Stopped short

Prince Avenue’s Elijah Dewitt is stopped just short of the endzone by George Walton’s Timothy Jackson (88) and Logan Blalock (6) during the first half of the Bulldogs’ 61-0 loss to the Wolverines Friday night in Bogart.

BOGART — If you’re a betting man and took George Walton Academy and the points in Friday night’s game at Prince Avenue Christian, you lost.

A 47-point underdog, the Bulldogs fell to the third-ranked Wolverines 61-0. It might have been worse if not for a running clock the entire second half after Prince took a 52-0 lead into intermission.

Prince quarterback Aaron Philo, who entered the game as the state’s passing leader, will likely stay on top after completing 15-of-16 passes for 328 yards and six touchdowns, all in the first half. He now has 2,610 on the season, which far surpasses former 5-star Wolverines quarterback Brock Vandagriff, who now plays for the University of Georgia and had 2,195 yards after eight games last fall. 

Just a sophomore, Philo is on track to supplant his predecessor’s name in the Wolverines record book.

Despite losing to graduation their top passer, rusher, and two leadings receivers who combined for 64 touchdowns, the defending state champs haven’t lost a beat. They entered Friday’s game ranked second in scoring (41.1 ppg) and sixth in defense (11.7 ppg) among Class A private schools. 

They easily improved on those numbers.

Prince scored on all of its eight first-half possession, with four drives lasting two plays or less. Five different players caught touchdown passes, and two scoring tosses were called back on penalties. 

The Wolverines took the opening kickoff and, starting from their 44, went the distance in just four plays, capped by a 35 pass from Philo to Elijah Dewitt. 

The next drive went 48 yards on six plays, with Riley Carter catching a 5-yard pass from Philo. On the ensuing possession, the Wolverines scored in just one play on a pass from Philo to Bailey Stockton for 58 yards. 

Ethan Christian scored next on a 43-yard pass followed by a 14-yard catch by Stockton for his second TD. 

Dewitt then scored on a 1-yard run followed by a 12-yard TD connection from Philo to Josh Britt following a blocked GWA punt. 

The Wolverines added three more on a 44-yard free kick by Bryson Franklin with just 35 seconds left in the half.

Prince emptied its bench in the second half, including using two different quarterbacks. But it still moved the ball inside the Bulldogs 10 on its three possessions, settling for Franklin field goals each time rather than run up the score.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs, as expected, have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball. Against Prince, they were without their best and most experienced player, Laythan Folgman, who injured his knee in last week’s loss to Athens Christian. 

The Bulldogs went three-and-out on nine of its 10 possessions. Their lone first down came on a 3-yard run by junior running back Calan Fortunat with 2:53 remaining in the second. They finished with a total of 2 yards combined rushing and passing.

The loss was the most lopsided since the Bulldogs joined the GHSA in 2010. The Wolverines, who have now beaten GWA nine straight times, improve to 7-1 and 2-0 in Region 8-A private while the Bulldogs fall to 1-7 and 0-2 in the league. have now won nine straight over GWA . 

The road only gets tougher as GWA will face 10th-ranked Athens Academy next Friday at Slaughter Field.

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