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Memorial Day blows out Bulloch Academy at home

Box Score
MDS    0    26    7    6    —    39
BA     0     0    0    7    —     7

Second Quarter
MDS_McKinley Habersham 5 run (attempt failed), 10:25
MDS_Habersham 23 run (run failed), 7:17
MDS_Habersham 42 run (Rondall Newsome from Kemuan Tillman), 5:36
MDS_Habersham 53 pass from Tillman (kick failed), 2:48
Third Quarter
MDS_Miacah Cooper 75 pass from Tillman (Habersham kick), 10:51
Fourth Quarter
MDS_Irvin Riley 44 run (kick failed), 9:16
BA_Dylan Stuckey 1 run (Tatum Blitch kick), 2:26

    MDS    BA
First downs    16    16
Total Yards    491    234
Rushes-Yards    37-322    53-234
Passing    169    0
Comp-Att-Int    4-7-0    1-11-1
Turnovers    1    0
Penalties-Yards    9-73    5-35

RUSHING_MDS, McKinley Habersham 16-189, Irvin Riley 9-85; BA, Dylan Stuckey 22-103, Andrew Howell 11-59.
PASSING_MDS, Kemuan Tillman 4-7-0-2, 169; BA, Lanier Olliff 1-11-1-0, 0.
RECEIVING_MDS, Miacah Cooper 1-75; BA, Tyce Lovett 1-0.

A big running back and an even bigger offensive line usually mean a win every time.

Senior McKinley Habersham rushed for 189 yards and scored four touchdowns behind his mammoth blockers to lead Memorial Day School to a 39-7 victory over Bulloch Academy at Gator Alley Friday night.

The Blue Thunder (3-2) scored 26 unanswered points in the second quarter. The defending GISA Class AA state champions dominated both sides of the ball with linemen who were the size of small-college players. The MDS front five averaged near 300 pounds, according to the team roster.

Habersham scored on runs of 5, 23 and 42 yards and caught a pass that he turned into a 53-yard score. Memorial had a 39-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Torrential afternoon rains and crackling lightning delayed the start of the game for 30 minutes.

After both teams had drives dry up early in the first quarter, the Gators mounted an 11-play march that began at their own 28-yard line. Junior quarterback Lanier Olliff had the big play, a 26-yard option keeper that crossed midfield.

The Gators (3-2) had a first-and-10 situation at the MDS 19 late in the quarter. But three plays netted 3 yards and the fourth was incomplete in the end zone.

Memorial then struck eight plays later for the first of four second-quarter scores.

Habersham’s 60-yard dash help set up his 5-yard plunge at the 10:25 mark. After Bulloch went four-and-out on its next possession, the elusive back had a 23-yard jaunt with 7:17 remaining.

The MDS defense held the Gators again, forcing one of four punts on the night. Two plays later, Habersham was off to the races again, breaking arm tackles, cutting back across the field, ducking and dodging opponents for a 42-yard score at the 5:36 mark for a 20-0 lead.

Bulloch was stopped one more time. Two plays later, MDS senior quarterback Kemuan Tillman connected with Habersham on a 53-yard pass play for a 26-0 lead with 2:48 left in the half.

The Blue Thunder received the second-half kickoff. Bulloch, behind hard-nosed linebacker Dylan Stuckey, stopped MDS on its first two plays from scrimmage. But on the third, Tillman hit Miacah Cooper in the left flat and senior turned on the jets, racing 75 yards to give the Savannah squad a 33-0 advantage.

Bulloch held the powerful squad late in the third and batted down a line-drive punt, recovering it at the MDS 24. But junior Rondall Newsome intercepted Olliff’s pass at the MDS 7 to halt the drive. The Blue Thunder then marched 93 yards in seven plays for the 39-0 lead. Junior Irvin Riley posted a 44-yard run for the score with 9:16 left in the game.

Bulloch had a late scoring drive, going 70 yards on 12 plays. Senior Andrew Howell had big gains of 13 and 10 yards in the march but it was teammate Dylan Stuckey who got the call for the 1-yard plunge at the 2:26 mark. Stuckey led the BA offense with 103 yards on 22 carries, while Howell had 59 yards on 11 totes.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Gators next week as they travel to Perry to take on the GISA’s Class AAA defending state champions, the Westfield Hornets.