North Mecklenburg coach Brad Baker told his team all week that they weren’t the underdog when they traveled to Vance to take on the Cougars on their senior night.
The Vikings proved it on the field Friday night, as they earned a critical, MECKA 4A conference victory, beating Vance 20-14.
The North Mecklenburg win (7-2, 3-1) keeps them a half game behind second-place (MECKA 4A), Mallard Creek (8-2, 4-1) and just one game back of first-place, Hough (8-1, 4-0), who are their final two regular season opponents.
The Vikings got off to a strong start, forcing a turnover on Vance’s first play from scrimmage, when Jordan McCormick recovering a Jonathan Ifedi fumble.
Four plays later, North Meck sophomore running back, Emanuel Wilson, rumbled 16 yards for a score to put his team up 7-0.
Vance countered on the ensuing possession to tie the score at seven, when Cougars’ quarterback, Kingsley Ifedi, found Myles Dorn on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Then, on the second play of the second quarter, North Meck’s DeMontrez Burroughs picked off Ifedi to set up himself up.
Two plays later, North Meck quarterback Kendall Coles found Burroughs on a 25-yard touchdown pass to put his team up 14-7.
Both defenses dominated for the game for the second and third quarters as neither team scored.
But Vance tied the game on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Ifedi found Dorn (7 catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns on the night) again for six-yard touchdown pass.
But North Mecklenburg once again had an answer as Coles scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown on 10-yard touchdown run, where he zig-zagged across the field several times before outrunning Vance defenders.
Coles led the Vikings, going 7 for 11 passing for 82 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Burroughs added four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Quote: “We’ve talked about it since the minute our season ended last year, we’ve got to finish games. The entire offseason, every day, we talked about it and worked on it because we lost five games by a total of 25 points last year, This year, we’ve focused on it even more. Finish, finish, finish. That is how we are winning games now. We are finishing.” – North Mecklenburg football coach, Brad Baker.
Records: North Mecklenburg is 7-2, 3-1 in the MECKA 4A conference. Vance is 5-4 overall, 1-3 in the MECKA 4A conference.
Worth mentioning: North Mecklenburg has won three conference games in a row over West Charlotte, Hopewell and Vance, which is matches the most conference wins they’ve had since 2008; Vance had three different possessions Friday night where they got inside the North Meck 21-yard line and came up with zero points; Too many times Vance was whistled for careless penalties, as they had 12 different infractions for the game.
What’s Next: Vance travels to Hopewell, while North Mecklenburg hosts Hough, both this Friday night (Oct. 30) at 7 p.m.