STATESBORO — In sports, the term “reliever” is usually reserved for the game of baseball, but with his starting quarterback out with a broken collarbone John Milledge Academy head football coach J.T. Wall went to his bullpen Friday night at Bulloch Academy.
A strategic substitution at quarterback, as well as another magnificent rushing performance by Amaad Foston, helped the Trojans pull away and win the non-region contest 28-14.
Do-it-all senior Justin Aldridge got the start under center for the Trojans, but with the game tied 7-7 and only two minutes left before halftime Wall made the call to put his team’s newest player into the ballgame for a single play. Grayson Hopkins, who transferred to JMA only two weeks ago from Washington County High School, answered that call and made his presence felt with a 67-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Marcus Prestwood to put his new team up 14-7 before the break.
“It was kind of a slugfest up to that point,” Wall told The Union-Recorder by phone Friday night. “There were about two minutes left so we took a shot just to see how it would turn out, and it turned out pretty good.”
That’s a slight understatement there by the longtime Trojan head coach. What he did not understate though was the job done by his highly-touted junior running back, and with good reason. Foston scored rushing touchdowns of 34, 39, and 80 yards on the night, and put the team on his back against a Bulloch program Coach Wall called the toughest his own has seen up to this point in the season.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him run,” Wall said. “He was a man possessed tonight.”
The host Gators had no priest to exorcise the demon that was Foston as he finished the night with 297 yards on 29 carries (unofficial stats), giving him his best performance so far of the 2019 campaign.
John Milledge football (6-0) will be back on its home field next week to take on undefeated Community Christian, a team the Trojans defeated 28-7 a year ago.