100 Green-backs: Mt. Zion sends coach to century mark for victories

By Anthony Rhoads

The T-shirt Mt. Zion head coach Jackie Green had on at the end of Friday night's game said it all – ?MZ 100th.'

Green, who is retiring at the end of the season, earned his 100th victory as Mt. Zion trounced North Atlanta 41-12 in the regular season finale at Tara Stadium.

Green has been at Mt. Zion since the school's inception in 1989. That year, the team went 8-0 playing a junior varsity schedule.

Since that first season, Green and the Bulldogs have accomplished much together including two region championships, an undefeated regular season and a trip to the Class AAA state championship game in 1999 and six trips to the postseason.

The victory also puts Green in line to break the all-time Clayton County record for victories. Former Riverdale coach Bill Kennedy, whom Green was an assistant for before going to Mt. Zion, holds the county record with 102 overall victories.

"It's kind of longevity," Green said. "Going into it, it was a personal goal but it's Mt. Zion's 100th win too and they're going to get a lot more. Hopefully, I'll get a few more. This is something that says a lot of accomplishment. They had to go 8-2 to get and they got it."

Mt. Zion had little trouble giving Green his 100th victory.

The Bulldogs jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and led 22-6 at the half.

Mt. Zion's defense shut North Atlanta down for much of the game, allowing just 53 total yards in the first half.

Mt. Zion's offense ground up more than 300 yards rushing with Jamaal Clark leading the way with 86 yards on nine carries.

Rashad Cunningham had 14 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns while Aubrey Dorsey added 13 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Mt. Zion had already clinched a playoff spot going into the game and even with the victory, the Bulldogs can do no better than a No. 3 seed out of Region 5-AAAA.

Mt. Zion will have to travel to either Northwest Whitfield or Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe for the first round of the playoffs, which begin next Friday.

"We've got some work to do," Green said. "We've got a good team if they execute."