DULUTH - North Gwinnett head football coach Bob Sphire was concerned about Friday night's game with Duluth being a "trap" game for his Bulldogs - as next week's huge matchup against Peachtree Ridge loomed on the calendar.
As it turned out, it wasn't a trap game for North Gwinnett, just a bad snap game for Duluth.
In the first half alone, four high snaps that sailed over the Duluth quarterback and punter accounted for minus-49 yards and two safeties, and North Gwinnett also scored a second-quarter touchdown from one of the ensuing free kicks to take an 18-0 halftime lead and cruise to a 32-0 win in 7-AAAAA play at Cecil Morris Field.
Even though some of the damage done to Duluth was self-inflicted, the North Gwinnett defense was dominant all night.
Duluth (1-4, 0-3 region) did not manage a single first down in the first half and of the 17 plays the Wildcats ran from scrimmage, 10 of them went for zero or negative yardage. Duluth, which had minus-25 yards of offense at the intermission, finished the game with just 40 yards of total offense.
"Defense has been our bell cow in terms of leading the way this year," said Sphire. "We have a great defensive staff. Maurice Dixon, our defensive coordinator, does a magnificent job."
The North offense did its share as well, putting up 304 yards - once again led by the play of quarterback Michael Tamburo.
Tamburo had another efficient night, completing 14 of 18 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 22 yards, including a 19-yard scoring scamper late in the third quarter.
Tyler Jarry caught touchdown passes of six and 36 yards and finished with three catches for 53 yards. He also rushed seven times for 58 yards. Cordero Dixon caught four balls for 70 yards which included his 49-yard catch and run that ended the scoring for the Bulldogs. Kirtley Dovel rushed five times for 31 yards.
The third-ranked Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 region) can now turn their focus to fourth-ranked Peachtree Ridge.
"Well first, I'm tickled to death to be undefeated in the region," said Sphire. "They (Peachtree Ridge) are really, really good. We will struggle to score against those guys. In fact, it will be a miracle if we can do anything against them.
"Offensively, we have yet to put a consistent pattern of plays together all year. We have not been consistent at all. That will need to improve if we are to have any chance."
NORTH GWINNETT 32
North Gwinnett: Tyler Jarry 6 pass from Michael Tamburo (Kyle Micek
North Gwinnett: Safety, 4:22
North Gwinnett: Safety, :15
North Gwinnett: Jarry 36 pass from Tamburo (Micek kick) 10:07
North Gwinnett: Tamburo 19 run (Micek kick) 4:35
North Gwinnett: Cordero Nixon 49 pass from Tamburo (Micek kick) 2:55