AMERICUS — Big offensive plays and a strong defense helped Bulloch Academy pummel GISA Region 1-AAA foe Southland Academy 38-8 Friday night at Harvey Simpson Stadium.
Senior quarterback Brandon Walker ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run, senior wingback Ellis Lane had a 70-yard scoring scamper, and senior fullback Lestonz Lewis raced for a 68-yard score. Bulloch rolled to a 31-0 halftime lead. Lewis had 148 yards on 18 carries, Lane had 112 on nine totes and Walker had 87 on four.
“We really executed game plan both offensively and defensively,” said BA head coach Clint Morgan. “I really thought we played well.”
The Raiders (3-2 overall and 1-3 in region play) came out of the gate strong in the first quarter, gaining chunks of yardage on a time-consuming 12-play drive down to the BA 19. But the Gators (4-2, 2-2) threw Southland’s runners for back-to-back losses and held on a fourth-and-seven situation to stop the threat.
“They came out in something that we hadn’t prepared for and we had to make adjustments on the fly,” said Morgan.
Two plays later, the BA offensive line opened a massive hole for Lane on a wingback trap and the lanky speedster raced for a 70-yard score.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Gator defense held the Raiders to six yards and got the ball back at the BA 26.
On Bulloch’s first play from scrimmage, Walker rolled off left end on an option keeper and threaded his way for a 74-yard TD. At the end of the first quarter, the Gators had run just six offensive plays which netted 156 yards.
BA scored three more times in the second quarter after the defense recovered three Southland fumbles. On the night, the opportunistic Gator defense recovered five fumbles and had one interception.
“We created a lot of turnovers,” said Morgan. “I was real pleased with our defensive play.”
Senior kicker John Harden booted a 37-yard field goal at the 9:04 mark of the quarter when a BA drive stalled. Walker bulled in from one yard out on a fourth-and-goal midway through the quarter and Lane had a five-yard plunge only minutes later. BA held a 31-0 lead with 5:37 left in the half.
Southland opened the third with an onside kick, which the Raiders recovered at the BA 42. Four plays later, fullback Collin Holloway blasted through the middle on an inside trap for a 30-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion cut the lead to 31-8.
A second onside kick attempt was successful at the BA 28 but two plays later, Holloway coughed up the ball at the BA 13. On Bulloch’s fourth play from scrimmage, Lewis got through the line, accelerated and raced 68 yards for the game’s final