High School Sports

No. 1 Mallard Creek pitches shutout against Lake Norman, still hunting ‘complete game’

Mallard Creek hasn’t played a complete game, which is OK with the Mavericks.

They took a giant step toward it Friday by roaring to a 36-0 win Friday against Lake Norman in an I-Meck 4A game, their fifth straight after a season-opening tie against Dutch Fork. Mallard Creek showed no ill effects from last week’s win against rival Vance by opening its offense early and often and stifling the Wildcats with defense.

“We executed our plays,” said senior quarterback Dustin Noller, who completed 21-of-28 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns over three quarters. “Everybody’s executing one assignment, everybody’s executing the next play. We had some mess-ups last week, but we fixed them and played this week and it was good.”

Mallard Creek was really good, racking up 489 yards on offense, while the defense limited the Wildcats to 65 yards. Noller passed for 176 yards and three scores in the first half alone before checking out in the fourth quarter with the game in hand.

“We cut down the penalties today,” Mavericks coach Mike Palmieri said. “I thought we played a clean game, which is something we wanted to do.”

Records: Mallard Creek 5-0-1, 2-0; Lake Norman 4-2, 1-1.

Three who mattered

Noller: The Mallard Creek quarterback did it all in the first half, hitting 14-of-21 passes for 176 yards and three scores.

Omari Alexander: His 32-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter – his lone reception of the first half – opened the scoring for Mallard Creek.

Elijah Metcalf: The Mavericks receiver caught six passes for 107 yards and a pair of scores, including a 42-yarder in the third quarter.

Worth mentioning

Mallard Creek spread the ball, with eight receivers catching at least one pass, including six in the first half alone. Quasean Holmes, who tied Metcalf with six receptions, accumulated 48 yards to go with another 60 yards and a score on the ground.

The Mavericks dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half, outgaining the Wildcats to 239 yards to 41. Lake Norman managed 37 yards in the first half on 20 attempts.

After going over 100 yards in penalties in last week’s win at Vance, Mallard Creek was more disciplined against Lake Norman. The Mavericks were flagged four times for 50 yards.

Lake Norman’s best scoring opportunity went awry in the third quarter when a halfback pass on fourth and goal at the Mavericks 9 was intercepted in the end zone.

They said it

“We’re not playing our best ball by no means right now, but we don’t want to. We want to build for later on in the season – late November and early December – but we’re coming together as a team.” – Palmieri

What’s next

Mallard Creek hosts West Charlotte; Lake Norman travels to Hough.

Lake Norman 0 0 0 0-0

Mallard Creek 8 14 14 0-36

First quarter

MC-Omari Alexander 32-yard pass from Dustin Noller (Braylen Dixon run)

Second quarter

MC-Elijah Metcalf 5-yard pass from Noller (Adi Turamalla kick)

MC-Kaleb Washington 25-yard pass from Noller (Turamalla kick)

Third quarter

MC-Metcalf 42-yard pass from Noller (Turamalla kick)

MC-Quesean Holmes 3-yard run (Turamalla kick)