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BA, Bethesda face off on prime time

Bethesda Day (1-0) at Bulloch Academy (1-0)
7 p.m., WSAV/My LC 3.2/850 AM
Gator Alley

    Bulloch Academy head coach Ronnie Hodges needs only one word to describe his team’s opponent tonight.
    “Fast,” he said of the Bethesda Blazers. “They can go from here to there to there to across the goal line in 10 seconds flat. It’s going to be a matter of us containing them, hemming them up and watching for cutbacks.”
    For the second consecutive week, Bulloch (1-0) plays on Thursday night. Tonight’s game is the ‘Thursday Night Blitz Game of the Week’ for WSAV Channel 3 in Savannah. The contest starts at 7 p.m. and airs on the station’s My LC 3.2 digital channel (Channel 107 on Northland Cable Television and Channel 29 on DirectTV). It will also be streamed live on
    According to Hodges, the members of the Blazer backfield aren’t bigger than they normally are but the offensive and defensive linemen make up for it.
    “They average around 285 up front,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest fronts we’ll face. When they stand up, they block out the sun.”
    The smaller Gators will have to rely on their quickness and technique in order to compete with the bigger, stronger and faster team from Savannah.
    The Blazers had their season-opener with Mount de Sales in Macon cancelled due to lightning. Last week, the Blazers defeated First Presbyterian of Hinesville 48-20.
    Defensively, Bethesda runs a three-man front with quick linebackers and defensive backs.
    Bulloch’s game plan, said Hodges, is to establish the run and throw the ball when the Blazer defense crowds too many men close to the line of scrimmage.
“We have to cut out penalties too,” he said. “We spent a good portion of Monday’s practice listening to and watching some local officials talk about and demonstrate holding on the perimeter.”
    Hodges also thinks that conditioning and special teams will be factors in tonight’s contest.
    The Gator head man was pleasantly surprised by the play of his rookie quarterback, junior Will Rushing, in last week’s 45-0 victory over St. Andrews.
    “His play was much better than anticipated,” Hodges said.
Rushing rushed for 90 yards and passed for another 85 and a touchdown in the rout. Both seniors Zach Sapp and Matt Sheppard rushed for two TDs each as the Gators racked up 453 yards on offense.
    On defense, senior Eddie Howard and sophomores Dylan Humphries, Joshua Bohannon, Hunter Perry and freshman Davis Childs helped lead the charge which held the Fighting Lions to 54 total yards.
     “We faced a slow team last week but it is going to be the opposite this week,” said Hodges. “We are going to have to use our speed and a little finesse. If we do, I think we will be OK.”