Mount Zion puts trust in quarterback

From Staff Reports

Mount Zion quarterback Montel Buchanon is a first-year starter, but the sophomore has the full confidence of his teammates.

After coming into the game in the second quarter, Buchanon sparked the Bulldogs offense in the win over Creekside in a key Region 4-AAAA game.

Buchanon was 5 of 8 for 85 yards and a touchdown, a 6-yard scoring play to Austin Smith, which proved to be the game-winner in the fourth quarter.

"He is a gutsy football player," Mount Zion coach Jamie Aull said about Buchanon.

"He is a natural-born leader," Bulldogs senior running back Quartterrio Morgan said.

DUAL ROLE: Austin Smith started his first game at quarterback this season after Montel Buchanon had to sit out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons.

Smith was 2 of 5 passing for eight yards.

He did most of the damage against Creekside with his receiving ability. Smith had three receptions for 30 yards, including a 6-yard scoring reception that was the game-winner with 6:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"Montel might be young," Smith said. "But he can carry this offense. That was a perfect pass he threw for the touchdown. I was just trying to get my feet down."

SAME AS 2008: Bulldogs coach Jamie Aull said this season's team is similiar to the 2008 group that reached the Class AAAA quarterfinals.

Like the 2008 team, this year's team has had several close wins. The Bulldogs beat Jonesboro and Creekside by a combined three points. It also defeated winless Forest Park 13-0 in the second game of the season.

"We have played every game very close," Aull said. "I'll take a win by two points or by penetration. I don't care as long as the scoreboard shows a "W" after the game in our favor."

MAKING HISTORY?: For Dutchtown, this season feels like 2009 all over again ... so far.

The Bulldogs are off to their second 4-0 start in school history. They got off to the same fast start last season.

But, last season, after starting 4-0, Dutchtown lost its next game to Alcovy, which proved to be the loss that prevented the Bulldogs from making their first playoff appearance, despite a 7-3 record.

"I told the kids, 'Let's make history, not repeat history,'" Dutchtown coach Jason Galt said. "We've been there. We've been in this situation before. Hopefully, we'll learn from it and come through."

WHAT A RUSH: Dutchtown running back Mychael Brown is probably the Southern Crescent's leading rusher through five weeks.

The senior has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in each of the Bulldogs' four games, most recently a 121-yard, two-touchdown performance Friday at Ola in a 24-7 victory.

On the season, Brown has 64 carries for 590 yards and eight touchdowns. He's averaging 147.5 yards a game, but the Bulldogs still have to face tough defenses in Griffin, Union Grove and Woodland.

UNANSWERED POINTS: The Jonesboro Cardinals fell behind 13-0 Friday night agaisnt Forest Park, allowing the Panthers to score their first points of the year before going on a roll and winning the contest 43-13.

OFFENSIVE SURGE: The Lovejoy Wildcats offense was so hot early, it scored 36 points in the first quarter behind the play of Travis Custis, who scored three first-quarter touchdowns in the victory against Morrow.Lovejoy moved to 3-0 on the year.

DEFENSE WINS: The Lovejoy Wildcats improved to 3-0 with Friday night's win.

Head coach Al Hughes' club is getting it done on both sides of the football. Yes, it's scoring its share of points, putting up 27 points against both Mundy's Mill and North Clayton and 44 against Morrow. But its stingy defense has helped the cause too, as the team has only given up 29 points in three ganes, and average of just over nine points per game.