First Downs 16 17
Rushing Yards 39-333 38-236
Passing Yards 62 166
Total Yards 395 402
Comp-Att-Int 1-6-1 8-22-1
Penalties 7-40.5 5-46.5
Leading Rushers: BA: Young 14-103, Waters 8-79, Evans 8-76; BDS: Williams 21-145, Carter 14-76.
Leading Passers: BA: Waters 1-7-2, 62; BDS: Carter 8-22-1-2, 166
Leading Receivers: BA: Evans 1-62; BDS: Cooley 6-108
BA 6 6 12 15 — 39
BDS 6 8 12 12 — 38
1:32 — Evans (BA) 62 pass from Waters (kick blocked).
:34.9 — Carter (BDS) 11 run (kick failed).
6:59 — Cooley (BDS) 27 pass from Carter (Carter run).
6:41— Evans (BA) 90 KO return (run failed),
8:17 — Carter (BDS) 1 run (kick failed).
6:13 — Waters (BA) 41 run (run failed).
4:37 — Williams (BDS) 7 run (run failed).
4:37— Evans (BA) 85 KO return (pass failed).
9:07— Carter (BDS) 1 run (kick failed).
7:56 — Averitt (BA) 10 run (Averitt run).
1:34 — Evans (BA) 11 run (John Paul Padilla kick).
:0.1 — Cooley (BDS) 18 pass from Carter (pass failed).
SAVANNAH — Bulloch Academy went from despair to triumph in one play Friday night at M.C. Anderson Field.
Junior linebacker Loy Waters knocked a game-winning, two-point conversion pass attempt away from Bethesda receiver Ben Carter with :0.1 left on the clock to preserve a 39-38 win in GISA Class AAA action Friday night at M.C. Anderson Field.
The Blazers (5-3 overall and 4-2 in region play) had just raced down the field with 1:34 remaining to score on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Brenden Carter to wide receiver Naji Cooley. Carter’s pass snuck past the outstretched hand of BA defensive back Jaylen Evans.
On the two-point conversion attempt, Bethesda lined up three receivers to the right. Taking the snap, Carter rolled right and fired to Cooley, who was running a curl route at the goal line. But Waters came up hard and dove to bat the ball away from Cooley.
The exciting climax was just one of the many big plays in the high-scoring game.
Bulloch’s Evans scored on kickoff returns of 90 and 85 yards, caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from Waters and had an 11-yard TD run. Waters also had a rushing touchdown, racing 41 yards on an option keeper.
Bethesda’s Carter had an earlier touchdown pass to Cooley, a 27-yarder in the second quarter. He also had three rushing touchdowns, an 11-yard option keeper and two one-yard plunges.
The Gators (6-2, 4-2) drew first blood on the muddy, soggy field when Waters connected with Evans on the 62-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter.
The Blazers, sporting pink socks, wristbands and towels in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, answered back quickly. An 80-yard Devonte’ Taylor kickoff return for a touchdown was nullified because of an illegal block but the ball was placed at the BA 17. Two plays later, Carter scored on the 11-yard option keeper with 34.9 left in the first quarter. His two-point conversion gave Bethesda a 14-6 lead.
After the squads traded interceptions, a short BA punt gave the Blazers the ball at the 27. On the next play, Carter lofted the ball to Cooley, who outjumped Evans at the goal line for the BDS score.
On the ensuing kickoff, Evans fielded the ball at the 10, raced to his right, slipped on the wet turf at the 30 and almost went down. The Bethesda coverage team relaxed, giving Evans an opening. He sprinted to the Blazer end zone. The Gators tried to even the score with a two-point conversion of their own but the BDS defense stopped it for a 14-12 lead.
Bethesda’s Williams returned the second-half kickoff 50 yards to the BA 35. Six plays later, Carter burst through the line on a fourth-and-goal. The failed PAT left the score at 20-12 lead. The Gators came right back when Waters ripped off his 41-yard run at the 6:13 mark. Bulloch also missed its conversion attempt but pulled to within two points, 20-18.
The Blazers raced back down the field, scoring five plays later when Williams turned the corner for a seven-yard TD. Again, the conversion failed as BDS took a 26-18 lead with 4:37 left in the third.
Evans fumbled the ensuing kickoff but recovered it and zigged and zagged his way for an 85-yard return just 14 seconds later. Bulloch’s two-point attempt was thwarted, giving the home team a 26-24 lead.
In the fourth, Williams ripped off a 44-yard jaunt and two 20-yard runs. But it was Carter’s one-yard plunge than gave the Blazers a 32-24 lead. The Gator refused to quit as fullback Chris Young rambled 57 yards down to the BDS 10. From there, Harrison Averitt slide off left end and dove into the end zone. His two-point conversion run knotted the score at 32-32 with 7:55 left.
Bulloch held the Blazers to three-plays-and-out on their next possession. The Gators then methodically marched down the field on a nine-play drive, scoring on an Evans 11-yard run with 1:34 left.
A Gator onside kick gave Bethesda the ball at the BDS 47 and set the stage for the nail-biting finish.