Mallard Creek still has problems with penalties, especially at the wrong times.
The Mavericks more than made up for those mistakes Friday night,though, beating Kannapolis A.L. Brown 24-7 to remain atop the MECKA 4A standings.
Darnell Walker had two short touchdown runs, Chauncey Caldwell threw for one touchdown and Josh Silverstein made a 19-yard field goal for Mallard Creek, No. 5 in the Observer’s Sweet 16.
The big difference for the Mavericks was their defense, holding the Wonders to 80 total yards and six first downs. They also forced five fumbles – four of those leading to Mallard Creek scores – and sacked quarterback Zac Williamson three times.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A fumbled punt set up the Mavericks’ first score, a 1-yard Walker touchdown run early in the first quarter, with another fumble in the second quarter leading to Silverstein’s field goal and a 10-0 Mallard Creek lead at the half.
Walker’s second touchdown, a 3-yard run late in the third quarter, also came after a Wonders fumble and 34-yard return by Deonte Grier. A.L. Brown’s fifth fumble of the game led to Caldwell’s 18-yard scoring pass to Ryan Jones late in the fourth quarter.
Ironically, the Wonders avoided a shutout thanks to a Mallard Creek fumble, with Sherard Sutton scoring on a 65-yard return with 55.1 seconds remaining.
Records: Mallard Creek is 7-2, 4-1 in the MECKA 4A; A.L. Brown is 6-3, 2-2.
Worth mentioning: Caldwell ran for 81 yards and passed for 88 for Mallard Creek, completing 13 of 26 passes. ...Walker finished with 68 rushing yards on 17 carries. ... The Mavericks had 245 yards and 14 first downs, but also had nine penalties for 80 yards. ... Williamson finished with 55 passing yards, completing 9 of 17 attempts. … A.L. Brown running back Jahia Mahatha was held to 22 rushing yards. ... Mallard Creek is 4-0 all-time against the Wonders, who will drop back to the 3A division in the next realignment, which will take effect with the 2017 season.
What’s next: Mallard Creek has a bye week, then will travel to Huntersville on Nov. 4 to play North Mecklenburg in the regular-season finale. A.L. Brown will play at conference rival West Charlotte next Friday.