MOORESVILLE Mooresville doesn’t mind being underestimated – by the media or opponents.
After Friday’s rout over Sweet 16 No. 3 Hough, no one is likely to underestimate the Blue Devils again.
Akease Rankin ran for four touchdowns and 11th-ranked Mooresville’s defense shut down the Huskies en route to a 38-7 nonconference victory.
Rankin finished with a season-high 180 yards for the Blue Devils (2-0), gaining 155 yards and scoring three times in the first quarter – on runs of 1, 80 and 1 yards – in building a 21-0 halftime lead.
Rankin added a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, quarterback Tommy Bullock had 108 rushing yards and a 26-yard TD, and kicker Harris Gerwitz put through a 30-yard field goal on the opening play of the fourth quarter to put Mooresville up 38-0.
“To tell you the truth, this was about who wanted it. We wanted it more,” said Rankin, who now has 341 rushing yards and seven TDs in two games. “We were the underdogs … but that’s okay. We’ll just smack them in the mouth.
“We have high hopes – we know what we want, and we want to play for states at the end of the season.
“That’s what we’re going for, and any team that gets in our way has got a problem.”
The Blue Devils’ defense played a big part in Friday’s victory – they held Hough (1-1) to 130 yards total offense, with most of that coming in the fourth quarter against Mooresville’s reserves.
Brandon Ford, who ran for 196 yards and four touchdowns in the Huskies’ win over Sun Valley last week, was held to 40 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Will Coleman went 11 of 32 passing for 92 yards, with one touchdown – a 28-yarder to Caleb White that broke the shutout – and three interceptions. He was also sacked four times, twice by Jamil Dukes.
“This was a program statement for us,” Blue Devils coach Hal Capps said. “We didn’t feel that Hough believed we were going to win. We just decided to take it on ourselves.”
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