Jake Whitten

GWA senior running back Jake Whitten (4) heads downhill against the LCA defense on a big run to start the game Friday night.

LOGANVILLE — The George Walton Academy football team completed its 2020 regular season with one final tuneup for the upcoming state playoffs.

The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (7-2, 2-2 in Region 8-A private) took care of host Loganville Christian Academy 42-6 in the first gridiron matchup between the programs.

The Lions finish their inaugural GHSA voyage 2-6 overall and 0-2 in region play. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of two games for LCA.

After building a three-score lead by halftime, GWA needed just one snap for its first score of the second half as Jake Whitten outran the Lions defense for a 58-yard score. 

The Bulldogs closed the door on LCA with a quick three-play drive covering 44 yards. Jackson Ellerbee covered the final two runs to increase the lead to 42-6 at the 5:12 mark of the third quarter.

Special teams provided the first score of the night as GWA’s Whitten returned a punt 35 yards for a touchdown with 7:36 left in the opening quarter.

The Bulldogs then scored on a 3-yard run by Hall. The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard carry by Jackson Ellerbee.

An Ellerbee interception return to the LCA 15 set up a one-play drive as Hall found the end zone for the second time in the opening quarter with 4:45 still left in the initial 12 minutes.

GWA found the end zone for the fourth time on a 1-yard by Carter Payne with 10:01 still left in the first half. A 14-yard pass from Hall to Lawson Steele moved the football to the 1-yard line.

A fumble recovery by Sam Buckner gave LCA possession at the GWA 12-yard line. The Lions cashed in on an 18-yard pass from Josh Ruder to Hunter Hampton with 49 seconds left before halftime. 

Despite GWA dominating the first half, the Bulldogs hurt themselves with penalties and turnovers. Valentino Foba had an interception in the second quarter for LCA but the Lions could not capitalize despite taking possession at the GWA 35-yard line.

Sully Croker was 6-for-6 on extra-point kicks for the Bulldogs.

Both GWA and LCA are former GISA schools. The Bulldogs moved to the GHSA in 2010 while the Lions made the move for this school year.

GWA finishes as the No. 3 seed in Region 8 and will play in the first round of the state playoffs next week.

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