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Eagles get defensive in debut

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Both North Clayton coach Rodney Hackney and Riverdale's Nick Davis made their much anticipated return to Clayton County on Saturday at Tara Stadium, but with much different results.

Hackney's Eagles team had an impressive defensive performance, holding Riverdale to 156 total yards of offense and forcing two turnovers to take a 16-0 victory.

North Clayton (1-0) held Riverdale quarterback Michael Adams to just 31 yards on 2-for-12 passing with no touchdowns and one interception. Adams didn't have much success on the ground either, rushing for 21 yards on 16 carries.

Juwhan Arnold led Riverdale (0-1) in rushing with 69 yards on 13 carries, as Davis' triple-option offense sputtered, averaging 3.67 yards per carry.

"They played well," Davis said. "Coach Hackney did a great job of getting his team prepared. I didn't. We didn't execute. We had too many dropped passes."

North Clayton's Clarence Jackson scored on a two-yard run, and Tony Koleti scored on a 1-yard run.

Wolverines Defense Gets Collins' Approval

Steven Collins had a lot to admire about his team's 45-0 victory against Ola on Friday. He extolled his running back Donovan Johnson, who rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns, and the offensive line that jostled the Mustangs defensive front.

But Collins was most impressed with the way the Wolverines' defensive line put the Ola offense into disarray from the opening snap, led by junior defensive end Anthony Williams. "Yea, Anthony Williams, he's a special guy," Collins said. "He's going to be a special player for us."

Williams, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound elite prospect that one recruiting magazine reported has the attention of esteemed colleges like Notre Dame, had one sack of Ola quarterback Darryl Dickey and swatted Dickey's arm as he went to throw on another play.

"We knew they were going to try the option game on us," Collins said. "We preached all week about assignment football. We're an attacking defense. But when he went back to throw it was just a matter of getting pressure on [Dickey]."

With the constant pressure from the defensive line, Ola only managed 93 yards of total offense.

Mustangs' Dickey Couldn't Avoid Beating

Ola coach John Kovzel started back-up Andrew Brunnert at quarterback to start against Union Grove on Friday in an effort to save his starter, Dickey, who has been nursing a sore shoulder since the team's scrimmage against Henry County on August 22. But Dickey replaced Brunnert after three ineffective series in which Brunnert missed on all three of his passing attempts.

Dickey came in and promptly hit tight end Dylan Thompson for a 16- and 11-yard gain, but the rest of his night was full of scrambling and avoiding Union Grove's relentless pass rush. Dickey finished the night 7-of-14 for 57 yards with one interception.

"We were trying to limit his time at quarterback as much as we could," Kovzel said. "He has a real deep, deep bruise, and we were just trying to give him some time off. We decided to go with [Brunnert], and they'd been pretty much equal [in practices]. Darryl just ran out of gas."

Ola Center's Injury a Concern

Ola center and long-snapper J.T. Brown clutched his knee after he tried to tackle Union Grove's Ed Wilkins on a punt return. Kovzel said he might have tore the left meniscus. Brown was sent to get X-rays after the game.

"If he's down that's a big blow," Kovzel said. "A three-year starter for me at center, a long-snapper. It'd be a huge blow."

Cornelius Compton went down on the same play, clutching his ankle, but Kovzel said Compton will be ready to play for the Mustangs' next game against Luella on Friday.

Jonesboro Holds Off Morrow

Jonesboro held off Morrow and new Mustangs head coach Larry Mortonson for a 21-14 victory Saturday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.