By Anthony Rhoads, Doug Gorman and Jeffery Armstrong
Mt. Zion's Rashad Cunningham dreamed on the bus that he would return a kickoff for a touchdown against Jonesboro. There was one more thing he said he did during that kickoff-return dream.
"Not only did I dream I would return the kickoff for a touchdown, but I also dreamed I would stiff-arm [former teammate] Tyderick Williams on the way to end zone," Cunningham said. "I can't believe my dream happened in real life."
Dream warrior, part 2: Cunningham wasn't the only Mt. Zion player to predict an event in Friday's game against Jonesboro. Mt. Zion wide receiver Keon Montgomery also told his teammates on the bus that they would shut Jonesboro out Friday. The Bulldogs won 26-0.
Words to live by: Mt. Zion linebacker Marlon Abernathy said he and his teammates weren't looking past Jonesboro in anticipation of their big game against North Clayton on Friday. Abernathy and his teammates said they kept thinking about head coach Jackie Green's favorite saying to his players.
"He always says one player, one play, one game at a time," Abernathy said.
No Respect: Like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, the unbeaten North Clayton Eagles (3-0) are still looking for some respect. Despite a fast start, and some convincing wins, head coach Don Shockley's club hasn't made an appearance in the AP Top-10 poll.
It's not something that bothers Shockley.
"The polls are for the community, rankings are for the community," Shockley said. "Rankings are something to be proud of, but the only poll that really matters is at the end of the season. Our goal is to win the next ball game,"
Youth movement: Football fans in the Southern Crescent can expect the Eagles to be competitive for sometime to come.
"This is a young ball club," said Shockley. "We will have eight or nine starters back on offense next year, and seven or eight starters back on defense."
Flying-high: Winston Bowens had a knack for finding the end zone Friday night in the North Clayton win against the Forest Park. Bowens scored one TD on both sides of the ball.
King for a day: Mundy's Mill's William Turner was named homecoming king Saturday at halftime during the Mundy's Mill-Riverdale game at Tara Stadium.
Giving credit to the offensive line: Eagle's Landing Christian Academy gained about 500 yards in their 56-42 victory over Dutchtown Friday night.
After the victory, head coach Tim Luke was quick to credit the effort to the offensive line.
"If it wasn't for our offensive line, (quarterback) Cole (Springer) wouldn't have been 14 of 17," Luke said. "They blocked their tails off."
The ELCA offensive line had to do without senior John Butler Friday night. Butler dislocated his pinky on the opening kickoff and was taken to the hospital, where he had to have surgery.
Playing through the mistakes: Even though ELCA racked up yardage and points Friday night, it didn't mean the team was free of miscues. The Chargers fumbled five times, losing three, and racked up nearly 100 yards in penalties.
"I'm so proud that they refused to lay down even though it seemed like every break went against us," Luke said. "I don't know how many turnovers we had and I don't know how many penalties we had but we invented ways to keep them in the ball game. I'm not taking anything away from Dutchtown, as much heart as we showed tonight, Dutchtown showed just as much."
They really missed their kicker: Friday, ELCA kicker Tyler Moore got sick at school and had to miss the game against Dutchtown.
Moore was definitely missed as ELCA had to go for two-point conversions on all but two of its nine touchdowns. The Chargers missed both extra points and made only one of the two-point conversions.
Even though the kicking game was not up to par Friday, Luke said he was pleased with the special teams play overall.
The Chargers had several long kickoff returns and had solid play on kickoff coverage.
"If it wasn't for special teams, I don't know if we would have won," Luke said.
Alec Huber had two kickoff returns of 52 and 71 yards. Tim Waters had a 52-yard kickoff return. Waters also scored two rushing touchdowns, caught three passes for 130 yards and intercepted one pass.
Getting offensive: Both ELCA and Dutchtown's offenses were unstoppable Friday night. Eagle's Landing Christian scored nine touchdowns while Dutchtown scored seven.
The final five minutes of the second quarter were especially exciting as the teams combined for five touchdowns. The teams combined for about 900 yards in the game.
Big play: Dutchtown running back Calvin Gibson got the chance to throw a couple of passes in Friday's night game. He completed just one pass but it was a big one.
On a third-and-nine in the fourth quarter, Dutchtown quarterback Andrew Ussery handed off to Gibson. Gibson then threw to J'Mal Carlisle for a 40-yard gain.
Gibson was also involved in another trick play for Dutchtown in the third quarter.
Dutchtown was attempting a 33-yard field goal but it turned out to be a fake as Gibson took the ball and ran for a touchdown.