Mill Creek's Josh Battle (28) runs for a touchdown against Dacula during a 2019 game at Dacula.

Dacula Falcons (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Clint Jenkins

Record: 0-1

Last week: Had a bye

Mill Creek Hawks (8-AAAAAAA)

Coach: Josh Lovelady

Record: 0-0

Last week: Had a bye

Dacula snapped a four-game losing streak to Mill Creek with a comeback in 2019, adding spice to the rivalry on Zach Gerks’ game-winning field goal with four seconds left. It was a wild finish that began with Mill Creek driving for a potential field goal, only to have a quarterback hit turn into an interception by Dacula noseguard Jalen Cole. Cole rumbled to the Mill Creek 14-yard line, where he was tackled to 24 seconds left.

One game into the 2020 season, Dacula already has another thriller on its resumé. The Falcons, off last week, opened the season with a 40-34, four-overtime loss to Brookwood in the Corky Kell Classic.

Kyle Efford rushed for four TDs against Brookwood, Kaleb Edwards rushed for a TD and had an interception and Tyriek McDaniel led the offensive line. Festus Davis (six tackles, one for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery) and T.J. Young (15 tackles, one for loss, one sack, four quarterback hurries) led the Falcons’ defense.

That one game of experience gives Dacula one edge against Mill Creek, which finally gets to play its season opener. The Hawks saw their Corky Kell game against Parkview called off, as well as their second game against Norcross, wiped out because of COVID-19 issues within the team.

“We’re very excited to play,” Lovelady said. “I did the math and June 8 when we started back, it’s been 80 days. That’s a long time to only go against yourself whether it’s practice or creating competition. You take away scrimmages, take away the games and bump (the season) back two weeks. So we’re itching to play somebody else. Unfortunately, it’s Dacula. They’re good.”

While Dacula debuted its new artificial turf in the Corky Kell, Mill Creek gets to play on its new turf for the first time Friday.

“It hasn’t lost its luster, being out there on the turf, a new field,” Lovelady said. “It’s going to be neat. It’s been different. Never in 15, 16 years have we practiced on the game field.”

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Dacula won 24-21 last year

Location: Mill Creek High School

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