Momentum can be a huge things in sports, particularly in a football game. The Bulloch Academy Gators looked like they had momentum on two different occasions in Friday night’s matchup with John Milledge, but both times the Trojans took it away quickly with big plays, as they won 28-14.
The Gators answered a Trojan first quarter score with one themselves, only to see John Milledge strike just before the half on a 62-yard touchdown pass to go into halftime up 14-7.
After the Trojans doubled thier lead to begin the second half, it looked as though the Gators had something going late in the third as they scored on Rodney Hill’s second touchdown of the night to cut the lead to 21-14. But on the Trojans next play from scrimmage, junior All-State running back Amaad Foston went untouched 80-yards for a touchdown to put John Milledge back up by 14 and cruised to the finish line to put a damper on the Gators' homecoming festivities.
“They are the state runners up from last year, and give them credit for playing a great game,” said Bulloch Academy coach Pat Collins. “Every time we got close, they made plays, and we couldn’t get the stops when we had to.”
The Trojans came in with the more talked about running back, as Foston has rushed for over 800 yards and 14 touchdowns this year, and recently verbally committed to the University of Tennessee. The Gators have a pretty impressive back themselves in sophomore Rodney Hill who had 600 yards rushing and nine touchdowns coming into the game.
Friday night the two running backs put on quite a show. Foston rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns, while Hill had over 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns himself.
The defenses stepped things up early, but late in the first quarter the Trojans started eating up yards behind the running of Foston. JMA started the scoring with 2:42 left in the first as Foston broke a couple tackles and went 34-yards and a 7-0 lead.
The Gator offense then put a drive together themselves. Much like the Trojans, they rode the back of their horse Hill down the field, and on the second play of the second quarter Hill made a nice run, breaking tackles and cutting back against the grain for a 28-yard touchdown, tying the game at 7-7.
The game stayed tied, and looked like it may remain that way into halftime, but with just over two minutes left in the half, the Trojans brought in quarterback Grayson Hopkins, and he fired a strike downfield to Marcus Prestwood who got behind the Gator secondary for a 62-yard touchdown, and the Trojans went into halftime with a 14-7 lead.
The Trojans didn’t waste much time scoring in the third quarter, as on their third play from scrimmage Foston broke free from a couple tackles, and went straight up the middle 39-yards for the touchdown to give John Milledge a 21-7 lead.
The Gators were able to answer pretty quickly themselves. Rodney Hill reeled off a couple first down runs, quarterback Fischer Ogelsby scrambled ahead for a first down inside the 20-yard line, and then Hill went in from seven-yards out to bring the Gators within seven at 21-14.
The momentum then shifted pronto, as Poston took the ball on the first play from scrimmage and went untouched 80-yards for the touchdown to put the lead back to 14 at 28-14.
Neither team was able to mount a serious scoring drive the entire fourth quarter. The Gators appeared to have a first down on a fourth and 10 pass from Oglesby to Will Aaron with just under five minutes to go in the game, but a holding call would make it fourth and 20. The Gators punted, the defense held, but the offense then went three and out and then game ended at 28-14.
“I felt our whole team played hard,” Collins said. “I don’t have any qualms about our effort, we just came up short, we didn’t do enough to win the game.”
The Gators fall to 4-2 overall, while JMA improves to 6-0. Up next for the Gators they will travel to Pinewood for a region game next Friday.