The biggest surprise team in Mecklenburg County this season?
You probably weren’t guessing West Mecklenburg.
But the Hawks are 3-1 after Friday’s 59-7 win over Independence. First-year coach Jarvis Davis has quickly flipped a program that had won seven games in the past two seasons. West Meck has won three straight games this season. In that run, they’ve outscored opponents 146-21. And they’ve got stars.
Wide receiver Dyami Brown, 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, is being recruited by ACC schools. He’s ranked by Rivals.com as one of the state’s top receivers in the class of 2018. Senior quarterback Richard Latimer (6-1, 188), who had more than 300 yards of offense against N.C. power Vance, is having a splendid season.
West Meck’s only loss was 41-34 to Sweet 16 No. 5 Vance, and the Cougars had to rally from 34-21 down in the fourth quarter to win in overtime.
Friday, West Meck scored the most points on Independence (0-4) since Butler beat the Patriots 61-6 in November 2010. And in two weeks, the Hawks will visit Sweet 16 No. 15 Ardrey Kell in what’s become a huge SoMeck 8 conference opener for West.
▪ Richmond Senior and Butler have produced some classic games over the years, including a memorable 55-54 double-overtime Raiders win in Rockingham two years ago. You can add Friday’s game to that list.
Butler won 42-41 in a wild game that ultimately ended after a bad snap on a potential game-winning field goal attempt by the Raiders. Butler has won five of the series’ past six games, but it doesn’t feel the least bit lopsided. Here’s hoping for a 4AA playoff rematch in November.
▪ Butler has injuries in the secondary, but to challenge for a fourth state championship the Bulldogs will have to shore up their defense. Richmond scored on two passes of more than 65 yards and had a 75-yard run Friday. The Raiders also had an 87-yard kickoff return.
Down two scores several times in the game, Butler showed heart to rally against a traditional power, and credit to coach Brian Hales and his staff for making great halftime adjustments. Richmond scored one second-half touchdown after leading 35-19 at halftime.
▪ When Independence was really good about 10 years ago, I would notice a “game-after” effect with the Patriots: Teams Independence played the week prior would struggle the following game. I’m seeing that with Mallard Creek now. Butler wasn’t the same after losing to the Mavericks 35-20 a few weeks ago. Butler struggled at Western Alamance last week and is still a little banged up, and that showed up against Richmond Friday.
Byrnes, which played at Mallard Creek last week, suffered a rare home loss to Rock Hill Northwestern Friday, mustering an un-Brynes like 12 points at home, losing 34-12.
▪ East Lincoln beat Forestview 28-3 Friday to improve to 4-0. East won its 32nd consecutive regular-season game. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Graham had 147 yards passing and two scores, plus 34 yards rushing and another score. ...Sun Valley (4-0) and Parkwood (4-0) both won Friday. Sun Valley is 4-0 for the first time since it started 5-0 in 1978. It’s Parkwood’s best start in 10 years. Sun Valley hosts Myers Park (4-0) next week.
No. 6 Charlotte Christian 31, West Ashley (SC) 27: In Charleston, the Knights trailed 25-24 late in the third quarter after Dexter Freeman’s 30-yard run. But Christian quarterback Garrett Shrader (16-for-27, 243 yards, three touchdowns) threw a 40-yard score to Jacob Giller for the game-winning points early in the fourth quarter to keep the Knights (4-0) unbeaten. West Ashley outgained Christian 461-336 and had 291 rushing yards to the Knights’ 93.
No. 8 Davidson Day 41, Charlotte Country Day 14: Davidson Day quarterback Sam Hartman threw five touchdown passes, three to Nolan Groulx and two to Tommy Lawley. Groulx had more than 100 yards rushing and 100 receiving for the Patriots (3-1). Country Day (1-3) took an early 7-0 lead with freshman Tim Newman scoring from 6 yards, but Davidson Day scored five times before the Buccaneers scored again.
Marvin Ridge 42, Providence Day 27: Marvin Ridge led 35-0, courtesy of three Caleb Deveaux touchdowns, before Providence Day stormed back. Dane Horton threw three touchdown passes and Gabe Montgomery had a touchdown run to pull the Chargers to within 35-27 in the second half. Marvin Ridge’s Bryce McClain put the game away with a 30-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Olympic 48, Hopewell 6: Olympic (2-1) won its second straight game. The Trojans beat Independence 14-12 last week. Olympic kicker Haley Houser got her first career varsity extra point during the win. Hopewell (1-3) scored for the first time since Aug. 19, but lost its third straight.
Cannon 23, Pine Lake Prep 8: Cannon recovered a Pine Lake Prep fumble in Pine Lake’s end zone in the fourth quarter. Pine Lake, which trailed 16-0, had scored in the third quarter and gotten a two-point conversion and was within striking distance. The Cannon recovery, in the fourth quarter, sealed the win.
Ashbrook 38, Garinger 0: Garinger (0-4) lost its 45th straight game. Ashbrook (1-3) won its first game this season.
Gaffney 43, West Charlotte 6: West Charlotte fell to 0-4 for the season. The Lions have scored 12 points in their past three games.
Friday’s Top Performers
Davis Cheek, Kusegi Cureton, Butler: Cheek was 22-of-26 passing for 267 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-41 win over Richmond Senior. Cureton caught nine passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns.
Canaan Cox, Statesville Christian: 324 all-purpose yards in a 34-13 win over Trinity Christian. Cox ran 17 times for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Jack Davidson, Myers Park: 15-of-25 passing for 168 yards in a 14-11 win over South Meck. He also ran for 47 yards and a score. Myers Park is 4-0 for the first time since 1983.
Thomas Gettys, Rock Hill Northwestern: Returned six kicks in the Byrnes win for 348 total yards. He averaged 58 yards per return.
Merrick Haston, Ardrey Kell: 32 carries, 188 yards and two scores in a 24-23 loss to Hough.
Khamal Howard, East Meck: 23 carries, 159 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-6 win over Harding. Teammate T.J. Elliott blocked a punt and had a two-point conversion.
Gage Moloney, Rock Hill Northwestern: Led his team to four second-half touchdowns and a 34-12 win at Duncan Byrnes. Moloney completed 29-of-39 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns. Wally Wilmore had six catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Moloney also ran nine times for 28 yards and a score.
DeMarkes Stradford, Charlotte Latin: 13 carries, 204 yards, 115 return yards and four total touchdowns in a 47-17 win over Raleigh Ravenscroft.
Emanuel Wilson, North Mecklenburg: 16 carries for 213 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-2 win over Community School of Davidson. He did most of his damage in the first half.