By Jeffery Armstrong, Anthony Rhoads and Doug Gorman
Lovejoy Wildcats player David McHone booted deep punts and kickoffs against the Riverdale Raiders all night last Friday in their 23-20 win. McHone's punts pinned the Raiders in their territory for most of the game. McHone said there's a reason for the length of his kicks.
"I do a lot of stretching and work in the weight room," he said. "The weight-room work really helps."
Hard hit: McHone also had the "lick of the night" against Riverdale, according to a Lovejoy assistant coach. McHone booted the ball deep on a kickoff and then sprinted down the field to make a punishing tackle on the Riverdale return man. The crowd gasped when McHone hit him.
Putting it back: Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes said that for the Riverdale game, the Wildcats went back to a 4-3 defense instead of the 5-3 defense they ran during the first two weeks. Hughes praised his team for having to learn a new defense and prepare for Riverdale at the same time.
"I'm proud of how my guys handled the new defense and prepared for Riverdale's option attack in a week," Hughes said.
Words to live by: After the Riverdale game, both McHone and Lovejoy defensive lineman Lee Isom both talked about something their head coach always says to them.
"Coach Hughes always tells us that big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games," they said.
Have to get it back: While Lovejoy's Al Hughes was happy to run the ball against Riverdale, he was a little down about the way his offense is playing.
"I'm glad we controlled the clock during some points during the game; I felt that was what we needed to do," Hughes said. "But, man, I really miss our P.E. offense. We've got to get back to having our wide open offense."
Streak busters: The North Clayton Eagles football team broke two streaks in two weeks. They finally beat Riverdale on the field for the first time in five years and beat Lovejoy for the first time ever. Lovejoy had been 4-0 against North Clayton.
Quiet down: Two weeks ago, North Clayton wide receiver Dirk Engram tried to warn his quarterback Morgan Burnett that Lovejoy's Keith Fitzhugh was coming on a blitz but he wasn't successful. Fitzhugh got a good shot on Burnett on that blitz.
"Our band was playing so loud during the play Morgan couldn't hear me," Engram said.
It's No. 2: Burnett's 95-yard touchdown pass to Engram against Lovejoy was the second-longest TD pass in North Clayton history, according to Clayton County high school football historian Ira Kirkpatrick. The longest TD pass in school history was a 98-yard strike from Donny Lawrence to Ozzie Miller in 1988 against Jonesboro.
Coming together as a team: Last Wednesday, the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy football team didn't have practice but had a team meeting where every player got up and spoke.
Head coach Tim Luke said it was a good bonding experience for the players.
"It was awesome," Luke said. "I am so proud of these boys."
It appears like the inspirational meeting did the Chargers some good as they went out Friday night and beat Georgia Military College Prep 28-3.
"We came out and took it to a well-established team," Luke said. "It's exciting to show people we belong."
Like greased lightning: Union Grove quarterback Dustin Alley might be the most hard to tackle football player on the football field. The junior quarterback has the ability to elude sacks with his quick breakaway speed. Several times during Friday night's victory against Newton County, Alley dropped back several times to pass, only to tuck the football under his arm for extra yardage.
Finally a challenge: After rolling through easy victories in their first three games, the Mt. Vernon finally faced a challenge from Colonial Hills. Mt. Vernon won the game 26-18 behind Nathan Cooks' 3 TDs.