DACULA - With a playoff spot already clinched, Dacula picked up some momentum before the start of the postseason on Friday night, defeating Meadowcreek 28-3 with a stingy defense and a decent night on offense.
The Falcons, the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAAA, open the playoffs next week at Region 7-AAAAA champion Peachtree Ridge.
"I thought defensively we played great again," Dacula head coach Kevin Maloof said. "I am really proud of those guys."
After both teams opened with unsuccessful drives, Dacula defensive back Cody Davis intercepted a Sean Frezell pass and weaved his way 40 yards for the game's first score.
"Cody Davis made a great interception early and gave us some breathing room," Maloof said.
With the lead, Dacula (5-5, 5-3) put the clamps on Meadowcreek (1-9, 0-8), pressuring Frezell and defending numerous deep pass attempts by the Mustangs. The defense also limited Meadowcreek to 31 yards on the ground in the first half.
In the second quarter, the Falcons drove deep into Meadowcreek territory with some solid runs by running back Aashad Holloway.
Dacula finished the drive when quarterback Hunter Watts scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak to give his team a two-score advantage at 14-0.
The Mustangs responded with their best drive of the opening half as Frezell connected with three different receivers, driving his team to the Dacula 17-yard line before settling for a 33-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 11.
However, 58 seconds later Dacula answered that score with the best play of the opening half when Watts hit receiver Marshall Steed with a beautiful rainbow pass that landed right in Steed's hands, allowing him to run the final few yards into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown completion and a 21-3 halftime lead.
In the second half, Dacula started with a very physical drive, covering 70 yards and culminating in a 14-yard touchdown run by Holloway, who amassed 103 rushing yards on 21 carries, to give his team a 28-3 advantage.
The win was a little bittersweet for Maloof, who was facing his former team for the first time in his 18-year coaching career at Dacula. Maloof started the Meadowcreek program in 1986 and his Mustang team was defeated by Dacula 22-21 in 1987, the last time the two schools played.
Though he is happy with the win, Maloof admits that it was not an easy victory to savor.
"It was hard, those kids have a special place in my heart that school does, the adversity those kids have fought through, their seniors especially, they have my utmost respect," Maloof said.