It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the high school football team at North Mecklenburg.
Several days before the start of the season, star linebacker Kalvin McCollum was involved in a fatal wreck that took the life of sophomore track star and cheerleader Enjoneah Reel. The Vikings, struggling with their emotions and focus, lost their season opener last week, 34-12 to Lake Norman.
But Friday night, the Vikings got a historically great performance from junior running back Emanuel Wilson and shut out Cox Mill 27-0. Wilson ran 16 times for 301 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 18 yards per carry.
Wilson’s performance was the 28th best in Mecklenburg County history and third-best in school history. Former North Meck star Daryl Vereen ran for 320 yards and 306 yards, both in 2006.
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North Meck’s first offensive play Friday was a run for Wilson called “Zone Right.” He ran 95 yards for a score. Wilson also had scoring runs of 82 and 63 yards. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Vikings coach Brad Baker said Wilson’s huge game couldn’t have come at a better time.
“There’s no book or manual that says how to handle this,” Baker said. “We take it day by day. It was important for our guys to win and have some success, and at the end of the day, we’re trying to win football games, for each other, for our school, and for our community. And it’s good to have some success on the field.”
McCollum, Baker said, is out of the hospital. He tweeted recently that he planned to return to the field this season. No matter what happens, Baker said he knows the accident is going to be a part of his team’s story all season.
“I told our kids, it’s who we are and it’s something we have to deal with and accept,” he said. “People will ask, ‘How are you doing with it?’ It’s like preparing for a defense or offense or anything else. So it’s something we’ll deal with all year, and ‘deal with’ is a bad word. It’s something we’ll have to handle. (McCollum) is doing good. I think he’s progressing nicely with his recovery. I don’t know if he’ll play, but if it were to up him, he would.”
▪ First-year Porter Ridge coach Michael Hertz recorded first win Friday, 21-7 over Piedmont.
▪ After 56 meetings, it appears the A.L. Brown-South Rowan rivalry game will end. South Rowan is joining a new conference, Wonders coach Mike Newsome told me, and wouldn’t have enough available nonconference games to continue the rivalry.
Friday night, Newsome’s Wonders won 65-7. Brown has won seven straight in the rivalry since losing to South Rowan in 2009. Each win has been a blowout. Brown leads the series 46-8-2.
▪ Concord was upset by A.L. Brown last week, but bounced back nicely with a 56-0 win over Albemarle Friday. The Spiders allowed Albemarle eight yards total offense.
No. 3 Hough 31, Mooresville 7: Hough led 7-0 at halftime but exploded in the second half to run away from one of its biggest rivals. Senior quarterback Jackson Gibbs threw a 19-yard score to Tyus Fields in the third quarter and Rashad Williams had a 1-yard run. That put Hough up 21-0.
No. 8 Charlotte Catholic 21, Providence Day 0: Catholic scored all of its points in the first half. Jack Bingham, Wesley Alexander and Angel Marrero III all scored on runs of 3 yards or less in the shutout win.
No. 10 Charlotte Christian 49, Carolina Pride 0: The Knights led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 at halftime. Christian limited Carolina Pride to 45 total yards on 30 plays.
No. 12 Charlotte Latin 49, Northwood 14: The Hawks raced to a 49-7 halftime lead. For the game, Latin outgained Northwood 392-190, led by 218 yards passing and three scores from quarterback Bates Jones and 127 yards on six carries from running back Demarkes Stradford.
Lincolnton 25, No. 15 No. South Pont 24: Lincolnton pulled off the upset in overtime. Lincolnton quarterback Cordel Littlejohn scored from 7 yards out and then tossed a 2-point conversion pass for the winning points.
Charlotte Country Day 42, Robbinsville 14: Quarterback Wes Bingham tossed three touchdown passes to DeAngelo Epps, covering 4-, 34- and 68-yards; Twan Flip had a 90-yard kickoff return and freshman tailback Tim Newman had two touchdown runs, including a 37-yarder, as the Bucs got their first win of the season.
Concord First Assembly 24, Cannon 12: Cannon got 103 yards rushing and a score on just six carries from Dalton Phillips, plus 12 tackles and an interception from Will Exton, but it was not enough as First Assembly won in a game matching Cabarrus County rivals.
Harding 50, Garinger 14: Harding ended a 10-game losing streak. Garinger lost its 43rd straight game since beating Harding 16-14 in October 2011.
Rocky River 40, Berry 25: Justice Styron scored from 8 yards with 2:28 to play to seal the win for Rocky River. Rocky River was leading 34-19 before Berry scored on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter to get close.
Scotland County 33, Independence 0: Scotland played without running back Zamir White (thigh bruise), one of the nation’s top recruits in the class of 2018. The Fighting Scots won for the second time this season. Independence has yet to score in 2016 and has been outscored 78-0 in two games. The Patriots play their first home game of the season next week against Olympic.
Friday’s Top Performers
Gerald Bass, Darnell Walker, Ryan Jones, Mallard Creek: In a 35-20 win over Butler, Bass had three sacks; Walker had 14 carries for 96 yards and two socres plus two catches for 21 yards and a touchdown; Jones had seven catches for 97 yards and a score.
Davis Cheek, Butler: 17-for-25 passing for 278 yards and two scores in a 35-20 loss to nationally ranked Mallard Creek.
Jack Davidson, Elijah Bowick, Myers Park: In a 30-20 upset win over Sweet 16 No. 14 Ardrey Kell, Davidson completed 15-of-19 passes for 175 yards and a score. Bowick, a sophomore, caught six passes for 93 yards and a score.
Marcus Graham, Cameron Dollar, East Lincoln: In a 69-0 win over Christ The King, Graham was 9-for-10 passing for 299 yards and seven touchdowns, all in the first half. Dollar caught all nine passes for 299 yards and seven touchdowns. Seven touchdown passes thrown in a game ties for third-most by any N.C. public school quarterback. Dollar’s receiviing yardage ranks fifth all-time. His receiving touchdowns break a 16-year-old record of six set by former Independence High star Mario Raley.
Yancey Hairston, North Mecklenburg: 12 tackles, sack, batted ball in a 27-0 win over Cox Mill.
Sam Hartman, Davidson Day: Junior completed 29-of-41 passes for 561 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-21 win over Arden Christ School. His passing yards rank third in Mecklenburg County history and ninth in state history. The touchdowns are the fourth-most any Mecklenburg quarterback has thrown in a game. Receiver Nolan Groulx had 14 catches for 193 yards and three scores.
Kingsley Ifedi, Jaylin Carr, Vance: In a 63-21 win over Providence, Ifedi completed 13-of-21 passes for 278 yards and four scores. Carr caught five passes for 106 yards and two scores.
Richard Latimer, West Mecklenburg: 13-for-22 passing for 154 yards and a touchdown in a 45-6 win over West Charlotte. West Charlotte was debuting its new turf football field. Latimer also rushed for 100 yards and four scores on 16 carries. West Charlotte’s Jadarius Horton had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a score.
Gage Maloney, Jerry Howard, Rock Hill Northwestern: In a 42-28 win over Dorman, Howard rushed 16 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Maloney completed 32-of-46 passes for 376 yards and three scores.
Blake Proehl, Providence: In Vance game, Proehl -- son of former Carolina Panther receiver and current receivers coach Ricky Proehl -- caught four passes for 121 yards and two scores. He had a 90-yard kickoff return for a score.
Trevor Shue, Hickory Ridge: More than 200 yards passing plus four TDs in a 30-27 win over Mount Pleasant. Shue threw two of his touchdown passes to Jarrett Garner, who had a game-winning 22-yard catch and run with six seconds left.
Antonio Wallace, Travis Prince, South Mecklenburg: In a 28-10 win over East Meck, Wallace completed 14-of-22 passes for 220 yards and a score. Prince ran 18 times for 133 yards and two scores. East Meck’s Khamal Howard ran 28 times for 121 yards.