Once upon a time, the Southwestern 4A was the best high school football conference in North Carolina. From 2000-12, that league of primarily Mecklenburg County schools sent five different teams to N.C. Western Regional championship games and produced 10 state champions.
But after Friday’s games, only two Southwestern teams – Butler (5-1) and Myers Park (4-2) – have winning records.
So for Butler, a perennial state championship contender, it is going to have to find new ways to stay motivated and stay ready for its annual playoff run. The Bulldogs beat Garinger 55-0 Friday and are quietly putting together a nice little streak. Since losing to nationally ranked Mallard Creek 24-10 on the road in Week 2, Butler has won four in a row. The Bulldogs defense has allowed 16 points in that month of games. That streak includes a dominant 32-13 win at Richmond County and a 45-0 blowout of perennial 3A power Western Alamance.
So, Butler will be a heavy favorite to win the remainder of its regular-season games, including potential road blocks against Myers Park (Oct. 9) and Independence (Nov. 6). Coach Brian Hales’ job, then, will be to make sure, as he likes to say, Butler is the best version of itself come playoff time – despite having to go through a weakened Southwestern 4A.
↑ A.L. Brown: Wonders are 5-0 for first time in nine years.
↑ South Meck: Sabres are 5-0 for first time in 26 years.
↑ Great matchups next week: After a down week, some delicious matchups are on tap for Oct. 2: East Lincoln at Lincolnton; A.L. Brown at Vance; and Charlotte Christian at Charlotte Latin
Friday’s Top Performers
Jaret Anderson, Charlotte Catholic: In a 40-14 win over Berry, Anderson rushed 23 times for 252 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yarder.
De’montez Burroughs, North Meck: 40-yard scoring run and a 93-yard kickoff return in a 42-20 loss to A.L. Brown
Kusegi Cureton, Bryan Disby, Berry: Curton caught 12 passes for 204 yards and a score against Charlotte Catholic. Cureton’s yardage total was second-most in school history behind Marquise Buckman’s 265 in 2009 and ranks 21st in Mecklenburg County history. Digsby completed 20-of-37 passes for 267 yards and a score.
Jackson Gibbs, Hough: completed 19-of-28 passes for 194 yards and two scores in a 28-0 win over rival Hopewell.
Taylor Hochman, Pine Lake Prep: Ran for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-20 win over Harrells Christian. Pine Lake Prep is 6-0.
Sam Howell, Sun Valley: Freshman QB threw game-winning TD with 14.7 seconds left to lift his team to a 26-22 win over Forest Hills. Sun Valley scored just a few plays earlier but had a successful 2-point PAT erased for penalty. Next, the Spartans successfully recovered an onside kick and Howell – one of 12 nationally ranked freshman quarterbacks by scout.com led his team to the win.
Quantavious McGill, Independence: 23 carries for 121 yards and a score in a 19-0 win over East Meck.
Gage Moloney, Julian Shockley, Rock Hill Northwestern: Moloney completed 28-of-35 passes for 431 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-6 win over Fort Mill. Shockley caught nine passes for 173 yards and three scores.
Darnell Walker, Mallard Creek: 20 carries for 160 yards and three touchdowns in 42-13 win over West Charlotte.
Providence 17, Olympic 6: Providence (2-3, 1-0 SoMeck 8) snapped a three-game losing streak. The Panthers, who have scored 56 points all season, scored their single-game season high.
South Mecklenburg 52, Harding 0: South Meck (5-0, 1-0 SoMeck) won easily on homecoming. The Sabres have shut out two of their past three opponents.
Ardrey Kell 47, West Meck 20: QB Bryce Maginley threw for a touchdown and ran for two early as the Knights (3-2, 1-0 SoMeck 8) established a big lead early and cruised.
Charlotte Christian 59, Carolina Pride 3: Christian freshman quarterback Garrett Schrader threw a school-record six touchdown passes and completed 14-of-20 passes for 257 yards. The touchdown passes ties for fifth-most in a single game in Mecklenburg County history.
Providence Day 69, Grace Crossing 0: Providence Day scored 39 points in the first quarter and 53 points in the first half of Friday’s easy win. Gabe Montgomery rushed eight times for 125 yards and two scores for the Chargers (3-3).
Charlotte Country Day 23, Raleigh Ravenscroft 2: Bucs kicker Jonathan Dellinger hit from 43-, 35- and 48-yards as Country Day won on homecoming with a dominating defensive effort. Ravenscroft finished with 82 total yards.
How the Sweet 16 fared
1. Mallard Creek
d. West Charlotte 42-13
d. Garinger 55-0
3. Char. Catholic
d. Berry 40-14
4. Rock Hill Northwestern
d. Fort Mill 56-6
5. Rock Hill South Pointe
7. A.L. Brown
d. North Mecklenburg 42-20
8. South Mecklenburg
d. Harding 52-0
d. Hopewell 28-0
11. Ardrey Kell
d. West Mecklenburg 47-20
at Statesville Mon.
13. East Lincoln
d. Bandys 56-7
14. Davidson Day
Victory Christian forfeited
d. Cuthbertson 31-7