Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Mallard Creek 28, Charlotte Christian 21

comments

Mallard Creek tops Charlotte Christian 28-21

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/22/00/58/1c2He2.Em.138.jpeg|375
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/22/00/01/yWiMw.Em.138.jpeg|227
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Christian RB Elijah Deveaux (12) runs with the ball against Mallard Creek.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/22/00/58/1rOPAT.Em.138.jpeg|217
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/22/00/01/1c2Gxf.Em.138.jpeg|242
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Mallard Creek's Stephon White (33) runs for yardage against Charlotte Christian.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/22/00/58/BBsBR.Em.138.jpeg|294
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com

Mallard Creek and Charlotte Christian came into Thursday’s high school football kickoff night with double-digit win streaks and as reigning state champions.

Sweet 16 No. 1 Mallard Creek extended its win streak to 17 games, coming back in the second half to beat the Knights 28-21 at Memorial Stadium.

“This football team we played today is well coached, it’s got great players,” said Mallard Creek coach Michael Palmieri. “They don’t have much depth, they’ve got a certain number of guys, but the guys they have are tough.

“It’s the first game. We knew either way, win or lose, we were going to come out a better team after playing such a good football team. We were just fortunate enough to make one or two more plays than them.”

No. 7 Charlotte Christian, the reigning Division I private school state champion that had won 19 straight games, had no problem handling the size of the 4AA state champion Mavericks in the first half.

But the depth of Mallard Creek, ranked preseason No. 9 by USA Today, showed in the second half. The Mavericks controlled the line of scrimmage on their two touchdown drives in the third quarter and the Knights offense struggled to get anything going.

Several Charlotte Christian starters spent time on the sideline in the second half with minor injuries or cramping.

“We kind of feel like, over here, if we stay healthy on this sideline, maybe it’s a little bit different by the end of the game,” said Knights coach Jason Estep. “But at the end of the day I think any coach would agree that the goal is to make sure you give yourself a chance to win at the end of the game, and we did that.”

Quarterback John Turley threw two first-half touchdowns to give his Knights a 14-7 advantage at the break.

The first was a 31-yarder in the first quarter to Matthew Weigel, who caught it in his fingertips while falling into the end zone.

Mallard Creek answered with 6 minutes, 4 seconds left in the half when quarterback James Smith took a bootleg to the right for a 6-yard score on fourth and 2.

Turley’s second touchdown pass came on the ensuing drive. He picked up a bad snap and scrambled to his right before finding Alex Parker for a 25-yard touchdown pass.

Mallard Creek took the lead in the second half with two third-quarter scores.

Running back Chancery Bowman scored on a 9-yard run, but the Mavericks still trailed 14-13 after a missed extra point.

At the end of the third, Smith scored his second rushing touchdown on a 2-yard quarterback keeper. He also ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 21-14.

The Mavericks made it 28-14 in the fourth on a 10-yard run by Bowman.

Charlotte Christian’s lone second-half score came on a 38-yard pass from Turley to Justus Woods with 1:14 left. The Knights failed to recover the ensuing onside kick.

Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com