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Creekside vs. Mt. Zion Preview

September 7, 2011
Great American Football Classic

By Scott Smith

Mount Zion head coach Jamie Aull knows what it feels like to play in the Georgia Dome as he particitpated in the state semifinals in 1999 as a member of Mount Zion in a game against Marist.

"The warm ups and the first quarter are all a blur," Aull said of his dome experience. "But once you get settled in, it's like any other game."

Even though it isn't a playoff game, his team still gets the opportunity to play in the state's largest arena against Region 4-AAAA foe Creekside.

"I'm thrilled to death, especially for our kids," Aull said. "It's a once in a lifetime experience to play in the dome. I played there in 1999 and I'll never forget it. I'm glad that our kids are getting that opportunity."

Saturday's game will be just the second meeting between the two schools and, if it's like the first one, will certainly be one for the ages.

The first meeting took place in 2010 and the game ended with Mount Zion taking a narrow 21-19 victor, only having to forfeit that win later in the season.

If Mount Zion is going to repeat with a win on the field, it will have to find a way to contain Creekside's prolific offense.

The Seminoles, which finished 8-3 last year, put 68 points on the board in their season opener against Morrow.

The center piece of the Creekside offense is Josh Holsey, a 5-7, 170-pound receiver with 4.47 speed that has commited to Auburn.

Joining Holsey at receiver is another D-1 commit in Davion Tooks, who announced his plans at attend Virginia Tech earlier this year. Also helping are Eric Berry's (former linebacker star at Tennessee) younger twin brothers Elliott and Evan. Even as sophomores, both are already impact players with Elliott playing running back and defensive end, while Evan is quarterback and safety.

Mount Zion will look to middle linebacker Keith Darnell to help slow down Creekside's attack. Darnell is getting interest from several 1-AA programs, including University of Tennesee-Chattanooga.

The offense for Mount Zion is led by a young but experienced quarterback in Montel Buchanan. Despite being just a junior, Buchanan startel all 10 games last year as a sophomore.

"I am expecting (Mount Zion) to bring a big crowd and to be ready to play," Creekside head coach Johnny White said. "I am also excited for our kids because very few teams get the chance to play in the dome."

Mount Zion's offense is as high-paced as Creekside's as it runs the spread, often times with no huddle. Defensively, look for the Bulldogs to run multiple sets based out of the 3-5.


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