It took more than a month, but Rockdale High School's football program finally has a reason to smile. Last weekend's 9-0 win over Morrow was not only the Bulldogs' first victory of the 2012 season, but it snapped a 13-game losing streak dating back to the 2011 season opener.
"We finally got that monkey off our back," said Venson Elder, whose team improved to 1-4. "The win is big for these kids, if you look back on all the things they've been through over the last year. This is a big monkey off their back."
Elder's group brought the losing streak to a halt thanks in large part to the defense, which pitched the program's first shutout in more than two years.
"The defense just played a good game," Elder said. We still have to tighten up some things but overall those guys fought for four quarters and that's what we've been waiting to see."
Now comes the hard part for the Bulldogs: repeating the feat against one of the top teams in Region 2-AAAAAA, Lovejoy. The Wildcats, who reached the state championship game a year ago, have picked up right where they left off, starting 4-1. Lovejoy's offense, which is averaging more than 36 points per game, is led by tight end Arshad Jackson and running back Travis Custis, both top-60 recruits in the state of Georgia by rivals.com.
"(Lovejoy is) coming straight out of the state final game last year, I think they've got about 13 or 14 starters coming back. They're going to be a handful," Elder said. "We'll have them prepared for everything Lovejoy does, we just have to execute as one. If our kids play mistake-free football, we got enough athletes to make a run at this thing."