Vance High can finally start to look forward to its biggest game of the season.
The Cougars took care of business against West Charlotte on Friday with a 44-6 homecoming win in a MECKA 4A game to set up a showdown against rival Mallard Creek for first place in the league standings. Vance (6-1, 3-0) rolled despite mounting injuries that limited the participation of some starters.
“We’re a little bit banged up, we’re a little bit undermanned, but I can absolutely appreciate the effort – the guys that were healthy enough to give it a go came out and gave great effort,” Cougars coach Aaron Brand said.
Vance was never seriously threatened in winning their fourth straight game. The Cougars spread the ball on offense to rest tailback Donnavan Spencer, who ran for 84 yards and three scores on eight carries a week after setting a Mecklenburg County record with 405 yards.
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“We’ve got to give credit to West Charlotte,” Brand said. “They had a pretty good game plan offensively and defensively. They held the ball from us a little bit and we couldn’t get into a rhythm the second half. They did a great job with their game plan.”
Vance did a better job with its game plan, though. The Cougars rushed for 227 yards and came up with big plays on defense and special teams that resulted in touchdowns or prime field position. In the second half alone, Myles Dorn returned an interception 38 yards for a score and Darien Reynolds ran a fumble back for a 39-yard score while Miles Corpening opened the third quarter with an 80-yard kick return that resulted in Spencer’s 5-yard touchdown run.
Dirk Cureton accounted for West Charlotte’s lone score on a 27-yard pass from backup quarterback Ron Gant in the fourth quarter.
Vance held the initiative in the first half, rolling up 245 yards in grabbing a 20-0 advantage at intermission. The Cougars were efficient on the ground, piling up 136 yards on 18 carries, with Spencer accounting for 76 yards on six carries.
Vance marched 60 yards on 12 plays for the game’s first score.