High School Sports

Catholic’s offense runs over Ardrey Kell in rout

Charlotte Catholic running back Milan Howard, right, looks to cut back as Ardrey Kell’s Gabriel Jeudy tries to make the tackle Friday night. Howard rushed for 157 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Cougars’ 38-14 win.
Charlotte Catholic running back Milan Howard, right, looks to cut back as Ardrey Kell’s Gabriel Jeudy tries to make the tackle Friday night. Howard rushed for 157 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Cougars’ 38-14 win. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Catholic hasn’t lost anything by moving down to 3A football.

The Cougars are 2-0 against 4A programs in their first season in 3A after rolling past Ardrey Kell 38-14 Friday at Jim Oddo Field to continue their perfect start.

Catholic, which also owns two wins against independent school opponents, broke the game open with an impressive running attack that gained strength as time wore on.

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Charlotte Catholic quarterback Chris Walton attempts a pass during first quarter against Ardrey Kell. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Cougars rushed for 392 yards, with Milan Howard, who rumbled for 157 yards and two of touchdowns on 18 carries, the key cog. Catholic’s running balance gradually wore Ardrey Kell’s defense down in the second half, as the Cougars exploited widening gaps in the fourth quarter to control possession.

As stout as Catholic’s ground attack was, the defense was its equal, limiting Ardrey Kell 126 yards on offense, including Evan Pryor’s 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Knights’ final score.

Howard ran for 141 yards and both scores on 13 first-half carries to lift Catholic to a 17-7 advantage at the break. The Cougars dominated in every phase, outgaining Ardrey Kell 217 yards to 51 by halftime, with 195 yards on the ground. Howard accounted for the game’s first score on a 36-yard run, followed by a 2-yard dive with a minute left in the second quarter for a 10-point lead.

Ardrey Kell’s best play was turned in on special teams when Shamari Wingard raced 95 yards with the kickoff after Howard’s first touchdown to tie the game at 7. The Knights struggled to establish rhythm on offense, managing only three first downs in the half, including one via Catholic penalty.

Records: Ardrey Kell 0-4, Charlotte Catholic 4-0.

Worth mentioning: Nine Catholic players had at least one rushing attempt.

What’s next: Ardrey Kell hosts Hough; Charlotte Catholic has the week off.

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