Bulloch (4-3, 0-0) at Edmund Burke (2-4-1, 0-1)
Friday, 7:30 p.m., 850 AM
Terence Hennessy returns to Rogers Field on the campus of Edmund Burke Academy tonight for the first time since he traded his red and white shirts for green and gold ones.
“I think they will be extremely fired up because I’m on the other sideline,” said Hennessy, who was with the Spartans for six years before becoming the Bulloch Academy head coach last Spring. “It could either be a good thing or a bad thing.”
Playing with emotion, explained the BA head man, is a two-edged sword.
“If we can get up early, it will deflate them,” he said. “On the other hand, if they play well or it’s a dogfight, that adrenaline can keep building and it could be a long night for us.”
Adding more fuel to the fire are the facts that it’s Homecoming for the Spartans and the GISA Region 2-AAA opener for the Gators. Edmund Burke (2-4-1, 0-1) began region play last week and took a 26-0 whipping at the hands of the Pinewood Christian Academy Patriots.
Bulloch (4-3, 0-0) is coming off an impressive 36-12 victory over Brentwood and will be at virtually full-strength when the Gators take the field tonight.
But, according to Hennessy, that’s not the case for the Spartans.
“The offensive and defensive lines are where they are hurting a little bit,” he said. “They have had a lot of injuries. There will be three or four kids playing with broken hands or wrists.”
Even so, said Hennessy, the Spartans are only a break or two away from having a winning record.
“Statistically, they have dominated in most of their games,” he said. “They have just had some bad luck. Turnovers and penalties have been their downfall. Against Pinewood last week, they had seven turnovers.”
Leading EBA’s two tight-end, wishbone formation on offense are junior halfback Bo Goodin and freshman fullback Bill Knight.
“Bo is a good-sized kid,” said Hennessy. “He was a two-year starter at fullback and was moved to halfback this year. Bill is a very shifty runner and is very strong for a freshman.”
Senior Ryan Kent leads a depleted line.
“He is stronger than anyone we have on our football team,” said Hennessy. “He benches over 350 pounds, squats over 500 and power cleans over 260.”
On defense, the Spartans show a five-man front but will drop the weakside end back to be a member of an excellent linebacking corps.
Goodin and Kent are pretty good,” said Hennessy. “But Ellis Sherrod is the best of the backers. He will light you up.”
After taking a 55-14 pounding at Westfield’s Homecoming two weeks ago, Bulloch rebounded to win its own Homecoming game behind junior quarterback Lanier Olliff.
The confident signal-caller ran the Gator option well, scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 85 yards on eight carries on deceptive option keepers. Senior tailback Andrew Howell had 84 yards and a score while senior fullback Dylan Stuckey added 61 yards and a touchdown.
BA’s defense, led by Stuckey and fellow senior Lee Waters, junior Joshua Bohannon and sophomores G.C. Kimbrell, Tyce Lovett and Davis Childs, grounded the Eagles for the better part of three quarters. Sophomore Nathan Rice and senior Will Rushing each had an interception with the senior returning his for a 43-yard touchdown.