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BA stuffs Southland
110212 BA FOOTBALL 01
Harrison Averitt avoids diving Southland Academy defender Dillon Hughes on his way to a long touchdown run on 4th-and-5 in the second quarter.

Box Score
    SA    BA
First Downs    8    12
Rushing    25-80    50-221
Passing Yards    114    77
Total Yards    194    298
C-A-I    5-12-2    5-12-0
Turnovers    4    0
Penalties    15-142    5-27

Individual Leaders
Rushing: SA: Dustin Shattles 11-30. BA:  Harrison Averitt 15-124, Matt Sheppard 15-85.
Passing: SA: Jon Adkins 5-12-2-0, 114; BA: Loy Waters 5-12-0-1, 77.
Receiving: SA: Allen Gleeson 4-100. BA : Bailey Smith 3-64.

SA      3     14      0    14 — 31
BA    0      6      0      0 — 6

First Quarter   
0:41 — Padilla (BA) 26 FG
Second Quarter
1:49 — Averitt (BA) 40 run (Padilla kick)
0:50 — Adkins (SA) 2 run (kick failed)
0:01 — Averitt (BA) 3 run (Padilla kick)
Fourth Quarter
9:17 — Averitt (BA) 9 run (Padilla kick)
6:32 — Smith (BA) 18 pass from Waters (Padilla kick)

    Bulloch Academy’s big-play offense broke open a defensive struggle for a 31-6 homecoming victory over Southland Academy in GISA Region 1-AAA action at Gator Alley Friday night.
    Senior tailback Harrison Averitt scored three touchdowns and had electrifying first-half runs of 54, 40 and 15 yards. He and senior quarterback Loy Waters combined for a beautiful 45-yard option in the first quarter.
    Junior fullback Matt Sheppard brought the excitement in the second half with blasts of 32, 29 and 20 yards. Waters hooked up with senior receiver Bailey Smith for 36- and 18-yard plays.
    It was the speed and quickness of the Gators (7-2 overall and 2-2 in region play) that finally prevailed over the brute strength and aggressiveness of the Raiders (6-3, 1-3).
    “They manhandled us in the middle,” Bulloch head coach Ronnie Hodges said, “but we knew that if we ever got outside, we could go. Defensively, I thought that their big fullback (Andrew Alexander) would kill us. But we bottled him up pretty good, and he was not a factor in the game (seven carries for 36 yards). I was real proud of that.”
    With the win, the Gators clinch a Class AAA playoff spot for the third year in a row and will battle Pinewood Christian School next Friday night to determine seeding. The Raiders were knocked out of the playoff picture with the loss.
     The intensity of the contest showed up in the number of personal foul penalties and big hits in the game. Both teams combined for 25 penalties, which added up to 242 yards.
    “We came out and played like we are capable of playing, but the penalties hurt us again this week,” Hodges said. “They were overly aggressive, and I thought our guys kept their cool as much as they could. We didn’t want to do anything that would get someone ejected and then that player would have to sit out of the Pinewood game. That was in the backs of our minds.”
    The Gators got on the board on their second series of the first quarter.
    Bulloch marched down to the Southland 11, but the Gators were repelled by the Raiders and had to settle for a 35-yard field goal attempt. J.P. Padilla’s kick missed, but the visitors were called for a personal foul and the junior got another chance. This time, his 26-yarder was true with 41.8 seconds remaining to give Bulloch a 3-0 lead.
    Averitt, who had pretty much been held in check in the first quarter, got the call on a fourth-and-5 situation late in the second quarter. He found a seam and exploded for a 40-yard dash across the goal line for a 10-0 lead with 1:49 left.
    On the Raiders’ next possession, Adkins connected with talented sophomore receiver Allen Gleeson on a 30-yard slant pattern. Two plays later, Adkins lofted a spiral in Gleeson’s direction. BA’s Smith batted the ball, but Gleeson make a remarkable circus catch and held on for a 44-yard gainer to the BA 2. Adkins snuck over with 50.5 seconds left to cut the lead to 10-6.
    The Gators got the ball back, and the combination of Waters and Averitt again was magical.
    On the last play of the half, Waters rolled right and pushed a late pitch toward his classmate.
    Averitt had to pause and use his left arm to catch the ball on his hip. Once he secured the ball, he blasted into a seam and raced 54 yards before being pushed out at the SA 3. He got the call seconds later for the touchdown.
    The third quarter was a defensive battle as neither squad could gain an advantage.
    Late in the quarter, Bulloch began a bizarre 80-yard drive that had six penalties (three on both teams), the 36-yarder from Waters to Smith and the 19-yard run by Sheppard. Averitt’s nine-yard touchdown put BA up 24-6.
    Smith intercepted Adkins on the next Southland possession and returned the ball to the Raider 30.
    Five plays later, he caught a Waters pass for an 18-yard score to put the game away.