After rushing for more than 800 yards as a freshman, and working tirelessly in the off-season, Charlotte Country Day’s Tim Newman Jr. was looking forward to a big sophomore year. And he was really looking forward to the Bucs’ first two games, against Myers Park and Charlotte Catholic, a pair of dates that were probably the Bucs’ biggest of the season.
“The Myers Park game (at Memorial Stadium) was the (one) I wanted to play in,” Newman said Friday night. “That was going to be my coming-out party. I felt like that was going to be the game where everybody figured out who Tim Newman was in the city of Charlotte.”
But instead of coming out, Newman, 16, sat out. He turned his left ankle in a scrimmage game against SouthLake Christian a week before the season. So Newman -- the Bucs’ best offensive player and the son of a former NFL player and J.C. Smith All-American -- missed the Bucs’ first two games. Country Day lost 31-0 to Myers Park and 45-6 to Charlotte Catholic.
Newman returned for wins against Wake Christian and Pittsboro Northwood, but still didn’t feel himself, rushing 30 times for 84 yards combined in the games. On Monday, though, when Newman got out of bed, his ankle felt normal for the first time all season.
And Friday night, Newman had the game he’d been waiting for: a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in a 51-0 win over Winston-Salem Prep. The Bucs, 0-2 without Newman, have won three games in a row with him. It’s also probably no coincidence that Country Day scored more points Friday night than it had all season combined.
“It was a blessing,” Newman said of playing pain free Friday night. “You get frustrated because you want to come out strong and I didn’t get a chance to play (against Myers Park and Catholic). I thank coach (Drew) Witman for hanging with me and giving me an opportunity to come back and play and start, and tonight was what I’ve been working for all summer. The hard work is finally paying off.”
▪ Butler is averaging19.5 points per game after beating Rocky River 16-0 Friday. The Bulldogs (3-1), No. 5 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, haven’t had this low a per-game scoring average since the school opened in 1997. Butler averaged 16.3 points then. In seven of the past eight seasons, Butler has averaged more than 40 points per game.
What’s wrong? Butler couldn’t find opponents and had two byes this early in the season, so the Bulldogs don’t have many game reps, and they graduated key offensive players from 2016, when they ended Mallard Creek’s three-year run as N.C. 4AA state champs with a second-round playoff win. I think coach Brian Hales will get the kinks worked out with time and more games, and come November -- when the playoffs start -- the Bulldogs will be what they always are: a team you don’t want to see walk into your stadium.
▪ Well, I thought this last week, when Harding was handling Mallard Creek and leading 9-3 in the third quarter before a flurry of turnovers did them in: The Rams are for real. Harding, No. 12 in the Sweet 16, manhandled No. 6 West Mecklenburg 45-21 Friday. Understand, most teams play Mallard Creek twice: the actual week you play them and the week after -- when you’re sore, injured and beat up from dealing with one of the state’s most physical teams.
But Harding had no after effects and definitely sent a message to the state. If Harding goes to the small 4A playoffs, it would not surprise me to have two Mecklenburg County teams in the state finals in December (yes, I said two).
▪ Shelby, a 2A school, lost to S.C. 4A power Rock Hill South Pointe 25-0, ending the Golden Lions’ 26-game win streak. Shelby, which has won four straight state titles, is much smaller than most of the regional and national powers in this area. It’s not fair to ask Shelby to play Mallard Creek or South Pointe or Richmond Senior consistently.
Here’s an idea: Shelby vs. Charlotte Christian next year to kick off the season at Memorial Stadium.
▪ Hickory Grove senior captain Caleb Small, a running back and defensive lineman, plans to use his bye week in early October to go on a disaster relief trip to serve families in Texas who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. That’s community service, y’all.
↑Weddington coach Tim Carson: Named 2017 N.C. Shrine Bowl assistant coach.
↑A.L. Brown defense: Wonders had six interceptions in a 30-17 win over Davie County. Equarius Baldwin had three, including two in the first half. Quarterback Jordon Medley threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for a fourth.
↑Charlotte Catholic defense: Cougars held Monroe to six points and Brian Jacobs had two interceptions.
↑North Mecklenburg, Hickory Ridge: North Meck beat Mooresville 21-0 to improve to 5-0. Hickory Ridge also improved to 5-0 after beating Independence 30-15. It’s North Meck’s best start since the 1992 team started 8-0 and made the state semifinals. It’s the best start ever for Hickory Ridge.
↔Harding turnovers: After struggling with turnovers and losing a 9-3 third-quarter lead against Mallard Creek last week, the Rams fumbled the opening kickoff and immediately trailed West Meck 7-0. Harding rallied to win 45-21.
Friday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Quavaris Crouch, Harding: Crouch ran 22 times for 246 yards in the win over West Meck. Harding, which didn’t complete a pass, ran 50 times for 389 yards.
Ishod Finger, Metrolina Christian: He had 27 carries for 267 yards and a score in a 49-24 win over North Raleigh Christian.
Bryson Godfrey, Devon Weiss, Alexander Central: Godfrey had 17 carries for 229 yards and three touchdowns; Weiss had 17 carries for 181 yards and three scores in a 59-35 win over West Caldwell.
Ricaylen Mack, Kings Mountain: 25 carries for 201 yards and a score in a 48-14 win over Stuart Cramer. Quarterback Kaylon Wade threw for 206 yards and four scores.
Nicholas Treco, Concord First Assembly: Scored four times in a 43-19 win over Rabun Gap. Had two punt return scores, one rushing and one receiving TD. Had more than 250 all purpose yards and added six tackles. Teammate Mason Mclaughlin, a senior QB, threw three touchdown passes.
Providence 43, Ardrey Kell 13: Julian Boddie ran 36 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers beat their arch rival and won for the second time in three games. The Panthers (4-2, 1-0 South Meck 7) have lost two games by a combined four points. Ardrey Kell fell to 0-6, 0-1.
Charlotte Christian 62, Raleigh Ravenscroft 6: Christian led 49-0 at halftime in an easy win. The Knights had 468 yards total offense. QB Garrett Shrader was 5-for-7 for 204 yards and two scores. Chip Kasay ran three times for 92 yards.
Myers Park 41, Garinger 0: Elijah Bowick caught touchdown passes of 60 and 76 yards from QB Brayden Hawkins in the win. Bowick had four catches for 163 yards and two scores. Hawkins threw for 254 yards and three scores. And tailback Khamal Howard ran 12 times for 120 yards and two scores.
Cuthbertson 24, Parkwood 0: Davis Walker completed 22-of-33 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He hit Trevor Grant eight times for 109 yards and a score.
Maiden 35, Bandys 21: Kentrell Williams ran 18 times for 203 yards and two scores in the win. Ethan Howard ran 26 times for 124 yards and two scores for Bandys.
Newton-Conover 35, Lincolnton 14: Tyler Stinson ran 17 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Richmond 56, Purnell Swett 34: The teams combined for nearly 800 yards of offense. Richmond’s Caleb Hood threw for 223 yards and ran for 34. He had three total touchdowns.
Thursday Night Football
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will play home games on Thursday next week because of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur beginning Saturday. Here is the schedule:
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
(all games begin at 7)
Concord at Berry
Hopewell at Vance
Independence at East Mecklenburg
Myers Park at Rocky River
Porter Ridge at Butler
Providence at Harding
South Mecklenburg at Olympic
North Mecklenburg atWest Charlotte
West Mecklenburg at Ardrey Kell
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Garinger at Hickory Ridge, 7:30
Hough at Mooresville, 7:30
Mallard Creek at Lake Norman, 7:30