Photo by Brian Paglia
Mundy’s Mill running back Rodney Smith (1) turns the corner just before Drew linebacker Terrell Jordan can bring him down.
LOVEJOY — Brandon Davis made a pretty lofty goal for himself at the beginning of the season.
The Lovejoy defensive back promised that he would take his first interception of the season back for a touchdown.
In the ninth-ranked Wildcats’ 50-0 win over Morrow on Friday, the senior made good on that promise.
In the closing minutes of the Region 2-AAAAAA win, Davis intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards untouched at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
“I promised coach I was going to do it, so I had to,” Davis said. “I’m still tired from that run.”
In fact, it was Davis who set the tone early for the Wildcats (6-1, 3-0) in their second straight shutout win. Davis took the opening kickoff 85 yards for an apparent touchdown, but it was called back because of a holding penalty.
The Wildcats still scored on that opening possession, when Travis Custis capped an eight-play, 77-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown with 8:52 remaining. The senior running back would finish the game with 99 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns.
Last week against Rockdale County, Custis had 98 yards rushing and four touchdowns and was named the Atlanta Touchdown Club Back of the Week.
“I thought we did a good job out there,” Lovejoy coach Al Hughes said. “We made some mistakes that we have to correct.”
Mainly in the penalties department. The Wildcats were penalized nine times for 80 yards, and had two special teams touchdowns called back. In addition to Davis’ kickoff return that was called back, the Wildcats had a punt return for a score called back in the first half.
Lovejoy defensive coordinator Kevin Jones was pleased with his team’s defensive effort in getting their second straight shutout. Last season, the Wildcats had eight shutouts en route to reaching the Class AAAA title game.
This was the first game that Jones’ defense has been at full strength, with the return of Demarquis Gates and Eugene Fuller.
“I feel a lot better about the flow of our defense,” Jones said. “We did a good job of stuffing the run. They had a lot of plays that went for negative yards.”
Morrow could only muster 32 yards of offense.
“This was a total team effort out there,” Fuller said. “I thought the defense played well while we were out. We are just one small piece to this big machine.”
The majority of the Lovejoy starters only played three quarters as the second half was played with a running clock.
Wildcats quarterback Alejandro Bennifield threw for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter as the Wildcats led 42-0 at the intermission.
Custis had touchdown runs of 3, 14 and 49 yards.
“I thought the coaches did a good job of getting us ready,” Hughes said. “We will get back at it Monday to get ready for the next game.”