High School Sports

Myers Park jumps on East Meck early in convincing victory

Myers Park High is still in the hunt for the Southwestern 4A title.

The Mustangs kept their championship hopes alive with a 36-13 victory Friday against East Mecklenburg by jumping out to a big first-quarter advantage with a mix of offense and special teams. Myers Park (8-1, 4-1) scored twice on offense while special teams contributed their share of field-flipping plays to seize a 27-7 halftime lead.

Myers Park tailback Khamal Howard, a two-time all-conference pick at East before transferring over the summer, provided 50 yards on 11 carries, but he wasn’t the focus for the Mustangs, who roared to a 20-0 first-quarter lead. Brayden Hawkins connected with Emanuel Alston and Elijah Bowick for scoring passes and Tre Bly weaved through East’s punt coverage for a 43-yard touchdown run.

Myers Park’s special teams came up big in the first half with a 35-yard run on a successful fake punt to keep the opening drive alive, Bly’s return for a touchdown and Blake Wick’s 20-yard fumble return on an East punt for another score. The Mustangs added a safety when an Eagles snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone.

Khalil Gilliam’s 10-yard pass to Nu-Kwan Fair cut East Mecklenburg’s deficit to 20-7 in the second quarter and Khalil Woods’ 1-yard plunge pulled the Eagles to within 29-13, but Cameron Roseman-Sinclair’s 37-yard interception return for a score shut the door on any comeback aspirations.

Records: Myers Park is 8-1. East Mecklenburg is 5-4.

Three who mattered

Brayden Hawkins: Myers Park’s quarterback connected on 10-of-13 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

Elijah Bowick: Mustangs receiver had the game’s longest play from scrimmage, a 56-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

Cameron Roseman-Sinclair: Myers Park’s safety was active in the defensive backfield with an interception return for a score and two nifty pass breakups.

Observations

▪ East Mecklenburg ran 34 plays for 96 yards in the first half compared to Myers Park’s 27 for 191 yards.

▪ Myers Park had four sacks compared to East Mecklenburg’s one.

Worth mentioning

The Mustangs’ Howard finished with 50 yards on 11 carries, with 36 yards on seven second-half attempts.

What's next

▪ Myers Park hosts Porter Ridge. East Mecklenburg travels to Hickory Ridge.

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