The Gators of Bulloch Academy will finally be celebrating 40 years of football this tonight as they play host to the Patriots of Pinewood Christian Academy. The Gators (5-2-1) had to delay this celebration thanks to Hurricane Matthew’s visit two weeks ago, so the Gator faithful will be hoping for a beautiful night and a region championship.
Pinewood enters the game 4-4 on the year and 2-1 in the region, but Gator head coach Terence Hennessy sees a Patriot squad much better than their record indicates.
“Their record is deceptive. They have in my opinion the toughest schedule in the GISA,” Hennessy said.
The Gators enter this game after a heartbreaking loss last Saturday to the Crusaders of Trinity Christian in Dublin.
That loss leaves them with a must win scenario tonight if the Gators are to claim the Region 2AAA championship.
“It’s real simple. If we win night then we’re the region champ, and we host two playoff games,” said Hennessy. “If we lose, then we fall to 3rd or 4th place in the region, and we’re on the road.”
The Gators offense moved the ball well last Saturday night, but key plays eluded them when they mattered most. If the Gators are to succeed against their old rivals from Bellville, then they'll have to penetrate a Patriot defense designed on stopping the run.
“They're very good up front," Hennessy said. "They take advantage of your turnovers. We cannot afford to turn the ball over."
Senior running backs Tyce Lovett and Davis Childs look to lead the ground attack for the Gators, while Sophomore quarterback Don Aaron and Senior wide receiver Nathan Rice will lead the attack through the air.
The Gator defense will rely heavily on their front line Friday night, as Seniors G.C. Kimbrell and Garrett Williams anchor the Gator defensive line in charge of stopping the Patriot’s pistol attack. “We have got to control the line of scrimmage,” said Hennessy. “Our guys have done a good job all year, and we'll need them again on Friday night.”
The Gator home crowd will be celebrating several occasions on Friday night.
In addition to Bulloch Academy celebrating its 40th anniversary of football, the school will also be recognizing the inaugural induction class to its new Hall of Fame.
On top of all that, the Gators will also be celebrating Homecoming, as well as Senior Night. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and kickoff is set for 7:30 in Gator Alley.