0

Now it's Duluth aiming to break streak

When Meadowcreek and Duluth met on the football field this time last year, the Mustangs broke a 43-game losing streak with a 24-14 win at Meadowcreek Stadium.

The roles will be somewhat reversed when the Mustangs come calling to Cecil Morris Stadium tonight at 7:30 for the rematch, and the Wildcats are hoping for a reversal of fortune.

Duluth enters tonight's game on a 19-game losing streak dating back to Sept. 9, 2007, when the Wildcats posted a 7-0 win over - you guessed it - Meadowcreek.

They definitely remember when the Mustangs stopped their streak at their expense a year ago, and would just love to return the favor.

"I remember there was a lot of celebrating (by Meadowcreek)," Duluth coach Gary McDonald said. "They played good against us last year, and they've got a good squad this year - a very athletic squad."

Duluth nearly ended its streak last week. The Wildcats (0-1) led Shiloh most of the game, and a potential game-winning field goal sailed just wide before the Generals rallied to win 28-21 in overtime.

While the loss was another painful one, McDonald believes it is a sign better things are ahead of his team in the not-too-distant future.

"I think it does," McDonald said. "We're still a primarily sophomore and junior team, but I think they can see what hard work can do.

"(Last week's loss) was the first time I could see (the streak) really bothered them. It's a step in the right direction. It hurts to lose, and it's tough to work hard and lose, so you've just got to find a way and keep on plugging."

Meadowcreek (0-1) also understands that feeling, especially after last week's season-opening 47-0 loss to Luella at home.

But like McDonald, Mustangs coach David Ward also sees a silver lining among the apparent black clouds.

"Luella was a better team," Ward said. "But I've been in games where a team has been beaten 47-0 and they were just bad, and this wasn't one of them. We did some good things. We drove down inside the (Luella) 15-yard line about four or five times, but we just couldn't score.

"It wasn't like the kids weren't competing. ... I can't complain about the effort. We've just got to learn how to finish."

That's a lesson both teams are looking to learn, and a reasons both coaches have plenty of respect the opposition's offensive unit.

Ward knows the Mustangs will have their hands full against a Duluth offense that put up 258 yards last week against Shiloh, led by a solid night from quarterback Alex Fragoso, who completed 8 of 12 passes for 115 yards, with five of those passes going to tight end Hamilton Garner for 95 yards.

"When I look at the (Duluth-Shiloh) film, it's the best film I've seen in a while," Ward said. "There were almost no penalties. It was a clean-played and well-executed. You'd think your were looking at a team playing in Week 8, rather than Week 1. I was very impressed."

Likewise, McDonald is wary of several Mustangs, including quarterback Tydrell Wright - in just his second game under center after playing receiver last season - tight end Lavon Hooks and tailback Martez Ogletree, who ran for 136 yards on 15 carries last week.

"They've got a real big, athletic tight end, a quick quarterback and a tailback with a lot of speed," McDonald said of Meadowcreek. "Anytime you play a team that's got that, you've got to play hard on the perimeter.

"The key for us is keeping the ball on offense, and for three quarters, we did that."

SideBar: MEADOWCREEK AT DULUTH

Meadowcreek Mustangs (8-AAAAA)

Coach: David Ward

Record: 0-1

Last week: Lost Luella 47-0

Duluth Wildcats (7-AAAAA)

Coach: Gary McDonald

Record: 0-1

Last week: Lost to Shiloh 28-21 in OT

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Last Meeting: Meadowcreek won 24-14 last year

Directions to Duluth High School: From I-85, take Ga. Highway 120 east to Buford Highway and turn right. Take a left at the next light onto Brock Road and school is on the left.

Series history:

2008: Meadowcreek 24, Duluth 14

2007: Duluth 7, Meadowcreek 0

2006: Duluth 13, Meadowcreek 6, OT

2003: Duluth 38, Meadowcreek 14

2002: Duluth 45, Meadowcreek 6

2001: Duluth 45, Meadowcreek 29

2000: Meadowcreek 22, Duluth 12

1999: Duluth 18, Meadowcreek 13

1998: Duluth 31, Meadowcreek 27

1997: Meadowcreek 19, Duluth 6

1996: Meadowcreek 9, Duluth 7

1993: Duluth 7, Meadowcreek 3

1992: Meadowcreek 13, Duluth 7

1991: Meadowcreek 30, Duluth 15

1990: Meadowcreek 21, Duluth 14

1989: Meadowcreek 25, Duluth 7

1988: Duluth 19, Meadowcreek 0