Mt. Juliet opened the 2010 with a 27-0 victory over visiting McGavock High Thursday night.
The Golden Bears overcame three first half turnovers (two fumbles and an interception) with stellar defensive play. All told, Mt. Juliet defenders picked off a pair of Raider passes, blocked a punt and recorded several quarterback sacks.
"Thank goodness for our defense, they played outstanding -- especially in the first half," said MJ head coach Roger Perry. "They kept the field position for us. We moved the ball offensively, but turning the football over is going to cost any team. Fortunately for us tonight our defense kept stepping up."
Perry praised his team for making some key adjustments in the second half, especially in the area of ball secutiry. "I didn't jump anybody at halftime, I just said we've got to find somebody who will hang on to the football. George Nwokoji came out and had a great second half."
Nwokoji ran for 107 yards and scored a TD to lead the Bear offensive attack -- 80 yards came after intermission.
Mt. Juliet will go on the road next week as they travel to Gallatin to play the Green Wave in a District 9AAA contest.