Rushing 36-164 18-99
Passing 44 336
Passes 2-10-2 14-24-0
Total Yards 208 435
First Downs 8 16
Penalties 6-60 9-77
Turnovers 4 1
Rushing: BA: Matt Sheppard 13-67; PCA: Dalton Johnson 11-69.
Passing: BA: Will Rushing 2-4-1-0, 44; PCA: Dalton Johnson 14-24-0-3, 336.
Receiving: BA: Matt Sheppard 1-39; PCA: Dylan Gravley 4-80, Trevor Johns 3-66.
BA 3 0 7 7 — 17
PCA 8 14 14 7 — 43
7:33 — Joseph Kennedy (PCA) 23 pass from Dalton Johnson (Johnson run)
1:42 — John Paul Padilla (BA) 37 FG
7:44 — John Michael Thompson (PCA) 62 punt return (pass failed)
3:23 — Johnson (PCA) 4 run (Johnson run)
9:50 — Thompson (PCA) 49 pass from Johnson (Reid Swindell kick)
5:00 — Andrew Howell (BA) 97 fumble return (Padilla kick).
2:13 — Johnson (PCA) 4 run (Swindell kick)
8:04 — Dylan Gravley (PCA) 5 pass from Johnson (Swindell kick)
0:52 — Matt Sheppard (BA) 3 run (Padilla kick)
BELLVILLE — All week long, Bulloch Academy’s coaching staff had warned their players about Pinewood Christian Academy quarterback Dalton Johnson.
He was the go-to guy for the Patriots. He was the leader. He made things happen.
Oh, how right they were.
The senior put on a show in Pinewood’s final regular-season home game Friday night, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two more as the Patriots whipped the Gators 43-17 in GISA Region 1-AAA play at Lowell Coley Field. PCA (6-3-1 overall and 3-2 in the region) advances to the first round of the Class AAA playoffs next Friday night. Bulloch ends its season with a 3-7 mark and an 0-5 record in region play.
Johnson connected with seven different receivers for 14 completions and 336 yards. He worked out of an empty-backfield shotgun most of the game and had good protection from his offensive line. But when the Gator defense closed in on him, he scrambled out of the pocket and was able to throw accurately on the run. The times that the BA secondary covered his receivers, the fleet-footed, 5-10, 181-pounder took off. He had 69 yards rushing.
After the Patriots intercepted a BA pass on the fourth play of the game, the Patriots used a 10-play drive to open the scoring. Johnson found a wide-open Joseph Kennedy for a 23-yard touchdown at the 7:33 mark of the first quarter. Johnson barreled in for the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. In the drive, PCA converted on third down twice and once on fourth down.
But the Gators stormed back, driving down to the PCA 21 before having to settle for a 37-yard field goal by J.P. Padilla with 1:42 left. The big plays in the drive were a 39-yard pass from quarterback Will Rushing to Matt Sheppard and a fourth-and-1 conversion by Rushing.
Johnson had some dazzling moves late in the quarter ,but the Gators were finally able to contain him. Midway through the second, a penalty halted a Gator drive and forced the squad to punt. PCA had its return wall set up, and John Michael Thompson zipped through for a 62-yard return for a score with 7:44 left.
Another BA interception late in the quarter put the Patriots at their own 35. Seven plays later, Johnson bulldozed in from 4 yards out. After tacking on the two-point conversion, PCA took a 22-3 lead with 3:23 left in the half. The highlight of the drive was a 34-yard pass play from Johnson to Robbie Shuman.
After the break, the Patriots took up right where they had left off, scoring on their first possession to extend the lead to 29-3. Johnson hooked up with Thompson for a 49-yard score.
A BA fumble deep in Gator territory seemed to set the Patriots up for another score. Johnson connected with Preston Campbell for a 35-yarder down to the Gator 3. But Bulloch defensive tackle G.C. Kimbrell caused a fumble in the middle of the line. Linebacker Andrew Howell picked the ball up and raced 97 yards for a record-setting touchdown, cutting the lead to 29-10 and giving the Gators a glimmer of hope.
But PCA notched back-to-back scores, a Johnson 4-yard run and a Johnson-to-Dylan Gravley strike, to take a huge 43-10 lead midway through the fourth.