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Gators roll in region rumble

Box Score
                       BA    TA

First Downs       12    14
Rushing       30-331    32-103
Passing Yards    29    146
Total Yards       360    249
C-A-I            1-3-0    18-29-1
Turnovers            1    2
Penalties       11-96    10-85

Individual Leaders
Rushing: BA:
Sheppard 15-159,  Waters 4-96. TA: Mims 13-73.
Passing: BA: Waters 1-3, 29 yards. TA: Flick 18-29, 146 yards.
Receiving: BA: Averitt 1-29. TA: Varnadoe 4-30.

BA      14      6     20      0 — 40
TA      0        7      0      0  — 7

1st Quarter

4:15 — Waters (BA) 4 run (Padilla kick)
2:32 — Sheppard (BA) 29 run (Padilla kick)
Second Quarter
5:11 — Waters (BA) 38 run (kick failed)
0:13 — Mims (TA) 44 pass from Flick (Brown kick)
Third Quarter
11:40 — Averitt (BA) 29 pass from Waters (Padilla kick)
3:16 — Averitt (BA) 10 run (Merrill kick)
0:31 — Sheppard (BA) 7 run (kick failed)

    CHULA — Bulloch Academy rolled up a 20-0 first-half lead and never looked back as the Gators notched their first region victory with a 40-7 beat down of Tiftarea Academy here Friday night.
    The Gators (6-1 overall and 1-1 in GISA Region 1-AAA play) struck like lightning on offense, racking up over 300 yards on the ground with big plays from senior quarterback Loy Waters, senior tailback Harrison Averitt and junior fullback Matt Sheppard. The trio had scoring runs of 38, 29 and 10 yards.
    Waters had a 51-yard gain on an option keeper on the third play of the game while Sheppard popped a 36-yarder on an off-tackle burst. Averitt had the longest of the night, a 79-yard sprint, but it was negated because of a Gator penalty.
The squads were flagged a total of 21 times for almost 200 yards. There were also two sets of offsetting penalties, where fouls are called on both teams and the down is replayed.
    Bulloch’s defense was outstanding against both the run and the pass. Tiftarea quarterback Rob Flick was 18-of-29 for 146 yards but he was intercepted once, sacked several times and hurried often.
    The Panthers (1-6, 0-2) took the opening kickoff and methodically drove the ball from their own 23 to the Bulloch 39. But the BA defense stopped the advanced and forced a punting situation.
    Gator senior defensive end Jarret Humphries got a good rush and blocked Taylor Folsom’s kick, giving BA the ball in good field position.
    It took just six plays for the Gators to score. As Sheppard bounded the middle, Waters exploited the Panther defense on the option keeper. He walked into the end zone from four yards out at 4:15 of the first quarter.
Tiftarea’s second drive was cut short when BA junior Forrest Spence intercepted a Flick pass at the Panther 29 with 2:39 left in the quarter. Five seconds later, Waters tossed Sheppard the ball. The quick fullback bounced outside, turned on the jets, gave a couple of fakes and scored.
In the second quarter, Humphries had a partially blocked punt deep in Panther territory. The Gators recovered the ball but then fumbled it back to Tiftarea for a weird first-down play. TA used the momentum to begin a short drive which ended when Waters sacked Flick. An eight yard punt by Folsom didn’t help matters as Bulloch took over at the TA 38.
On the very next play, Waters fooled the Panther defense again, dashing 38 yards on another option keeper for the score. Tiftarea avoided the shutout when Flick stepped out of the pocket and connected with Ethan Mims on a 44-yard score with 13 seconds left in the half.
It was the Averitt show in the third quarter.
The speedster who is turns into a punishing runner returned the opening kickoff 51 yards to the TA 29. On the next play, Waters lofted a picture-perfect pass to Averitt in the right flat and he made a textbook catch for a 29-yard score. On the next possession, he had a 15-yard touchdown run called back when the yellow flag dropped.
Late in the third, he danced 10 yards for another score. Sheppard’s seven-yard blast with 31 seconds left in the quarter gave Bulloch a 40-7 advantage.
The fourth quarter was played with a running clock as the Gators shuttled players in and out of the game.