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BA recap: Gators win with special teams
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    The old football coaches’ cliché is that special teams are one-third of a good team’s game. That axiom proved itself for Bulloch Academy in Friday night’s 42-6 thumping of Robert Toombs Christian Academy.
    Junior David Poole had 105 yards in punt and kickoff returns, senior Ethan Lovett had a 65-yard punt return, place kickers Will Powell and Arne Beckner combined for six PATs and the kickoff and punt coverage teams recovered a fumble along while holding the RTCA return units to minimal yardage.
     The Crusaders (1-2) shocked the Gators in the opening minutes of the contest by scoring on their first play from scrimmage. A wet ball led to a Gator fumble on the game’s third play at the BA 21. On the fourth play, RTCA wingback Justin Brinson took the handoff, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and dashed into the end zone for the score.
    Bulloch’s kickoff return team answered back.
    Poole actually mishandled the ensuing deep kick, letting the wet ball bounce on the ground once. But he scooped it up and raced to his left, bypassing RTCA would-be tacklers for 50 yards. He cut back to the center of the field and slowed up, switching the ball from his right to his left arm as he prepared to stiff-arm RTCA kicker Landyn Guy. But the pursuit from behind caught up with him 13 yards later. Still, he gave Bulloch great field position at the RTCA 27. Seven plays later, Walker waltzed into the end zone from one yard out. Powell, the left-footed senior, drilled the extra point to give the Gators the lead.
    Poole, who had a modest 10-yard return to open he game, had a 32-yard punt return late in the second quarter which put Bulloch at the RTCA 10. He also had two punts which trapped the Crusaders deep in their own territory. As BA’s starting fullback, he rushed for 59 yards on eight carries.
    Lovett, a starting wingback, had a 65-yard punt return midway through the second quarter which put the ball on the Crusader 5.
    He fielded Guy’s punt on the left side of the field and sprinted toward the BA sideline. There, he dashed behind a wall of blockers for the first 30 yards, was all alone for the next 20 and dodged RTCA tacklers for the last 15. After a half-the-distance penalty put the pigskin on the Crusader 3, Lovett got the call for score.
    Lovett, who rushed for 59 yards on six carries, also had a 28-yard touchdown late in the second quarter after the BA kickoff team recovered a fumble. Sophomore Matthew Sapp was in the right spot when a Crusader defender, trying to catch a short Powell kickoff, had the ball bounced off his chest. Sapp pounced on the ball at the RTCA 36.
    Powell was perfect on his PAT attempts, hitting five-of-five. Beckner, a German foreign exchange student enrolled at BA for his junior year, got his first-ever taste of American Friday night football upon BA’s final score in the fourth quarter. After freshman Ellis Lane made a 10-yard dash to the end zone for his first varsity touchdown, Beckner booted the ball between the uprights for the game’s final point.