JEFFERSON — The Jefferson defense held Mt. Zion to just 17 total yards, and recorded a safety, to spark the Dragons to a 65-0 destruction of the Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Mt. Zion had just four first downs and never crossed midfield. Meanwhile, the Dragons offense used big play after big play to bury the Bulldogs early.
Jefferson had five drives of two plays or less, including three one-play drives, to build a 56-0 halftime lead. Jefferson scored on its first play of the game when Bowman Horn raced 42-yards for a score. The Dragons made it 14-0 on their second play of the game when Malaki Starks went 67-yards for a touchdown two minutes later.
The onslaught continued when Carter Stephenson connected with Jordan Perry on a 49 yard touchdown and 44 seconds later, following a Mt. Zion turnover, Stephenson scored on a 17-yard run to make it 28-0 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Jefferson exploded for four touchdowns in a 5-minute span. Starks found Dawson Crawley for a 27-yard TD pass, Kam Robinson scored on 49-yard run, Isaiah Copeland scored on a 3-yard run after another Bulldogs turnover, and Perry took a pick-6 28 yards for a score to push the lead to 56-0.
The defense got its safety late in the third quarter and Tre Reece scored on a 6-yard run to cap the big win.
The Dragons piled up 335 yards rushing as seven different players had 30 or more yards on the ground, paced by Starks, who had 89 yards on just 3 carries.
Mt. Zion was held to minus-18 yards rushing on 21 carries for the game. The Bulldogs were just 7-of-21 passing for 35 yards.
No. 2-ranked Jefferson (9-0) will play host to the Heritage-Catoosa-Hapeville Charter winner in next week's second round.