It was the battle of the big fullbacks Friday night at Gator Alley and Bulloch Academy's Tyce Lovett came out on top.
The junior rushed for 111 yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Gators to a 38-12 victory over Trinity Christian School of Dublin in GISA Region 2-AAA play on Homecoming night.
"I told the kids on Monday that we were going back to the old school; running the wishbone and establishing the fullback," said BA head coach Terence Hennessy. "I told Tyce that I wanted him to hit the hole hard and fast. Don't cut back or slice off. Consequently, I thought this was his best game of the season running the ball."
Lovett had scores of 43, three and one yard and broke a 49-yard jaunt on BA's second offensive play.
Crusader fullback Tyler Fennell was the workhorse of the TCS wishbone attack, carrying the ball 18 times for just 72 yards and one score. Ironically, Lovett was Fennell's biggest nemesis as he and the Gator linebacker traded blows with the viciousness of bighorn sheep fighting over territory.
"We told the kids all week not to let him (Fennell) beat us," said Hennessy. "We knew that he was their go-to guy and we had to play tough, physical football to stop him. Our kids accepted the challenge and that's the way we played."
Trinity (1-8, 0-3) had just 113 yards rushing on the night.
Bulloch scored twice in the opening quarter on two Lovett runs and took a 21-0 lead on a Nathan Rice 25-yard TD reception from quarterback Lanier Olliff.
While the Gator offense was putting up points, the BA defense stuffed Trinity's attempts. Noseguard Braxton Brinson recovered a fumble to end a 10-play drive in the first quarter. Defensive end Hunter Perry had two sacks, defensive backs Olliff and Jarves Williams each had interceptions and defensive tackle Trevor Mason added a sack and also make a big stop on a fourth-and-one play.
Another Lovett dive midway through the third and a Brian Marsh 30-yard field goal gave Bulloch a 31-0 lead in the fourth.
With a running clock, Trinity avoided the goose egg in the fourth on a three-yard plunge by Fennell on a fourth-and-goal with 8:44 left.
BA back-up quarterback Don Aaron answered back by turning a quarterback sneak into a 69-yard footrace midway through the quarter for the Gators' final points.
TCS added a late touchdown to bring the score to its final.
Bulloch ends the regular season next Friday night, traveling to Bellville to take on the undefeated Pinewood Patriots in a pivotal region matchup.
TC 0 0 0 12 — 12
BA 14 7 10 7 — 38
BA_Lovett 3 run (Marsh kick), 8:28
BA_Lovett 43 run (Marsh kick), 1:18
BA_Rice 13 pass from Olliff (Marsh kick), 3:16
BA_Lovett 1 run (Marsh kick), 8:15
BA_Marsh 30 FG, 2:42
TC_Fennell 3 run (pass failed), 8:44
BA_Aaron 69 run (Marsh kick), 5:44
TC_Mason 2 run (kick failed), 1:07
First downs 12 12
Total Yards 223 353
Rushes-Yards 42-113 28-249
Passing 110 104
Comp-Att-Int 7-10-2 5-8-1
Turnovers 5 2
Penalties-Yards 7-75 3-20
RUSHING_TC: Fennell 18-72; BA: Lovett 8-111, Aaron 1-69
Passing_TC: Mason 7-10-2-0, 110; BA: Olliff 5-8-1-1, 104
Receiving_TC: Pharis 3-40, McCoy 3-37; BA: Rice 2-59, Childs 2-20