FA v Bulloch 1st round

Mason McGraw, right, catches a ball during the playoff game against Bulloch Academy on Friday.

Frederica Academy’s got revenge over Bulloch Academy on Friday night in the first round of the GISA Class 3A playoffs in a 34-27 win over the Gators.

It was neck and neck between the teams at the beginning of the game. Bulloch marched down and scored on its first drive to make it 7-0. Frederica Academy answered with its first points coming off a touchdown pass from Thomas Veal to Josh Meadows, evening the score at 7-7.

Knights running back Jordan Triplett scored the next touchdown to go up 14-7 with around a minute to go before the half. Bulloch responded but missed the extra point, and it was 14-13 at halftime.

“I thought it was two pretty good football teams beating each other up out there,” said Frederica coach Brandon Derrick. “We turned the ball over, then we needed to— we had three turnovers. Gave them some opportunities, but I thought we answered the bell every time we needed to.

“We put in a wildcat package in this week that we’ve always run. It worked like a charm. It probably gave us the spark we had to have in the second half to win — we were pretty stagnated on offense until we ran our wildcat package. It kept us in the game and gave us an advantage.”

Triplett finished with around 200 yards on the grounding, including 30, 52, and 85-yard touchdown runs in the second half. It was his second consecutive game with four touchdown runs.

“His vision has gotten so much better as we’ve played,” Derrick said. “He was one of them — the blind racehorse thing, he always wanted to run to the outside. Now he’s starting to see it up inside, and he’s realized that from point a to point b is better in a straight line than it is trying to run around it to get there.

“He’s just done a good job, and his vision has done a good job. The offensive line now, they create some holes on some of that stuff. It’s pretty crazy how good they are at times.”

Frederica found a lot of success in the wildcat package against Bulloch, and Derrick said it was a different dynamic for them.

“Well, it’s pretty huge. When we played up there before, we didn’t score inside the five three times, so we were really going to use it as a short-yardage package,” Derrick said. “We just felt like we needed to run the ball and control the clock. Once we got that 20-13 lead we were just thinking grind it out here and control the clock.

“Then we busted a big ole long run, and then we hit another big run on it later on — we were able to grind it out there and control the clock a little bit on one drive with it. It was something I don’t think they had seen and hadn’t been prepared for. It’s something that’s always been in my repertoire even when I was at Glynn — I brought it over here. We’ve always done, and it puts the ball in one of our playmakers’ hands right off the bat.”

The Knights got revenge over Bulloch after they fell to them 20-16 in the regular season. However, Derrick said he felt like if they weathered the storm they could win, and they did.

“I thought we played pretty hard there early on and weathered the storm because they’re a really good team early on. They get a little tired in the third and fourth quarter, and we kind of knew we could weather the storm,” Derrick said. “I thought we didn’t play as good defensively as we had, but when you’re playing a team that’s got explosive players, they’re going to make some plays. We battled and kept it close enough. Defensively we played good enough to get the win and get out of there.”

Frederica Academy will host the second round of the playoffs as they take on Tiftarea, who upset Pinewood on Friday in the opening round.

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