Athens Academy’s football game last Friday would have likely looked a lot different without Palmer Bush’s involvement.
The senior made several critical plays throughout the game to lead the Spartans past George Walton Academy 56-31. The victory clinched a No. 2 seed for Athens Academy in the upcoming Class A-Private state playoffs. The Spartans are guaranteed to host at least one playoff game.
Bush was involved in all three phases of last week’s game – offense, defense and special teams – and he made big plays in each.
Offensively, Bush was involved in four total touchdowns. He tossed two scoring passes to Deion Colzie and punched in a couple of scoring runs.
One of Bush’s biggest plays helped Athens Academy gain an early edge. He picked off a pass while playing defense and set up a drive on which the Spartans scored to break a 7-7 tie.
In the second half, Bush had two punts which pinned George Walton deep in its own territory. The first was a well-placed 40-yard boot from the 50-yard line to the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line. The other was a 41-yard punt that flipped the field from the Spartans’ 30-yard line to George Walton’s 29-yard marker.
“He's just a great athlete,” Athens Academy head coach Josh Alexander said about Bush. “Anything we ask him to do, he does a nice job. He leads by example and is just fun to coach.”
After the game, Bush gave credit to his teammates for their contributions to the victory.
“We always just want to come out and play our style of football,” Bush said. “It's just really a team thing, honestly. We just came out and played as a team.”
The victory locked Athens Academy into a favorable spot in the postseason.
Considering the magnitude of the win, Bush said it gave his and his teammates’ big night extra meaning.
“We'll take that momentum into our bye week and into the playoffs,” Bush said.