North Gwinnett opened its region play with a 27-7 win against Duluth at home on Friday, Sept. 16. The Bulldogs may have gotten the win, but two of their most valuable players, Kayden McDonald and quarterback Ryan Hall, suffered injuries in the game.
McDonald was the workhorse for the Bulldogs, scoring three of their four touchdowns. His first touchdown came with 5:26 left in the first quarter as he rushed for 29 yards into the end zone. His next touchdown came on their next possession with a 5-yard touchdown run making it 13-0 to end the quarter.
In the second quarter, McDonald would score his third and final touchdown of the night. He would push his way through the middle for a 4-yard touchdown to give North Gwinnett (3-2, 1-0) a 20-0 lead over Duluth (2-3, 0-1).
In the third quarter, McDonald suffered an injury to his left ankle forcing him out of the game for the night. Hall was replaced by Samford Halcomb after suffering an injury of his own in the same quarter.
North Gwinnett would add one more touchdown on the night when Halcomb connected with Xavier Couloute for a 9-yard touchdown pass. This came with 11:50 left in the game putting the Bulldogs up 27-0 over the Wildcats.
Duluth would get on the board in the final moments of the game after blocking a punt and scoring on a 28-yard touchdown pass to make the final score 27-7.
Julian Walters was an offensive standout for the Bulldogs with 109 rushing yards. On defense, Kody Sudduth got two interceptions to help North Gwinnett.
North Gwinnett will have another region game on Friday, Sept. 23, as the team travels to take on Berkmar.
FEATURED PHOTO: North Gwinnett’s Kayden McDonald scored three touchdowns in a win against Duluth on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, before suffering an injury in the third quarter. Special photo.