West Mecklenburg’s first game at its new stadium went downhill quickly Friday night with a 47-0 high school football loss to Vance.
On the opening kickoff, Vance defensive back Miles Corpening shook a few tackles shortly after fielding the kick and tore through the Hawks coverage to stun the crowd with a 95-yard touchdown return.
“We knew they’d have a big crowd. We knew they’d be very into the game,” Vance coach Aaron Brand said. “But we knew that if we could come out and hit them in the mouth, we could take of some of that air out of them. And that’s we did with that opening kickoff.”
Vance marched 85 yards in five plays on its first offensive possession, making it 13-0 on a 30-yard screen pass from quarterback Omar Baker to Myles Dorn.
Brand, who is in his first year with Vance after a stint with reigning state champion Mallard Creek, watched his team build a 27-0 halftime lead thanks to a pair of West Mecklenburg turnovers during the second quarter.
Early in the second, after the Hawks moved inside the Cougars’ 20, Vance linebacker Darien Reynolds picked off a Malcolm Rogers pass on third-and-20 and returned the interception to the West Mecklenburg 8.
Just two plays later, Baker plunged into the end zone. Following a Hawks’ fumble on their next possession, the Cougars again struck quickly, this time needing just a single play – a 21-yard toss from Baker to wide receiver A.J. Freeman to make it 27-0.
Vance’s defense opened the second half by forcing West Mecklenburg into a three-and-out, and two plays later, Cougars running back Donnavan Spencer raced 92 yards up the middle to make it 33-0. The Cougars added two fourth-quarter scores, one on a 25-yard scoop and score by linebacker Trinity Roberts. Vance capped the scoring when backup quarterback Laquell Thames fired a 9-yard touchdown strike to wideout Johnathan Ifedi.
“I think if you stay aggressive, that limits the injuries,” Brand said. “We’re going to play until the clock says zero, zero, zero.”
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