One of the goals for the West Mecklenburg Hawks before the season was to be practicing on Thanksgiving.
They achieved that goal Friday night as West Meck used a big-play offense and a bend-but-don’t-break defense to defeat visiting Mooresville 37-17 in a 4AA West first-round playoff game.
West Meck had a 10-3 lead after a quarter and extended it on the third play of the second when Richard Latimer threw a pass to Tyler Barnes and Barnes sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown.
The lead at half was 20-3 thanks in large part to the West Meck defense, which recovered two Mooresville fumbles and stopped the Blue Devils twice on fourth down plays deep in West Meck territory.
In the third quarter, West Meck put the game away. After Juan Cota’s third field goal of the game, Latimer hit a streaking Dyami Brown who went 87 yards for a score. Latimer finished the night with 345 total yards (275 passing, 70 rushing) and Brown finished with 138 yards receiving as the third-seeded Hawks advanced.
Quote: “The guys played four quarters of football tonight,” West Meck coach Jarvis Davis said. “We needed that to beat a good time like Mooresville, and we live to play another week.”
Records: West Meck improves to 9-3. Mooresville’s season ends at 8-4.
Worth mentioning: Mooresville star running back Donshel Jetton racked up yardage, 183 on 28 carries. Four of his carries netted 132 yards and the other 24 gained 51. He was kept out of the end zone. … West Meck running back Jared Jones sat out with an injury but his backup, freshman J’Mari Taylor, ran for 118 yards and a touchdown. … West Meck had trouble with penalties, which will have to be cleaned up to advance in the playoffs. The Hawks committed 10 for 90 yards.
What’s next: West Meck will travel to Greensboro to play second-seeded Page next Friday night.
Mooresville 3 0 7 7 - 17
West Meck 10 10 10 7 - 37
WM- Juan Cota 28 FG
WM- J’Mari Taylor 8 run (Cota kick)
M- Jacob Benjamin 26 FG
WM- Tyler Barnes 68 pass from Richard Latimer (Cota kick)
WM- Cota 25 FG
WM- Cota 24 FG
WM- Dyami Brown 87 pass from Latimer (Cota kick)
M- Lazarus Hayes 1 run (Benjamin kick)
WM- Shareef Jacobs II 6 run (Cota kick)
M- Hayes 20 pass from Chris Murrell (Benjamin kick)