Mirror-image offenses collide tonight as Bulloch Academy takes on Southland Academy in a big GISA Region 1-AAA showdown in Americus.
Both squads run the dangerous triple option and both have the players who can score at a moment’s notice.
“Our offense is easy for them to simulate because they do the same exact thing that we do,” said BA head coach Clint Morgan.
The Raiders (3-2, 2-1) have rushed for 1,124 yards, passed for 210 and scored 86 points. Quarterback Jake Hood runs the option and has 296 yards and one touchdown on 53 carries. But it’s big, bruising fullback Colin Holloway who heads the Raider offense with 395 yards and five TDs on 58 carries. Kevin Greene has just 137 yards on 35 totes but he has four scores.
“Hood runs the show,” said Morgan. “He does a great job with his reads and you can just tell that he is in complete control. Holloway is not only big, he’s got some speed. He’ll be one of the tougher backs that we’ll have to bring down all year long.”
Linebackers James Brack and Loy Waters lead the Bulloch defense that will have to control Holloway. Brack tops the defensive stats with 38 individual tackles, 28 assists, two blocked PATs, an interception and a pass breakup. Waters has 31 individuals and 28 assists. Other defensive leaders are defensive tackle Caleb Bohannon (21, 22), cornerback Harrison Averitt (18, 18, four pass breakups, three interceptions and three fumbles) and safety Ellis Lane (18, 14 and two pass breakups).
Through the first five games, BA (3-2, 1-2) and Southland have one common opponent, Tiftarea Academy.
Bulloch beat the Panthers 24-14 in the third week of the season in Chula. Southland beat the Panthers 28-14 last Friday night at home in Americus.
“It’s hard to compare scores because teams play better or worse depending on the matchups,” said Morgan. “We drove three hours to Tiftarea while Southland played them at home. There are a lot of variables that throw trying to compare scores out the window.”
Southland’s tough 4-4 defense, which has given up 696 yards rushing, 505 yards passing and 139 points, awaits the explosive Gator offense.
Luke Alexander leads the Raider defenders with 26 individual tackles, 18 assists and three quarterback sacks. Lawton Williams has 23 solos, 27 assists and three QB sacks. Others leaders include Greene (19, nine), Holloway (19, 13) and Downs (17, eight and two interceptions).
Fullback Lestonz Lewis leads the Gator offense with 709 yards and six TDs on 74 carries. Wingback Lane has 297 and three scores on 44 carries while quarterback Brandon Walker has 233 and two scores on 33 totes.
Through the air, Walker is 12-of-35 for 192 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. His favorite target is Lane, who has five receptions for 68 yards and two scores.
“Westfield had a 4-4 defense last week,” said Morgan, “so the guys should remember the blocking schemes and rules. Southland is very disciplined defensively.
“They play very well at home,” added Morgan. “We’ll have to be on top of our game. The bottom line is that it comes down to blocking and tackling.”
There also is a matter of pride as Morgan, a 1989 graduate of Southland Academy, travels back to his alma mater for the first time with one of his teams.
“It’s a weird feeling,” he said. “There will probably be a lot of cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives there. The problem is that they’ll probably be cheering for Southland.”