West Mecklenburg passed its first adversity test of the season.
The Hawks overcame the loss of starting quarterback Preston Brown and a stubborn opponent in West Charlotte for a 36-6 win Friday in their home opener. West Meck was opportunistic in the second half, turning three Lions miscues into 16 second-half points, capped by Aaron Judkins’ 42-yard interception return for a score.
The Hawks’ defensive effort was complemented by running back J’Mari Taylor, who rushed for 123 yards and a pair of scores on 21 carries as West Meck racked up 192 on the ground.
West Charlotte, which wound up with 299 yards on offense, moved the ball, but mistakes on offense and special teams short-circuited the Lions, while the Hawks took advantage.
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West Mecklenburg broke the game open in the third quarter with Christian Alvarez’s 33-yard field goal, Taylor’s 4-yard scoring run and a safety to turn a 10-6 advantage into a 16-point bulge.
West Charlotte gave the Hawks all they could handle in the first half, striking first on Javion Love’s 1-yard run before West Meck rebounded for a 10-6 advantage at recess. More important for the Hawks was losing Brown with a lower-body injury in the second quarter. West Charlotte outgained West Mecklenburg 190 yards to 123 in the half, keyed by La’Montay Carr’s 186 yards total offense. He connected on 7-of-17 passes for 135 yards and ran for 51 on 15 tries.
Taylor sparked West Mecklenburg’s offense with 61 yards on 10 carries, including a 1-yard plunge that put the Hawks in front 7-6 8:25 into the first quarter. Christian Alvarez converted a 39-yard field goal to expand their margin.
Records: West Charlotte 1-1; West Mecklenburg 2-0.
Worth mentioning: West Mecklenburg’s Alverez was 2-for-3 on field goals with makes from 39 and 33 yards out. His miss was from 50 yards out.
What’s next: West Mecklenburg plays Garinger at home next week while West Charlotte is at home against Harding.