I’m not a big “moral victory” kind of guy.
Like Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game.”
Usually, I like things cut and dry – a loss is a loss, a win is a win, and the team with the most points at the end of the game is the better team. Don’t get me wrong, you can take positives from a loss and figure out how to get better, but the whole point of a game is to score more points than the other team, and if you do that, well, you got the point (pun unintentionally intended).
Every once in a while, though, I’m forced to change my tune just a little bit. Friday night was one of those times.
Bulloch Academy hosted the No. 1-ranked team from GISA Region 3-AAA Friday on homecoming night. Westfield School showed up in Statesboro with and unbeaten record, an offense which had previously had its worst outing in a 24-0 win over Brentwood a couple weeks ago and a roster more than twice the size of the Gators.
Where BA didn’t have enough players to field an entire offense and defense, Westfield went two or three deep at every position.
Bulloch likes to rely on Clint Morgan’s triple-option attack to score its points, but the Hornets weren’t having any of that, holding the Gators to just 21 rushing yards.
When some teams lose their bread and butter, there’s nothing left in the kitchen, but quarterback Brandon Walker found Taylor Burke for a career-high 118 yards through the air and before the homecoming crowd at Gator Alley knew what was happening, BA trailed 20-13 with 3:54 to go.
At that point, it was anybody’s game.
Sure, Westfield got its non-region win, but I think BA just may have picked up a little bit of steam heading into the meet of the Region 2-AA schedule.
They may not have chalked up a “W”, but I think this was one of those rare occasions where a “moral victory” may just set them up for success down the road. Morgan said it best after the game: “We went toe-to-toe with the best of AAA. I am very proud of my guys. We grew up tonight, and while we may not have turned the corner, we sure are peeking around it.”
Where have all the blowouts gone?
The Citadel took Appalachian State to overtime. Furman took Elon to a last-second field goal. Wofford and Georgia Southern went toe to toe. Samford only managed 16 points against an awful Western Carolina team. Chattanooga (what the?) is 1-1 in Southern Conference play.
Last Saturday proved what people have speculated for the last four years - that the days of the “big three” are over in the SoCon and parity has arrived.
In what looks to be a dog fight of a conference season, Elon may be the front runner right now, but if we’ve learned anything so far this year, the 2009 conference championship is up for grabs.
Chattanooga verse Montana in the first round of the FCS playoffs? Doubtful, but at the rate things are going and with SoCon defenses actually showing up, nobody seems to want to be the cream of the crop.
At this rate, nothing would be considered an upset.
Unless Western beats somebody.
Bye bye Bravos
Since the Atlanta Braves are done for the year, I guess we should send them off.
There isn’t much to say except that they made things interesting at the end and one more bat and one more arm could’ve turned them into a heck of a team.
Maybe next year they’ll get back to being the Braves of the last two decades and wait until the postseason to lose.
An Ealey silence
I can’t believe I’m writing about the Georgia Bulldogs, but here we are.
All I am going to say is that they may have already blown the shot at a successful (by UGA fan standards) season, but the few carries former Emanuel County Institute running back Washaun Ealey got in Saturday’s LSU game were a preview of a special kid who’s going to do some nasty things while he’s in Athens, and it will be fun to watch.
Herald Correspondent Rahn Hutcheson contributed to this column.