Speed and size will be the main weapons tonight when Bulloch Academy travels to Lyons to battle a deceptively-winless Robert Toombs Christian Academy.
The Crusaders (0-2) dropped a 16-14 heartbreaker last Friday night to Pinewood Christian Academy with under a minute left in the game. The week before, RTCA had a fourth-quarter lead against Southwest Georgia Academy before the Warriors finally prevailed 27-14.
“They were ahead in the fourth quarter in both games,” said BA head football coach Ronnie Hodges. “Coach (Thomas) Smith said that they just couldn’t finish. I told him that they needed to wait until next week to learn to do that.”
Hodges has seen the Crusaders both in person and on film and he was surprised at their size and speed.
“They are loaded,” he said. “They have nine new starters who weren’t even on the roster last year. They are big as I don’t know what. They are very fast in the backfield and their linemen have good size.”
Both BA and RTCA run an I-formation offense and a 50 series defense.
“They use their speed to run outside and are big enough to run up the middle,” said Hodges.
Last week, Bulloch’s defense held David Emanuel to just 115 yards of total offense in a 40-6 opening-season win. Hodges would like to think his guys could perform that well again.
“We have got to stop their bread-and-butter,” he said. “We are making some adjustments this week to do just that. On defense, we make good initial contract but we don’t lock up when we tackle. Because of their speed, we are going to have to hem in and bring them down on first contact.”
Linebackers Loy Waters and Dillan Finch and defensive lineman Codi Johnson led charge. Reed Salter had two quarterback sacks and Clay Reed picked off an errant DEA pass.
When the Gators are on offense, they are going to try and repeat last week’s performance.
“We are going to run our regular game plan,” he said. “We are going to try and take advantage of what they give us but we are going to mix it up a little.”
Against DEA, Harrison Averitt galloped for 166 yards and a score while stablemate Chris Young rushed for 110 and three TDs. Quarterback Waters connected with Bailey Smith on a 68-yard scoring strike.
“I thought our offensive line did a great job last week,” said Hodges. “But we have to work on holding that block. We make great contact but the guys have got to hold it.”
Bulloch will get a boost tonight with the return of three seniors, Clayton Rogers, Caleb Bohannon and Jaylen Evans.
“They may not all be 100 percent but they will play enough to make their presence known,” said Hodges.
The game will be broadcast live on Yahoo Sports 850 AM, starting at 7 p.m. with The Ronnie Hodges Show.