played out, but were happy to walk away with a 42-23 victory.

Jake Nelson rushed 10 times for 157 yards, including an 80-yard romp in the first half. The Gators (5-0) racked up a total of 347 rushing yards and Don Aaron added 90 yards through the air on 5-of-11 passing to put on an offensive show.

“When we didn’t get things done on offense, it was because of things we were doing to ourselves,” BA coach Pat Collins said of his team after it led 35-3 in the third quarter before hanging on down the stretch. “Our offensive line played very well for most of the night and our runners got the job done. We just have to eliminate the penalties and lack of execution that hurt us.”

Augusta Prep dropped to 0-5 on the season, but went down swinging.

Quarterback Justin Meddings was a one-man show for the Cavaliers out of their multiple shotgun spread attack. Meddings went 19-of-34 for 290 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to Glen Owen.

Meddings also accounted for the Cavaliers’ other two touchdowns, running it in from 11 yards out and again from 3 as he led his team with 101 rushing yards.

As Augusta tried to climb out of its steep hole late in the game, it was Meddings who continually eluded pressure, extended plays and found receivers downfield.

“He’s a very good player with a few offers,” Collins said. “I knew he’d be tough. And not to take anything away from him, but when we look at the film, I think we’ll see a lot of things we need to fix to prevent the things he was doing to us.”

Augusta Prep moved the ball well early in the game and only lost the total yardage battle by a slim 437-425 margin, but turnovers made all the difference.

A 31-yard touchdown run by Aaron made it a 7-3 BA lead early on. Bailey Adams fumbled a completed screen from Meddings, but fumbled on the Cavaliers’ 41 to set up a Ty Mingle touchdown run.

Adams fumbled again on the next drive just as Augusta reached the BA red zone and Nelson made them pay with his 80-yard backbreaker on the next snap.

The Gators threatened to run away with things, but the Cavaliers rallied for a touchdown late in the third quarter to make it 35-9 and avoid a running clock. 

Augusta finally slowed the Gators’ power rushing attack and a BA fumble helped to set up two more Meddings-led touchdown drives in the final period.

With the win, the Gators remain unbeaten with half of their regular season schedule already behind them. They’ll take a bye next week before a showdown with fellow-unbeaten John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville.

“I think it’s pretty obvious before we see the film that there are places where we need to get better,” Collins said. “It’s good to get the win, but there’s a lot more we have to do.”