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Gators suffer first region loss of the season
W BA Frederica game-Davis Childs
Davis Childs - photo by Special to the Herald

ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Frederica Academy pulled out all the stops to upset Bulloch Academy 41-31 in a crucial GISA Region 2-AAA battle here Friday night.The Knights (5-3 overall and 2-1 in region play) scored on a 36-yard hook-and-ladder play, a 36-yard flea-flicker reverse pass, a 79-yard kickoff return, kicked two field goals, used a no-huddle offense and flaunted their speed on both offense and defense to stun the Gators.Bulloch (7-2, 1-1) was down by 13 points twice in the game but fought back to take a 31-30 lead midway through the fourth quarter.Gator defensive back Lanier Olliff intercepted a Gaven Williams pass at the Bulloch 35. On the next play, tailback Jarves Williams broke a jet sweep and got loose for a 39-yard gain. A Knight 15-yard penalty took the ball to the FA 13. Davis Childs ground out 11 yards to the two-yard line. Tyce Lovett pounded the ball into the end zone for the score and, after Brian Marsh’s PAT, a 31-30 lead.But Frederica speedster Jashawn Sheffield took the ensuing kickoff back 79 yards for the score to deflate the Gators. A two-point conversion pass from Williams to Hollis Veal gave Frederica a 38-31 lead.Bulloch tried to retaliate on the next series but Olliff was intercepted on the third play.Frederica, which had been running a wide-open offense for the majority of the game, switched to a power set. The Knights ground out yardage and burned the clock, even adding an insurance field goal with 33.2 seconds left in the game.FA scored on its second play of the game with a flea-flicker which had the ball change hands twice before it was given back to Williams. He then found a wide-open Luckett McKeown in the end zone for the game’s first score with 11:31 remaining.Bulloch marched right back down the field on the strength of its running game. Williams, who led all rushers with 144 yards, broke a 45-yarder to the FA one. But Olliff fumbled the snap and FA’s Dalton Croft recovered. The Knights couldn’t advance the ball and, instead of chancing a blocked punt, snapped the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.Bulloch took a 10-7 lead late in the opening quarter. Olliff engineered a 13-play drive which ended when he plunged into the end zone from the one. Williams converted the two-point conversion with 12 seconds left.FA struck back quickly.Veal had an 11-yard gainer on a reverse. Then the Knights executed the hook-and-ladder play with Williams completing an 11-yard pass to Jaylin Simpson and then Simpson flipping the ball to Brandt Mitchell for a 26-yard scoring run. The kick failed, giving FA a 13-10 lead with 11:52 left.The hard hitting and trash talking escalated as the Knights added two more scores in the quarter to take a 23-10 halftime lead.In the third, the Gators used their muscle and power to grind out 19 running plays. Lovett’s powered over from the one with 2:54 to cut the lead to 23-17. But the Knights’ speed enabled them to score four plays later when Veal busted a 43-yard jaunt with 1:43 left in the quarter for a 30-17 lead.In the fourth, Bulloch’s exhausted but tough-as-nails defense forced two fumbles and grabbed an interception to set up two quick scores and set the stage for the fourth-qua