The Bulloch Academy Gators travel to Waynesboro this Friday night in their first region contest of the year against the Spartans of Edmund Burke Academy. The Gators (3-1-1) enter this contest on a two game winning streak, while the Spartans (0-5) are looking for their first victory of the season. New Spartan Head Coach Aaron Phillips was introduced to region competition last week with a 35-0 loss at the hands of the Patriots of Pinewood Christian Academy, while the Gators are coming off an impressive 39-14 victory in Lyons over the Crusaders of Robert Toombs.
The Gators relied heavily last week on the legs of Seniors Tyce Lovett and Jake Mock, as well as the backs of their physical offensive line in their defeat of the Crusaders. Lovett and Mock combined for 189 yards on the ground while scoring 5 rushing touchdowns. The Gators ran the ball on 45 of their 52 plays under center in the dominating performance, and the Gators hope for the same this week as they face an inexperienced and young Spartan squad. Look for Sophomore quarterback Don Aaron to air it out a little more this week as he only completed 2 passes for 32 yards last Friday night.
The Gators have accumulated 571 yards rushing in their last two games, and their success starts up front with an unheralded group of physical linemen. Senior G.C. Kimbrell and Juniors Stone Thomas, Seth Conner, Trevor Mason and Thomas Bowen have done a magnificent job of controlling the line of scrimmage and giving Lovett, Mock and Junior Brandon Merrill room to run. “We’ve been aggressive and able to control the line scrimmage, and that’s been the key in all our wins,” said Gator Head Coach Terence Hennessy.
The Gator defense had no trouble shutting down the Crusaders last week, as Sophomore Jake Nelson led the Gators with 14 tackles while forcing two turnovers. Lovett also displayed why he is an All-Region performer as he recorded 13 tackles on the night. They’ll face a Spartan’s offense that has struggled so far this year, as they have totaled only 32 points in their 5 losses this season. “They run the wing-t, and they’ll give looks from under center and the pistol,” said Hennessy. “They are a very young team with a ton of under classmen. Our players can’t look past them.”
Coach Hennessy noted the importance of getting off to successful start in region competition. “Region games are always important. This is what we’ve been preparing for since the season started, and we’d love to be 1-0 in region play with Pinewood visiting next week,” said Hennessy.
Coach Hennessy and the Gators hope to keep their winning ways going as they travel to Waynesboro tonight. Kickoff is set at 7:30.