Boys Varsity Football
McDONOUGH — Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy entered the 2018 season fresh off another state championship and sporting a 36-game winning streak.
The Chargers started slow but eventually kicked into their customary high performance, pushing their winning streak to 37 games with a 41-0 victory over Morrow High Friday night at home.
ELCA did so against a team many expect to do well this season. Morrow finished 5-5 a season ago, missing the postseason by one game. It was the program’s best record since 1998.
The first quarter of the game was as sloppy as expected for a season opener. The two teams combined for five turnovers, the first of which came on an interception of Morrow High’s Kris Clark by Devon Dorsey. ELCA didn’t keep the ball long as Brayden Rush threw his own interception a few plays later.
Clark threw another interception, this time to Kobi Mitchell, but Morrow regained possession after Mitchell fumbled when he was tackled. Tabious Clemmons then fumbled for Morrow, giving the ball back to ELCA.
"Yeah, man, it was a crazy game," ELCA head coach Jonathan Gess said. "I didn't know it was five turnovers. I know we had one turnover and I guess we gave one back on the interception. We took a shot and the kid made a play and did a good job, but we would make that call again in the same situation. I think everybody had jitters. It was the first game and things were going to be sloppy and you got to work through that."
After an ugly start to the game, ELCA locked in and dominated for the remainder of the contest. Keaton Mitchell’s big night running the ball started with a 26-yard gain. He then eventually broke the deadlock with a 13-yard touchdown run. Rush found the end zone with a run on ELCA’s next drive, giving the Chargers a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
The Chargers padded their lead in the second quarter. Mitchell scored two more times in the period, sending the Chargers into the halftime break up 28-0.
After a brief lightning delay, the Chargers returned to the field with a mission to continue what they started. Rush scampered into the end zone from four yards out before Mitchell capped off his memorable night with a long 47-yard touchdown to finish the scoring in the game.
Morrow had two chances in the fourth quarter to score a touchdown but ELCA’s defense stepped up to complete the shutout. The game was eventually called midway through the fourth quarter after ELCA star Justin Menard left the game in an ambulance with an injury.
"We don't play these guys every week, they are number one for a reason," Morrow head coach Jerome Weaks said. We were fighting out butts off but you can't make mistakes like that against good teams."
The Chargers (1-0) will take on Pace Academy on the road next week, looking to extend their winning streak even further. Morrow High will take on Forest Park at home in a rivalry game at Tara Stadium. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.