Charlotte Latin coach Larry McNulty spent the week worrying about playing Davidson Day.
McNulty’s players made sure he wouldn’t worry much during Friday’s game.
The Hawks took advantage of the mistake-prone Patriots early and often to pull away for a 48-19 victory in a battle of two Sweet 16 teams.
“We were expecting a very tough game,” McNulty said. “We were up and down a little bit, but we made some very nice plays. I don’t think we played our best game yet, but we’re taking it one game at a time.”
Latin quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 272 yards and five touchdowns for the Hawks (8-1), ranked 15th in the Sweet 16.
Three of Jones’ touchdown passes – 23 yards to Carson Song, 29 yards to Kanyon Tuttle and 10 yards to Hunter Sheridan – came in the first half as Latin pulled ahead 21-7.
Jones added a 23-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Rouse II in the third quarter and a 33-yarder to Ben Scott early in the fourth quarter before coming out of the game.
The Hawks also scored on touchdown runs by Roush (2 yards) and Tucker Tierney (9 yards) in the second half.
A lot of that was helped by the Hawks’ defense, who forced four first-half turnovers – two fumbles and a pair of interceptions – on 14th-ranked Davidson Day (8-1).
“You can’t turn the ball over that many times against a good team and expect to win,” said Patriots coach Chad Grier – who played for McNulty. “We had so many opportunities early, but they took advantage of the things we were doing.
“I thought Latin would have trouble matching our intensity coming into the game, but tonight we didn’t have any. That’s the most disappointing thing about this.”
Grier had to delve deep into his book of trick plays to get on the scoreboard against the Hawks.
Davidson Day broke the shutout on a 51-yard pass from Glen Coates to Cullen McGahan late in the second quarter. A fake punt set up the Patriots’ second score, a 21-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Digioia to Jacob Robinson in the third quarter.
Digioia threw his second touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, hitting Howard Strachan on a 15-yarder midway through the period.