Rivalry games between neighboring schools are always full of intrigue. The intensity is turned up to a higher notch when a trophy is involved in the contest.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Golden Spike claims residency at 5035 Vermack Rd., home venue of Dunwoody High School. The Wildcats maintained possession of the coveted prize and bragging rights following a 16-0 win over Chamblee in a non-region affair at North DeKalb Stadium.
“It’s always good to beat your rivals. We’re separated by five miles, so we’re happy about that. It’s good to keep the trophy. They gave us our money’s worth,” said Dunwoody head coach Michael Nash. “We didn’t execute the way we should’ve executed. It’s been a tough couple of weeks with the passing of coach [Kent] Davis. I expected that. We just have to take care of the things we can control.”
The Wildcats posted bookend touchdowns with a 20-yard field goal sandwiched in between by Jamie Morrison. Running back Robby Hardin scored the first touchdown after taking an inside hand-off and going off-tackle nine yards to the end zone. Dunwoody’s fourth-quarter touchdown was a 3-yard bullet pass from Zac Pankey to Chris Sturken.
“I give the entire credit to the defense for shutting Chamblee out and bailing us out time and time again. You have no idea how much the entire team, the entire school wanted this win. It’s surreal,” said Pankey.
On the flip side of Dunwoody’s jubilation is despair for Chamblee. Offensive production has been an uphill climb for the Bulldogs in recent outings. Last week, they fell 40-7 against Decatur. This time around, the team was kept off the scoreboard.
Although the Bulldogs were shut out, they had their chances for a positive outcome.
Chamblee was crippled by a multitude of critical miscues highlighted by a fumble at the Dunwoody 20-yard line on the game’s opening drive, a dropped pass near the end zone and a muffed interception by a defender while staring at a clear path for a touchdown.
“We didn’t get some breaks tonight. There were some missed blocks, bad reads and we dropped a touchdown,” said Chamblee head coach Curtis Mattair, Jr. “The kids are fighting and working hard. Sometimes you get the breaks; sometimes you don’t. If we get the breaks, we score 27 like we did in the first game versus Druid Hills. We’re going to keep working.”
This was the 20th meeting between both schools. Dunwoody leads the all-time series 11-9 and has won seven of the last eight duels since renewing the series in 2010.
Dunwoody’s record now stands at 2-0. The Wildcats next suit up against North Atlanta.
Chamblee has a bye next week and aims to get back on track versus Salem on Sept. 15.