BGA (3-2) and new addition to Division II-AA, Davidson Academy (4-1), took the field against each other in as tight a game as you could imagine, even with a lightning delay.
Davidson Academy, after all, came into the game with a 28-game winning streak, complete with state titles in the last two seasons in D-II A (meaning, they hadn't lost a game since Sept. 6, 2019).
The Bears went undefeated in 2018 and won a title, too. The team had only lost three games since the 2017 season (one in 2017, two in 2019) going into Friday's road game with BGA.
This game had everything including some drama late and the aforementioned lightning delay later in the contest, but BGA came out on top when it was all said and done. The Wildcats ended the Bears undefeated streak after a 45-30 win.
“We did some really, really good things, and then we got a lot of things to work on,” said BGA coach Jonas Rodriguez. “It’s a growth process for our team. We’re gonna learn from those mistakes and ways we can get better, and enjoy the things we did well.”
BGA got off to a hot start in the first half, outscoring Davidson Academy 31-8.
Sean Williams scored nearly all of the Wildcats’ points in the first two quarters, including a 70-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
Williams also caught two receiving touchdowns, and had a run for 58 yards a score before halftime.
The only time he didn’t score for BGA in the first half was a 35-yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter from Carson Coco.
The defense helped give the offense a shorter field with Jeremiah Rhames and Austin Ford helping out the offense with a short field.
Rodriguez stated he isn’t surprised that Williams has become an important player for this team.
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Rodriguez. “Sean is an incredible worker. He’s got tremendous work ethic, and he’s an intelligent, incredible kid. He’s the consummate teammate.”
Davidson scored once during the first half thanks to a 34-yard run from Diivonta Phillips, plus the two-point conversion.
The second half started off in a similar fashion to the way the first did for the Wildcats, except this time it wasn’t Sean Williams scoring.
Brett Brown found Devin McLemore on a 47-yard bomb that he took to the house.
Then came the lightning delay. Davidson Academy was down 38-8 at this point and after the delay, the Bears were an entirely different team.
The Bears scored 22 unanswered points in third quarter and early into the fourth.
“It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Davidson Academy coach Jonathan Quinn. “Adversity’s gonna hit, how do you respond? I thought our team responded well, we just gave them too much cushion to start.”
Offensive weapon Courtland Simmons caught fire, scoring twice in the third quarter on a 34-yard run and 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Knox Roberts. Simmons finished the game with 151 total yards and two total touchdowns.
“He’s a voted team captain,” said Quinn. “When we needed big plays, he made big plays. He’s a heck of an athlete, but more than that he’s a great person. He’s someone that I wish I had a whole team full of guys with his character, his attitude, his competitiveness. He’s a special young man.”
Davidson Academy’s special teams also got involved, getting a safety on a botched snap by BGA.
The scoring run by the Bears was brought to an end as they scored once more at the start of the fourth quarter after the Wildcats fumbled on the opening drive.
A few plays later, Knox Roberts floated a beautiful pass to Bryson Burns in the corner of the endzone to make it a 38-30 game with 7:56 left in the game.
Davidson Academy got the stops they needed, but couldn’t put together another scoring drive to close the margin.
The Bears were stopped on downs which set up a Sean Williams touchdown with 2:13 left to ice the game. Williams finished the night with 266 total yards and five total touchdowns.
Davidson Academy came close to finding the end zone after the Williams touchdown, but threw an interception to Holt Adams with 1:35 left in the game to end it.
“The defense really stepped up and got a stop there at the end,” said Rodriguez. “Our guys competed hard. Davidson’s coaches did a great job. They’ve got a great program. There’s a reason why they’ve won three state championships in a row. They’ve got a really excellent team.”
Davidson Academy plays Nashville Christian, the team it took its '19 loss to, at home after this one before another region game against undefeated Lipscomb Academy on Oct. 1.
BGA will make the trip to Hendersonville to play D-II AAA opponent Pope John Paul II away from home next week before returning home to face region opponent Goodpasture.
“We’ve gotta work on fundamentals,” said Rodriguez. “Alignment, keys, stance, key reads and reactions. Just basic stuff. They’re playing hard, it’s just that we gotta polish some things up.”