Jaret Anderson earned his teammates’ trust at the right time.
The Charlotte Catholic tailback overcame a pair of fumbles by scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Cougars’ 10-7 win against South Mecklenburg in a SoMeck 4A game Friday at South. Anderson’s clinching run, a 15-yarder with 7 minutes, 36 seconds to play, included three broken tackles on his way to the goal line.
“I guess it was just some overwhelming sense of determination,” said Anderson, who gained 184 yards on 40 carries. “Everyone trusted me on that drive and I had to deliver.”
The game-winning, 67-yard drive was set up by Ben Brodowicz’s interception, one of three Catholic forced in the second half. Anderson took care of the rest as the Cougars stuck with the ground attack that accounted for 232 yards.
“I fumbled twice,” Anderson said. “I had to make it up with something and I’m just glad it was a touchdown.”
South Mecklenburg had Catholic on the ropes for three quarters, using a stout defense to keep the Cougars short of the goal line. The fourth quarter belonged to Catholic, however, which came up with big plays to turn the tide, including an interception and blocked field goal attempt by Xander Gagnon with 1:26 left.
“We played well,” South coach Rocky White said. “We know when we play Catholic that it’s a 48-minute deal. We’re fairly happy with how we played. We’ve just got to get over this hump, man.”
Catholic ran with success, gaining 89 yards in the first half, but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone. South Mecklenburg short-circuited the Cougars’ best scoring opportunity by stopping them on fourth and 2 while Catholic struggled to mount a successful drive. Jaret Anderson ran for 79 yards on 16 carries for the Cougars, but South managed to come up with key stops when needed.
South Mecklenburg’s defense provided the Sabres with their best break when Marcus Geralds recovered a fumble at the Cougars’ 46. The offense converted the miscue into Zack Gilbert’s 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead 3:22 before intermission. Sabres quarterback A.J. Elam was efficient in the passing attack, hitting 11-of-15 tries for 105 yards in the first half. South gained 126 yards in the first half compared to Catholic’s 118.
Quote: “Our kids are to the point they want to play Catholic. They want to beat Catholic. It’s not a rivalry until we beat them.” – South Mecklenburg coach Rocky White.
Records: Charlotte Catholic is 7-0, 4-0 in SoMeck 4A; South Mecklenburg is 6-2, 2-2 in SoMeck 4A.
Worth Mentioning: Charlotte Catholic turned the ball over four times against three for South Mecklenburg. All of the Sabres’ miscues were in the second half.
What’s next: Charlotte Catholic host West Mecklenburg in a conference game. South Mecklenburg is at Olympic in a conference game.