Shiloh running back Arthur Rodgers Jr. breaks free in a game against Wheeler earlier this season. The 5-foot-9, 216-pound senior has mirrored the Generals’ historic 5-0 start to the season, leading Gwinnett County with 718 yards, to go with nine touchdowns, on 59 carries.

This time two years ago, Meadowcreek was in the midst of an unprecedented 6-0 start that set the stage for a 7-4 season, which gave a major boost to a program that had only posted three winning seasons in 30 previous campaigns in its history.

This year, it is Shiloh that is trying to make a little history when it, coincidentally, travels to Meadowcreek on Friday night.

The Generals are already off to their first 3-0 start since 2012 in dominating fashion, outscoring their first three opponents by an aggregate score of 127-8, and can secure the program’s first 4-0 start to a season since 1999.

A win would also bring the Generals a step closer to at least one other milestone that would mirror the breakout season Meadowcreek turned in two years ago.

It would leave them just two wins short of their first winning season since 2003.

But none of those possible accomplishments that are well within reach will be much of a topic of conversation during practice this week if the Generals’ first-year head coach Tino Ierulli has anything to say about it.

“Honestly, we haven’t brought anything like that up (to the players) because it would be contradicting what we try to preach — that we start out 0-0 and that every game is the first round of the (state) playoffs, and a loss kind of eliminates us from our goal,” said Ierulli, who led Palm Beach Central to three district titles in Florida before accepting the Shiloh job in February. “That’s the mindset that we’re taking right now.”

Given the fact the Generals have won only a combined five games over the previous three seasons, their quick start may seem somewhat surprising, though not to Ierulli.

“I think I’m more proud (than surprised) of the way (the players have) bought in and how they’ve accepted the (coaching) change and really moved forward,” Ierulli said. “I mean, there were a lot of distractions. It was all new to them. There was a new coach coming in with a completely new staff, (with a) new philosophy in terms of the way practices go, new expectations.

“Again, not really surprise, but more proud because I knew this team was capable. I said this from the beginning just watching these kids practicing that there was a lot of talent here.”

Falcons soaring to little seen heights in state rankings

If it seems like it’s been a while since Dacula has reached the heights it currently occupies in the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s state rankings, that’s only partially correct, though it hasn’t been as long as one might think.

The last time the Falcons (3-0) matched their current No. 2 ranking in the most recent Class AAAAAA of the state’s sports writers poll (this week’s poll was not due out until late Tuesday or early today) was only five years ago, when they were ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA (then the highest classification in the state) during the week of Oct. 28, 2014.

Prior to that, one has to go back to the week of Oct. 10, 1990 to find Dacula ranked at the No. 2 spot it occupied in that week’s Class A rankings.

In fact, the Falcons have held the No. 2 spot in the rankings in 20 different weeks throughout the program’s long history.

They’ve never been ranked No. 1 in any poll, and they will likely have to wait at least one more week to rise to the top spot after AAAAAA’s current top-ranked team, Valdosta, upended Class AAAAAAA co-No. 1 Colquitt County 50-49 last Friday.

Lindsey’s big night not enough for Comets

South Gwinnett may have come up one score short in its 35-28 loss to South Forsyth last Friday, but defensive lineman Kevin Lindsey had a huge night.

The 5-foot-10, 230-pound senior tallied eight combined tackles and assists — including 4 1/2 tackles for loss, three of which went for sacks.

For the season, Lindsey is among South’s top tacklers with 23 tackles, 6 1/2 for loss, with a team-best five sacks, plus and interception and a caused fumble.

Berkmar sets make-up date with Washington

It took a little maneuvering, but Berkmar has ultimately able to find a date to resume its lightning-shortened game against Washington-Atlanta from Friday night.

The Patriots and Bulldogs will now pick up their game Nov. 8 at Patriot Field with Washington holding a 14-0 lead and Berkmar taking possession on its own 47-yard line.

The problem was that Georgia High School Association-approved officials were not available to resume the game Saturday, and the two teams did not have a common bye week until the final week of the regular season.

The delay means that the Patriots are technically still undefeated, and can get off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2013 with a win Friday night at home against winless Clarkston.

Stay Informed

Graduated from GSU in 1990. Have worked in sports journalism for the past 28 years, covering a variety of sports at the Gwinnett Daily News, AJC, Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser and Marietta Daily Journal before returning to Gwinnett at the Post in 2007.

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