Bulloch Academy has started its season with four consecutive wins for the first time in four seasons and has a chance to push things to 5-0 tonight as it welcomes in Augusta Prep for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Gator Alley.
The Gators have churned out yards and points so far this season, continually doing enough to chalk up a win at the end of the night. Bulloch began the season with a runaway victory over rival Pinewood in the Erk Russell Classic at Paulson Stadium, but the efforts have been a bit more varied over the past three games.
“We’ve spent a lot of this week working on ourselves,” BA coach Pat Collins said. “We’ve been making too many mistakes. There’s been a lot of inconsistency. That’s what we have to work on and fix if we want to be the best team we can be.”
Collins and his coaching staff have been prepping for tonight as if it were a huge region matchup. That expected drama might not follow as Augusta Prep sits at 0-4 on the season, but the Gators aren’t leaving anything to chance.
Even if the Cavaliers are winless, they can still sling the ball all around the field. That’s a bit rare for GISA competition and Collins knows that big plays are just inches away when the ball is in the air.
“They have a quarterback that can run and throw,” Collins said. “And they throw it about 85 percent of the time. That’s something we need to be aware of. It will test us throughout the game.”
The 4-0 start is a boost in morale for the Gators, but the real key to how the season pans out is in the hands of a bevy of seniors who are more concerned with how the season ends than how it begins.
In all, 11 players make up one of the larger departing classes the Gators have fielded in years. Their tenure at Bulloch Academy has seen plenty of regular season success, but has also ended with first round state playoff losses in each of the last three seasons.
The post season is still a long ways off, and there is still plenty of business to take care of in the coming weeks, but the Gators know they are putting themselves in a position to take a big step forward for the program.
“We tell our guys to start by working on themselves and getting the best out of themselves,” Collins said. “After that, we want them to spread it throughout their class. When you have a whole class of guys who are working hard and believing, that’s what sets the tone to lead the team.”
The Gators will once again look to light up the scoreboard tonight with a versatile offense. Senior quarterback Don Aaron has accounted for nine total touchdowns - five through the air and four on the ground - while racking up 560 yards of total offense and completing passes at a 67 percent clip.
Ty Mingle (64 carries, 582 yards, 6 touchdowns) leads the BA rushing attack while Matt Childers (10 rec., 232 yards, 3 touchdowns) has been Aaron’s go-to target through the air.
Tonight’s game will be streamed as part of the Statesboro Herald’s ‘Friday Night Live’ coverage. The stream is scheduled to begin at 7:20 p.m.