Providence had no trouble improving its postseason prospects at West Mecklenburg.
The Panthers scored on four of their five first-half possessions in roaring to a 38-14 SoMeck 4A victory Friday at the Hawks’ homecoming. From the opening kick, Providence, which improved to 2-1 in league play, controlled the momentum behind tailback Julian Boddie, who rushed for 209 yards on 31 carries.
Boddie set the tone in the first half with 130 yards on 17 carries as the Panthers built a 31-7 lead that put the game out of reach.
In addition to Boddie’s running, Providence quarterback Jack Cherry was better than complementary, hitting 9-of-18 passes for 140 yards and two scores.
Providence’s defense limited West Mecklenburg to 185 yards, including 78 passing. In addition, the Panthers’ defense contributed a score when Chris James returned an interception 18 yards for a 31-7 lead with 1 minute, 43 seconds left in the first half.
West Mecklenburg, which dropped to 2-2 in the conference, struggled to establish a counter to Providence’s hot start. Once the Hawks fell behind, Providence unleashed its pass rush, which rolled up seven sacks, four in the first half.
Dyami Brown accounted for both West Mecklenburg scores -- on a 24-yard pass from J’Mari Taylor with 3:19 left in the second quarter and a 1-yard run in the third.
Records: Providence is 5-3. West Mecklenburg is 6-3.
Three who mattered
Julian Boddie: The Providence running back had six carries for at least 10 yards in the first half, including a 27-yarder on a fake punt in the first quarter.
Jack Cherry: Providence’s quarterback connected on 6-of-15 passes in the first half for 81 yards and a score.
Harrison Poe: His 47-yard touchdown reception was the Panthers’ longest play of the game. He finished with three catches for 74 yards – all in the first half.
Providence outside linebacker Chris James showed his versatility with two interceptions and a sack.
With the win, Providence grabbed second place behind Harding in the SoMeck 4A.
Providence is home next Friday against Olympic. West Mecklenburg heads to South Mecklenburg.