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North Clayton’s defense rules the night

Photo by Jerry Jackson
North Clayton quarterback Dennis Johnson looks to pass the ball during first-half action in the Eagles’ 22-0 win over Mundy’s Mill at Twelve Oaks Stadium Friday.

Photo by Jerry Jackson North Clayton quarterback Dennis Johnson looks to pass the ball during first-half action in the Eagles’ 22-0 win over Mundy’s Mill at Twelve Oaks Stadium Friday.

A game ending in a 22-0 score is normally not referred to as a defensive struggle.

But with the exception of the second quarter, the game between North Clayton and Mundy’s Mill at Twelve Oaks Stadium on Friday night was exactly that.

North Clayton’s explosive offensive burst came late in the first half.

Overall, both coaches were satisfied with their defensive efforts.

North Clayton begins the young season with a 2-0 record courtesy of stallwart defensive efforts in both games after defeating arch-rival Riverdale the first week of the season.

“I’m very happy with our team defense after two games,” North Clayton coach Max Wiltz said. “When the offense sputters, teams must win with defense.”

On offense, North Clayton went to the well often in running inside handoffs from their well-oiled Wing-T offense.

Running backs La’Darius Mathis and Chris Weems packed the pigskin for over 100 yards on traps and reverses.

Also, during the highly-productive second quarter, senior quarterback Dennis Johnson connected on long bombs to Weems and wide receiver Justin Varner.

But it was North Clayton’s precision running game that kept the ball away from the Mundy’s Mill offense.

Mathis scored two running touchdowns while Weems added a third.

Mundy’s Mill showed flashes of offensive potential throughout the game, but costly penalties hampered their efforts.

In the third quarter with three minutes left on the clock, the Tigers mounted a drive and appeared to be driving for a score.

However, a bad snap in the shotgun offense ended that threat.

Meanwhile, Mundy’s Mill begins the season at 0-2 overall and in the region. The silver lining on that cloud is that both the Lovejoy Wildcats and the North Clayton Eagles are in their rearview mirror.

Both Lovejoy and North Clayton are perennial playoff teams and seems poised to keep that tradition alive.

A huge game looms next week at Tara Stadium as North Clayton hosts Lovejoy.

The winner will remain in first place in Region 4-AAAA, which plays a 10-game region schedule.