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Thursday Night Lights set for Clayton prep lineups

By Doug Gorman

High School football games aren't just meant to be played on Friday and Saturday nights.

In addition to the traditional weekend games, several Clayton County teams are scheduled to play on Thursday night.

Starting with the season-opener between rivals Lovejoy and Mt. Zion on August 18 at Twelve Oaks Stadium, four high school football games are scheduled for Thursday night

The Lovejoy-Mt. Zion game showcases two teams which went to the playoffs last year. It's the second year in a row, Mt. Zion has opened with Lovejoy. The Bulldogs won last season's opener, but Lovejoy went on to win the Region 4-AAAA title.

Lovejoy's offense features quarterback Mario Fannin, who recently committed to play college football at Auburn University.

Mt. Zion starts the season with a new coach at the helm, as Bob Ryan takes over for long-time coach Jackie Green, who retired at the end of the last season.

Both Lovejoy and Mt. Zion each play one more game on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs take on North Clayton, which went undefeated in the regular season in 2004 behind the play of quarterback Morgan Burnett on Sept. 15 at Tara.

The game with the Bulldogs is the only Thursday night contest on the schedule for the Eagles.

Lovejoy wraps up the regular season with a Thursday game on Oct. 27 against county rival Mundy's Mill at a game scheduled for Twelve Oaks.

Mundy's Mill will be under the direction of first-year head coach Kenneth Barrow, a one-time assistant coach at Morrow High School.

In week No. 2 of the season, Tara Stadium will be home to a Thursday night contest between long-time rivals Riverdale and Morrow. The Raiders made the playoffs last season, finishing the year 6-5 overall.

Morrow won just one time last year, beating Forest Park in the season opener. New coach Kennedy Holt will try and change the Mustangs' fortunes this season.

Neither team will play again on Thursday.

Games will also be played at Tara and Twelve Oaks on Friday and Saturdays throughout the season.

Ticket deal: High School football fans in Clayton County can purchase tickets at discounted rates the upcoming season by purchasing their seats early.

Fans buying tickets early can choose at five-game ticket package for $25 and a 10-game ticket package for $45.

The special ticket package can be used at any game at Tara or Twelve Oaks. These ticket packages can be purchased at Tara Stadium or at any Clayton County High School during business hours. For more information contact Bob or Denise at 770 473-2845.