Leading 7-6 and headed into the fourth quarter, the Brentwood Eagles had seemingly wrestled the Bulloch Academy Gators into submission and almost had the electrical tape wrapped around their snouts.
But Bulloch Academy senior Jordan Walker sparked the offense to three quick scores and the Gator defense was a stone wall as Bulloch came away with a hard-fought 27-7 victory Friday night.
“Jordan is a trooper,” said BA head coach Clint Morgan. “He’s someone you can always count on. Our pre-game speech was about being someone that others can count on. Jordan took that to heart.”
Walker rushed for a career-high 193 yards and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Gator comeback. He also hooked up with senior Darion Carter in the first quarter for a 17-yard score.
Bulloch’s defense, led by seniors Drew Cheshire, Ben Newton, Ethan Lovett, Michael Kimbrell and junior Nathan Brown, held Brentwood to just 20 yards of total offense in the second half: 10 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth quarter.
“We challenged the guys at halftime,” said Morgan. “They answered that challenge. Before the game, we talked about being someone that you would want in your foxhole. I would have taken any one of my guys in my foxhole.”
Carter started the fourth-quarter scoring frenzy with a little over nine minutes remaining. He came n motion from his left wingback position, took the pitch from Walker and scampered 15 yards to paydirt with 9:09 left. Bulloch went for two and Walker hit Lovett on a flair pass. The big senior bulled his way inside the pylon for the 14-7 lead.
Brentwood (1-4-1) went three-and-out on its ensuing possession and had Austin McNeely drop back to punt at the Eagle 30. Bulloch’s Eli Strickland broke through the line and got a clean block to give the Gators the ball at the Brentwood 29.
A defensive pass interference call pushed the ball to the Eagle 15. From there, Walker threaded the Brentwood defense on an option keeper for the score with 6:35 left in the game. Bulloch’s PAT failed, leaving the Gators with a 20-7 lead.
The Eagles netted zero yards on their next possession and punted the ball back to BA. On the second play of the drive, from the Gator 33, Walker faked to his fullback and turned the corner to go upfield. After twisting and fighting through the initial line of Eagle defense, Walker cut to his right and picked up speed. After slicing to the Bulloch sideline, he picked up Carter as a downfield blocker and cruised the remainder of the 67 yards into the end zone. Will Powell booted the extra point for a 27-7 lead with 4:16 left in the game.
Bulloch (5-1) scored the first points of the night after stopping the Eagles on a fourth-and-five situation at the end of the first quarter. Ten plays later, Walker hit Carter on a quick-hitting pattern for a 17-yard score at 8:20 of the second. Powell missed the PAT.
Late in the quarter, Brentwood’s offense got some big plays. A.J. Pryor had a 26-yard jaunt and quarterback Nick Burgamy completed two passes, one being a 24-yard touchdown to 6-2 receiver McNeely with just 19 seconds left in the half. Jonathan Shurling drilled the extra point to give the Eagles a 7-6 halftime lead.