HOSCHTON - When Mill Creek opened its doors in 2004, the bulk of its students made the move from Dacula to Gwinnett's newest school. That move planted the seed for a future football rivalry which finally came to sprout Friday night at Mill Creek Community
In front of an overflowing crowd of over 8,000 fans, the first bloom of what promises to be a long-time affair proved to be a lopsided event as Dacula blanked the upstart Hawks 34-0.
The atmosphere for the game was electric with its capacity crowd, banners, massive tailgating in the parking lot and countless numbers of students who showed their spirit with body paint. One row of shirtless Dacula fans even took up an entire row to spell out "Seriously, is this a joke?!"
The outcome certainly was not a joke, no matter which side of the stands you were standing.
"They (Mill Creek) were the spinoff from us and our kids and their kids went to elementary school and know each other," Dacula head coach Kevin Maloof said. "That tends to make it a fun night for the fans."
Dacula's defense played just as well as it did in last week's 6-0 win over Central, but it was the passing game and special teams play that set the Falcons apart.
Quarterback Kyle White was nearly flawless, completing 11 of 15 passes for 217 yards and four touchdowns. Blair Frost and Cameron Kinney proved to be his favorite targets as the pair combined for nine catches, 197 yards and three TDs.
"It was hard coming out and playing our friends," Kinney said. "We knew we had to come out and do what we do and play it like any other game."
Kinney finished his night with six catches for 142 yards and one score while Frost added three more catches for 55 yards and two TDs.
Despite giving up the big plays in the air, Mill Creek (0-2) proved to be a force in stopping the run, limiting Dacula (2-0) to just 74 yards on the ground on 28 carries.
Mill Creek even outgained the Falcons on the ground, gaining 110 yards on 34 carries, led by 72 yards on 10 attempts by Marvin Sublett.
However, the Hawks were unable to forge any passing attack as quarterback Zach Landis (younger brother of Dacula's starting quarterback from last year, Spencer Landis) was just 3-for-15 for 18 yards.
"They (Dacula) have got a good football team, period," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "We had a hard time matching up to their speed and athleticism. We knew what they were going to do but you still have to stop it and we didn't. That's a credit to their players."
White's first TD pass came with 5:01 left in the first on an 8-yard strike to Frost. Mill Creek then thwarted two Dacula scoring drives on the Falcons' next two possession by forcing and recovering two fumbles.
The Hawks couldn't gain any momentum from those defensive stops and Dacula went up 14-0 with 2:32 left before halftime on Frost's second TD, a 22-yard catch from White.
The Falcons made it 21-0 just 90 seconds later when White tossed his third TD pass of the night, this time a beautiful 20-yard strike down the middle to Kinney.
"We've got threats everywhere on the field," Kinney said of his team's offense. "From the tight end to number eight (Frost), it's everywhere."
Cole Brodie helped Dacula put Mill Creek away for good with 4:24 left in the third with a 90-yard punt return for a score and White's final TD pass came with 10:09 to play on a 12-yard pass to Michael Butler.