2018-08-29 / Sports

Gators chomp down on Spartans in final quarter

DIANA ROYAL


Spartans Miles Burnette #33 and Parker Thompson #34 take down a Bulloch ball carrier in Friday’s game. Spartans Miles Burnette #33 and Parker Thompson #34 take down a Bulloch ball carrier in Friday’s game. Neither team even touched the scoreboard until nearly halftime, but Edmund Burke Academy’s game against Bulloch Academy last Friday was a full on battle.

Spartan head coach Aaron Phillips said his boys kept the Gators in check, but ultimately EBA ran out of time, returning to Waynesboro with a 21-12 loss.

Bulloch was the first to score, with just 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter. They entered halftime ahead of the Spartans, 7-0. However, EBA answered back quickly, scoring on the first drive of the third quarter when Mason Boswell ran in a 42-yard touchdown. Edmund Burke failed their attempt to tie the game, and trailed Bulloch 7-6 as the fourth quarter began.

With 3:40 left on the clock, the Gators found themselves in the end zone again, and with a successful PAT, upped the score 14-6. But the Spartans were not done, and promptly followed with a touchdown from senior Collier Smith. They went for 2 to try to even the score but were stopped at the ½ yard line, sealing their fate.

“They played so hard,” Phillips said, adding that Edmund Burke was at a disadvantage when it came to numbers. “They have eleven guys playing offense, eleven different guys on defense. My guys are out there playing both sides, and that wears you down; you start to make little mistakes. This wasn’t a one-point game, but it messes with your mind. We’ve got to convert PATs. Those things will come back to bite you.”

The Spartans had a total of 291 yards. Collier Smith carried the ball 11 times for 90 yards and a touchdown; Eason Waters had 60 yards on 9 carries; and Mason Boswell had 65 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown. Waters also completed 2 of 5 passes for 32 yards.

Bulloch had a total of 309 yards, with 199 rushing and 110 in the air. Phillips said 64 of those yards were in just one play alone and added that Bulloch has tallied more than 350 yards against its opponents in previous games this year.

On defense, Smith was on top again, putting up an impressive 18 tackles (8 solo, 10 assists) and 2 forced fumbles. He was selected as EBA’s Player of the Game. Will Jenkins had 8 a piece of solo and assist tackles, and Parker Thompson recovered a fumble.

This Friday, the Spartans host their first home game of the season as they welcome Augusta Prep to Rogers Field.

The Cavaliers come with an outstanding quarterback and a 60 percent passing game. “Their quarterback could be the best we face all year,” Phillips said, adding that the Spartans still have some stuff to clean up as far as alignment, man coverage, their passing game and special teams. “We’ve got some bumps and bruises, but we have to stay fresh. We have to do a good job in the secondary to get their offense off the field. Hopefully long drives will lead to scores for us.”

Phillips also said he is excited for Spartan fans to see all the changes with the stadium, listing a new press box and home side bleachers among many of the upgrades. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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