Mundy’s Mill quarterback Rodricous Gates scrambles for an 8-yard touchdown in the first half of the Tigers’ 47-14 loss to Lovejoy on Friday at Twelve Oaks Stadium. (Special Photo: Jerry Jackson)
HAMPTON — Before the Big Cat Classic began, Mundy’s Mill band shouted to the crowd that Twelve Oaks Stadium was their house, even though it sits on the Lovejoy campus.
Once the game began, Lovejoy showed who was the rightful owner.
The sixth-ranked Wildcats scored 35 unanswered points to dominate their neighborhood rival in a 47-13 victory on Friday night in the season-opener for both schools.
It was the seventh straight win for Lovejoy in the series, which it leads 9-2, and it was the first win for new Wildcats coach Edgar Carson.
“It is a little weight off my shoulder,” said Carson, who replaced Al Hughes during the offseason. “We have some things that we need to fix. Overall I thought we played well, but as a coach you always see some things that you can fix. We are going back to the lab and fix them, and get ready for the next game.”
Lovejoy travels to Dutchtown next week while Mundy’s Mill makes the trek Lawrenceville to take on Central Gwinnett, another Class AAAAAA opponent.
“We made too many mistakes out there to win,” Mundy’s Mill coach Greg Manior said. “You know Lovejoy is the real deal, and they showed it. We got Central Gwinnett and they got the same kid of athletes.”
Lovejoy did most its damage without all-state candidate wide receiver Preston Williams scoring. Although he had two touchdowns called back, Williams didn’t score to late in the third quarter.
Lovejoy led 7-0 on an 11-yard touchdown reception by Chauncey Jackson from Quintarius Neely. But Mundy’s Mill would pull to within 7-6 on an 8-yard run by quarterback Rodricous Gates with 5:18 remaining after a missed extra-point attempt.
However, Lovejoy would score 35 unanswered points to put the game out of reach.
“We showed that we got more than Preston,” said Neely, who accounted for three scores. “We got plenty of weapons on our team. We are not just a one-man show.”
“Preston is a big weapon for us, but our other guys have to set up,” Carson said. “We preached that the entire summer about everybody doing their part. It showed out here tonight, and we want to keep getting better.”
Despite the loss, Mundy’s Mill players said they will bounce back. This is nothing new for the Tigers, who lost their first four games last season to bounce back with eight wins and an appearance in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals.
“I think Lovejoy has made us a better team,” Gates said. “We have to learn from this game, and get better. I know we will be a better team. Our goal now is to win the next 14 games.”
Mundy’s Mill was able to move the ball some on the Lovejoy defense, but mistakes at the wrong time cost the Tigers more scoring.
“I think Mundy’s Mill will be a good team,” said Lovejoy defensive back Montrell Custis, who has committed to Alabama. “Defensively we played well, but we have to get better. I know we will go back to work, and get ready for our next game.”