LAWRENCEVILLE — Not everything went smoothly for Dacula’s football team Friday night at Mountain View.
There were some special teams issues and several costly penalties among the 18 for 135 yards the Falcons racked up. The defense gave up a couple of big pass plays. The offense completed only two passes for 17 yards.
That said, what the Falcons did well, they did very well.
Dacula rolled up 543 rushing yards, averaging 13.9 per attempt, in a 49-27 victory over the host Bears. Kyle Efford rushed 18 times for 274 yards and a score, while Kaleb Edwards rushed 10 times for 164 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ first victory of the season.
“Kyle and Kaleb, to me, that was a huge bright spot,” Dacula head coach Clint Jenkins said. “We were definitely able to run the ball when we needed to. We dropped some balls in the passing game. We have a lot of things to clean up and that’s what I told the kids.”
Dacula (1-2) led 14-13 at halftime, then seized control quickly in the second half. On the third play of the third quarter, Edwards raced for a 42-yard touchdown and a 21-13 lead after the PAT from Nick Daniel, who was 7-for-7 on the night.
Despite giving up a 61-yard kickoff return to Mountain View’s Marcus Brand, Dacula’s defense held and Edwards returned a punt 96 yards for a score that was called back by an illegal block behind the play at midfield. It was the second big return by Edwards negated by penalty — he had a punt return to the Mountain View 3-yard line brought back earlier by a running into the punter call.
The Falcons also fumbled a punt, missed a 27-yard field goal and had a 37-yard field goal blocked. But with the way the running game clicked, it covered up a lot of blemishes.
Edwards’ 78-yard TD run later in the third quarter made it 28-13, but Mountain View (1-4) cut it to 28-20 on a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Nathan Payne. Payne completed 25 of 41 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, two to Mossiah Carter, who had nine catches for 88 yards. Marcus Brand led the Bears with 10 catches for 145 yards and a score.
Efford carried three times for 52 yards on the ensuing drive, capping it with an 11-yard TD run for a 35-20 lead. E’mond Pittman’s 9-yard TD run pushed the lead out more before a 29-yard TD pass from Payne to Carter trimmed it back to 42-27. Blaine Jenkins’ TD run capped the Dacula scoring.
“The running game, we felt like it clicked there,” Clint Jenkins said.
Mountain View had control early in the game, building a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Dacula’s fumbled punt, moments after a penalty negated Edwards’ punt return to the Bears’ 3-yard line, set up the hosts for a 3-yard TD pass from Payne to Carter. Payne then found Brand for a 59-yard TD with 7:10 left in the second quarter, but the momentum stopped there.
Percy Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards to the Mountain View 6-yard line, setting up Edwards’ TD run on the next play.
“I felt like Percy, that definitely picked us up,” Clint Jenkins said. “That was a big shot in the arm for us at the time. We needed something positive to happen.”
Dacula forced a quick three-and-out and Daniel Poole blocked a Bears punt, allowing teammate T.J. Young to scoop it up and ramble to the Mountain View 7-yard line. Edwards’ 3-yard TD run followed for a 14-13 halftime lead.
DACULA 49, MOUNTAIN VIEW 27
Dacula 0 14 14 21 - 49
Mountain View 6 7 0 14 - 27
Mountain View: Mossiah Carter 3 pass from Nathan Payne (kick failed) :30
Mountain View: Marcus Brand 59 pass from Payne (Carson Van Horn kick) 7:10
Dacula: Kaleb Edwards 6 run (Nick Daniel kick) 6:50
Dacula: Edwards 3 run (Daniel kick) 4:26
Dacula: Edwards 42 run (Daniel kick) 10:35
Dacula: Edwards 78 run (Daniel kick) 3:07
Mountain View: Payne 1 run (Van Horn kick) 11:55
Dacula: Kyle Efford 11 run (Daniel kick) 10:57
Dacula: E’mond Pittman 9 run (Daniel kick) 8:10
Mountain View: Carter 29 pass from Payne (Van Horn kick) 7:09
Dacula: Blaine Jenkins 1 run (Daniel kick) 2:22
First downs 19 16
Rushes-yards 39-543 22-66
Passing yards 17 276
Comp-Att-INT 2-13-0 26-44-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 18-135 5-45
RUSHING - Dacula: Efford 18-274; Edwards 10-164; Jenkins 6-42; Jayden Bethea 1-30; E’mond Pittman 3-21; Daniel Poole 1-12. Mountain View: Jergotti Wilcos 6-38; Payne 7-17; David Gethers 4-15; Meiki Williams 3-3; Team 2-(minus-7).
PASSING - Dacula: Jenkins 2-13-0, 17. Mountain View: Payne 25-41-0, 268; Mason Kidd 1-3-0, 8.
RECEIVING - Dacula: Poole 1-9; Dylan Hand 1-8. Mountain View: Brand 10-145; Carter 9-88; Zay Wilson 4-24; Sean Reese 2-11; Terrell Battle 1-8.