Column: Brothers in arms

The answers aren't so easy anymore for David Landis.

Congratulations on your son, people will say.

"Which one?" Landis will reply.

The football player, people will say.

"Which one?"

The quarterback, people will say.

"Which one?"

Landis isn't being smart. It's just that things get a little confusing when you have two sons starting at quarterback for neighboring high schools. Which is what happened this past Friday night when freshman Zach Landis made his first varsity start for Mill Creek while big brother Spencer turned in his normal standout performance for Dacula.

Because of the rainy conditions, Zach didn't throw a pass in Mill Creek's 49-7 rout of North Oconee. But he got a win in his first start, giving the Landis family a pair of winning quarterbacks.

"We're proud, no doubt about it," said the elder Landis, who is the head wrestling coach at Mill Creek. "We're proud to have two good athletes in the family."

The brothers come by their athletic talents honestly. Their father was a two-time All-SEC wrestler at Georgia and their mother, Mary, was a two-time high school All-American in soccer at Stone Mountain High. Now, with Zach working his way into the starting lineup, the parents split up on Friday nights so the family is represented at both games.

Two weeks ago, David was told that Zach might get a chance to play vs. Alpharetta. So he made the drive there and got to see his youngest son throw the first touchdown pass of his career while his wife watched as Spencer helped the Falcons to a 35-0 homecoming victory over Centennial.

This past Friday the parents switched, with David watching Dacula beat Chattahoochee 23-0 behind Spencer's 163 rushing yards and Mary attending Zach's game.

"Mom had to go see her little baby's first start," Spencer said with a laugh.

He was curious about his brother as well, asking his dad how Zach did as soon as Dacula's game ended. The parents stay in constant contact via cell phone during the games, keeping tabs on both sons.

This week they'll switch up again, with David making the drive to Bremen to watch Zach and Mary going to Duluth to see Spencer. Mill Creek's season ends on Oct. 21 so things will work out a lot better for the family then, when everyone should be able to attend Dacula's season finale at Norcross.

It will be Zach's first chance to see Spencer in action this season, but little brother already knows how well his big brother plays. He sees the headlines and would like to make his own some day.

Said Zach: "I know if I get to where he's at that I'll be good."

Todd Cline can be reached via e-mail at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com . His column appears on Tuesdays.