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BETHLEHEM, Ga. — Despite not playing the last two weeks, the John Milledge Academy football team (1-0 region, 6-0 overall) showed few signs of rust in its return to the field Friday. 

The Trojans cruised past the hapless Knights of Bethlehem Christian Academy (0-1 region, 2-6 overall) to a 43-0 road victory. JMA had already reached its final tally by halftime.

John Milledge head coach JT Wall said in a postgame phone interview that his guys were a little anxious early on Friday having not played an opponent since Oct. 16. Bethlehem’s offense would run the play clock down to its waning seconds and sometimes change up the snap count to keep the daunting Trojan defense off-rhythm. 

“Our guys were having a hard time early just slowing down,” Wall said. “We were able to clean all that up and make some adjustments to do what we needed to win the ballgame.”

The Trojan offense got off to a fast start, scoring its first points less than two minutes into the contest. Later in the first, senior quarterback Grayson Hopkins hit wideout Taylor Dixon for touchdown on a 60-yard bomb, which put Dixon at four receiving TDs this season. Landen Burney scored the two-point conversion to get John Milledge to 14-0 after having missed the early PAT. 

The score was 29-0 by the end of the first and two more touchdowns were added before the half. Wall got his reserves in to play the final two quarters.

The win marked John Milledge’s fourth consecutive shutout and fifth 40-plus point offensive performance. Wall’s Trojans are currently outscoring opponents by a cumulative 269-20 count in a season where they are still searching for a challenge. There doesn’t seem to be much stopping the winningest GISA program of the last decade from repeating as undefeated state champs. 

“We can’t believe the hype,” Wall said. “At the end of the day we’ve still got to get better each week and somehow block out the noise. Our guys are doing a pretty good job of that right now. We’ve got great senior leadership and we’re ready to be playing five more weeks.”

John Milledge football will be back on its home field for the first time in nearly a month next week as the Trojans are set to welcome Creekside Christian Academy for homecoming. Creekside was 5-1 entering play Friday, including a 51-0 season-opening win over GMC Prep.

“They’re very big and very physical,” Wall said of Creekside. “They remind me of Memorial Day (a GISA powerhouse from 2008 through 2017) from a couple of years ago because they have athletes everywhere. The improv play with their offense is what scares you. Their quarterback is very, very good. He can throw it 70 yards on a dime rolling to his left and he’s very fast.”

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