By Doug Gorman
Just call it a night for revenge.
One year after Jonesboro spoiled Mt. Zion's homecoming, it was the Bulldogs' turn to crash the Cardinals' party.
Mt. Zion rolled up 340 yards of total offense and owned Tara Stadium Friday night en route to a 34-0 victory.
Most of the Bulldogs' offense came on the ground as Josh Chapman rushed for 122 yards and Maurice Leggett nearly hit triple digits with a 96-yard effort.
But it was Maurice's little brother Valin who stole the show Friday night on both offense and defense. The sophomore intercepted Jonesboro quarterback Garrett Williams three times and also threw one of the Bulldogs' touchdown passes.
"It was great to go out there and beat Jonesboro after what they did to us last year," said Valin Leggett.
Leggett's performance helped stall the Cardinals most of the night. Jonesboro finished the game with 123 yards, but nearly half of the yardage came on a late drive when Williams connected with Terrance McLaurin on a 61-yard pass.
The completion moved Jonesboro inside the 10, and gave it the best chance to score, but the drive ended when the Cardinals were stopped on fourth down.
" (Defensive coordinator) Edwin Turnipseed did a great job of getting our defense ready to play," said Mt. Zion head coach Jackie Green.
Mt. Zion took control of the game on its first series. The Bulldogs marched 70-yards in six plays, capped win Isaiah Bryant scored on a 12-yard run.
On the next series, Jonesboro kept the ball for just two plays before Valin Leggett came up with the first of his interceptions.
Mt. Zion kept it in the family for its next score as Maurice Leggett scored on a 34-yard run with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Another interception again led to the third Mt. Zion touchdown. Again it Bryant scoring to give the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead.
A fourth Jonesboro turnover led to another touchdown for the Bulldogs. This time the Cardinals went up top as Emory Clark hit Chalrton Bivins on a 36-yard pass on the first play of the series.
The Bulldogs rounded out the scoring when Valin Leggett hit Jory Thomas on a 10-yard pass.
With the victory, Mt. Zion improves its record to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 2-AAAAA. Jonesboro falls to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in region action.
Despite the team's fast start, Green is not going to let the Bulldogs get too overconfident.
"We have a big mountain to climb and we are not there yet," he said."
Mt. Zion plays at home against Eagle's Landing next week, but also still has to play Warner Robins, Northside-Warner Robins, Northside-Warner Robins and Westside Macon later this year.