Led by first-year head coach Keith Holloway, the Mt. Zion High School football team broke a streak of 21 consecutive losses dating back to the first game of the 2010 season with a 46-13 home triumph over North Cobb Christian — marking a special night for a coaching staff and group of Eagle players that have worked tirelessly to get back on the winning track.
“Oh, yeah, it was just a great night for Mt. Zion. The school, the community, the kids, the coaches — just everybody — we’ve been needing this for a long time,” Holloway said. “You know, they played hard, they stayed focused. Defensively, we played lights out in the first half and offensively we took care of the ball and our backs ran really hard. I was really proud of them. All of them ran hard. [Quarterback] Tristen Puckett did a great job of taking care of the ball for us and the offensive line got better as the game went on. It was just a great win for us.”
Mt. Zion (1-1) got a pair of rushing touchdowns from senior tailback Nathan Bernhardt, while T.K. Tuggle, T.J. Garrett and Picel Farley also scored offensively. Fernando Valles blocked a punt and returned it for a score to stamp the exclamation point on the ‘W.’
MZ dominated the game from start to finish, leading 40-0 at one point before North Cobb Christian (1-2) — also the Eagles — was able to generate some late offense.
Holloway said Friday night was an evening to enjoy the victory, but the MZ coach also wants his team to understand there’s a lot more wins to be had this season.
“It’s good to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, we told the kids after the game, ‘Enjoy this one. Then we’re going to get down to business on Monday and get ready for Walker.’ We want it to snowball and hopefully give us some momentum. You know, Walker’s got a really good team. They’re 3-0 now and we’ve got to go to their place. So we’ve got to have a good week of practice next week and be focused,” Holloway said.