Dacula head coach Jared Zito had a firm grip on Friday's game ball. The first-year Falcons coach cherished his first win at the school, a 20-6 victory over Brookwood.
"It's probably going to go in my office, so I can think about it for the next 20 years," Zito said of the game ball. "That first one is the one you always remember. This one right here can't be better. I've had a lot of criticism, a lot of naysayers and this is probably the game no one thought we would win, especially after the first two ball games."
Friday's win was even sweeter after starting the year 0-2 and then beating defending Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood.
"I couldn't ask for a better one," Zito said. "Perfect time, perfect opponent, region play, I just can't say enough about our kids, our coaching staff and everybody involved. It's a great family effort.
Dacula began the season with losses to Region 7-AAAAA powers Norcross and Mill Creek, allowing 35 points a game. The defense made three big stops in the red zone in Friday's win. The victory pumped new life into Dacula as it began Region 8-AAAAA play with a win.
"This is the team I thought we could be and I told the guys don't go back to the other team," Zito said. "Now you know who you can be. Be this team from now on."
Felton a weapon for Hawks
Mill Creek sophomore DeVozea Felton has become a special teams threat early in the season, including a big showing in Friday night's 28-0 win over Cherokee.
The speedy Felton set up the Hawks' first touchdown with a 25-yard punt return to the Cherokee 20. He could have gone longer on that run, but was dragged down by a personal-foul facemask penalty that moved the ball to the 10-yard line.
Felton then took the second-half kickoff 78 yards down to the Cherokee 1, weaving his way through traffic all the way to the end. An illegal block near the end zone pushed possession back to the Cherokee 23, but Alonzo Collins scored on the next play for a 21-0 lead.
"(Felton's) a little secret," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "He's going to get more and more touches as the season goes along."
Almost Miller time
Some of the catches may have come when the score got lopsided, but Dorren Miller flashed both speed and route running in Berkmar's loss to Central Gwinnett.
The 6-foot-2 junior caught a game-high six balls for another game-best 170 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown grad that started the scoring Friday night.
He was also open plenty of other occasions but the defensive pressure on Patriot quarterback Dion Perry forced off-target throws or no-throws.
Spencer emerges from Spartans QB shuffle
Greater Atlanta Christian alternated three quarterbacks relatively equally in its first three victories, but it looks like one member of the trio is starting to come into his own with a key test looming Saturday at the Georgia Dome against Region 6-AA crossover foe Westminster.
Delano Spencer, a junior transfer from Parkview, was 8 of 10 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 33 yards and a score on six carries as the No. 3-ranked Spartans defeated Holy Innocents' 48-14 on Friday night.
Spencer entered on GAC's second series after senior starter Jared Chapple had thrown an interception and was 4-for-4 on a 91-yard drive capped by a 21-yard TD pass. That set the tone and the Spartans added four more touchdowns before halftime as Spencer completed his first eight throws.
The Spartans had 452 yards from scrimmage and added 129 on returns as they increased their point total to 111 in three games.
Chapple and junior David McTier were a combined 3 of 9 passing for 15 yards, but Chapple did have 34 yards rushing on four carries.
Eagles flag free
While Collins Hill was plagued by mistakes in its 31-14 loss to No. 10 state-ranked M.L. King at Hallford Stadium, there was one area of the game it played completely clean football in.
The Eagles went the entire game without being called for a single penalty, while the host Lions were flagged 14 times for a total of 106 yards in mark offs.
National stage brings noted visitors to Buford
In addition to a national cable television audience on ESPNU, Buford also welcomed several other football dignitaries to Tom Riden Stadium for their 49-7rout of Yulee (Fla.) -- not surprising considering the number of Wolves seniors considered top college prospects.
Among those famous faces in the crowd were Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, along with assistant coaches from Florida State and Florida.
-- Sports Editor Will Hammock, staff writers Ben Beitzel, Brandon Brigman and David Friedlander, senior correspondent Scott Smith and correspondent Guy Curtright contributed to this report