First Downs 7 7
Rush Yards 16-98 20-90
Pass Yards 53 26
Total Yards 151 116
Passing 4-11-5 2-5-0
Turnovers 6 1
Penalties 4-20 7-85
Rushing: BETH: James Putney 1-57. BA: Will Rushing 5-28, Zach Sapp 5-25.
Passing: BE: Joshua Woodley 4-11-5-0, 53. BA: Rushing 2-5-0-0, 26.
Receiving: BE: Putney 1-32. BA: Howell 2-26.
Bethesda 0 0 X X — 0
Bulloch 28 6 X X — 34
9:26 — Andrew Howell (BA) 4 run (J.P. Padilla kick)
3:22 — Will Rushing (BA) 3 run (Padilla kick)
2:46 — Jake Hagan (BA) 21 fumble return (Padilla kick)
0:48 — Lee Waters (BA) 45 interception return (Padilla kick)
0:00 — Matt Sheppard (BA) 90 interception return (Padilla kick failed)
*Game called at halftime due to lightening
Lightning struck, both literally and figuratively, at Gator Alley Thursday night as Bulloch Academy shocked Bethesda 34-0.
The Gators struck for three defensive touchdowns, two in the waning minutes of the first half, to take a commanding halftime lead.
As the intermission was drawing to a close, the officiating crew imposed a 30-minute lightning delay minutes before starting the third quarter. After a second lightning delay began prior to the end of the original one, the officials, athletic directors and head coaches from both schools huddled.
Because the game was on a school night and the threat of lightning in the area was continuing, the decision was made to call the game.
“We would have loved to continue the game,” said Hodges, “but with the weather being as unpredictable as it has been recently, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Bulloch defense’s had five interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Gators (2-0) scored 28 first-quarter points.
Matt Sheppard and Lee Waters scored on interception returns while Jake Hagan took a fumble recovery to the house. Sheppard had a 90-yard pick while Waters went 45 yards for his score. Hagan scooped up a loose ball and rambled 21 yards to paydirt.
“It was one of our better defensive games,” said Hodges. “We played good on both sides of the ball.”
The Gator offense scored twice as Andrew Howell blasted four yards and Will Rushing found a seam for a three-yard score.
Bulloch’s offense netted only 116 yards and was actually outgained by the Blazers.
But it was the opportunistic Gator defense which blew the game open.
On the third play of the game, Waters picked off an errant Joshua Woodley pass at the Blazer 34. Four plays later, Howell powered in for the score.
On the next Bethesda possession, Howell partially blocked a Blazer punt. Eight plays later, Rushing dove in from three yards for a 14-0 lead.
“We jumped on them right quick and that set the tone for the rest of the night,” said Hodges.
BA’s Will Bohlke stood Woodley up on a quarterback keeper on the next possession. Hagan stripped the ball, picked it up and rambled 21 yards for a 21-0 lead.
Another Waters interception late in the quarter lit up the scoreboard again, giving Bulloch a 28-0 lead.
In the second quarter, both Daniel Hendrix and John Paul Padilla intercepted Woodley’s passes. But the big one came with no time remaining on the clock.
At the BA 15 with seconds left in the second quarter, Bethesda was trying desperately to punch the ball into the end zone. Woodley rolled left and threw into the flat. But Sheppard stepped up at the 10-yard line, grabbed the ball and raced 90 yards for the score as the half came to an end.
“Kids will fool you sometimes,” said Hodges. “I felt like we had some bad practices and weren’t ready to play. Then they come out and do something like they did tonight against Bethesda. You just never know sometimes.”