ATLANTA, Ga. (FOX 5 ATLANTA) - The HIGH 5 Game of the Week this week is for the birds. It'll be another rivalry showdown, this time between the Dacula Falcons and Mill Creek Hawks.
The Falcons finished last season 11-3 and undefeated in region 8-AAAAAA. They made the playoffs for the third straight season but were knocked out by Northside Warner-Robins in the semifinals.
In coach Clint Jenkins' second year as head coach, Dacula returns nine starters on offense - which he said is his team's biggest strength - but the Falcons lost nine of its defensive starters and were still able to shut out Discovery in Week 1.
"We played really well defensively being able to shut them out," Jenkins said. "I thought our kids rose up. We've just got to stay away from silly penalties against a team as talented as Mill Creek."
Meanwhile, Mill Creek is also coming off a Week 1 win, 38-6, against East Coweta in the Corky Kell Classic at Mercedes-Benz, the head-coaching debut of Josh Lovelady, a longtime Hawks assistant.
"We learned we've got a lot of energy, played with a lot of passion," Lovelady said. "But watching film, we found a lot of mistakes that didn't show up on the scoreboard."
Lovelady said Mill Creek is "similarly built" to Dacula, with strength on defense up front.
"Both secondaries will be challenged after we both load the box and stop the run," he said.
Jenkins expects the game to be a "playoff-type atmosphere."
"It's a tall task, but we're going to take a swing at them," he said. "They have big, strong kids and it's just the sheer numbers of kids that they have that makes it tough. They have good football player after good football player ready to come in. Their depth makes it seem like they can run one in bigger than the next one, especially on the interior lines."
And being HIGH 5's game of the week adds even more hype for the rivals.
"It gives it a little more juice for the community and fans," said Lovelady. "It does make it fun."