Anyone who knocks off Charlotte Latin will have to find a way to slow the Hawks’ high-powered offense.
Charlotte Country Day couldn’t do it Friday night as Latin scored on its first seven drives en route to a 47-20 victory at John Cook Field.
Each team scored on long opening drives that took up almost the whole first quarter, but Latin took over in the second. Quarterback Bates Jones threw three touchdown passes in the quarter, including two highlight-reel scores to Melvin Rouse, to break the game open.
Rouse’s first touchdown reception came just over four minutes into the quarter when he took what looked to be a routine 5-yard catch, broke two tackles and sprinted 56 yards for a score. Then with 4:04 left in the second and facing a third-and-17 from its own 11, Rouse sprinted behind the Buccaneers defense and Jones threw a perfect pass that turned into an 89-yard score and a 28-6 lead.
Jones threw two more touchdown passes in the third quarter. He had three more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (two).
With the win, Latin earns the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association title and the top seed in the NCISAA playoffs, where it will host Country Day next Friday.
Quote: “What has pleased me most is the way these kids compete every Friday,” Latin coach Larry McNulty said. “One of our goals was to win the conference and earn the top seed so all playoff games are at Latin, and we accomplished that.”
Records: Latin finished the regular season unbeaten at 10-0 and won the CISAA title at 4-0. Country Day is 4-6, 1-3.
Worth mentioning: Rouse and Jones were spectacular, with Jones going 13-for-15 passing for 299 yards and five touchdowns plus a rushing score. Rouse caught seven passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. ... Country Day freshman running back Tim Newman ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver DeAngelo Epps caught four passes, all in the second half, for 89 yards and a touchdown. ... Special teams hurt Country Day. They missed an extra point, had a punt blocked, fumbled a kickoff that turned into touchdown, and had another Latin drive set up deep in their territory after allowing a 70-yard kickoff return.
What’s next: The regular season is complete and the two teams will meet next Friday at Latin in the NCISAA semifinals.
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