Charlotte Christian is running through what’s traditionally been a strong CISAA conference like has rarely been done before.
The Knights are not only unbeaten heading into their final league game with Providence Day next week, they haven’t allowed a point.
Christian beat Charlotte Country Day 42-0 two weeks ago and beat Charlotte Latin 34-0 Friday. Latin is the reigning N.C. Independent Schools’ Division I state champion and entered Friday’s game averaging 33 points per game.
Latin had not been shut out since 2008.
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“It’s a group effort,” Knights coach Jason Estep said. “We were down five (defensive) starters last week and we were down three tonight. We had guys starting at cornerback who had been starting on jayvee.
“It’s a testament to the coaches getting them ready and the players being ready to go. We kind of bent but didn’t break tonight. They drove and we caused some turnovers and put them into fourth-down situations at times.”
Christian returned eight starters on defense, so Estep said he thought he could have a talented group, but he thought 2018 season would be the special season for the Knights, not 2017. Well, Estep’s team has won seven straight and shut out two of its last three opponents.
▪ Some new young stars emerged for the Knights Friday. Former Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay’s son, Chip, a freshman, returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score. Estep said sophomore Grayson Cadd and freshman Phillip Slaughter, who had been starring on junior varsity, had strong games Friday on the defensive line.
“They’ll be good,” Estep said. “We’ve got a whole bunch of young guys.”
▪ So Hickory Ridge scores against Butler with 28 seconds left on a 11-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Ratliff to Jalen Brooks to pull within 42-41 of the Bulldogs. What does coach Jason Seidel do with a chance to grab the biggest win in school history against a state power and to get into a tie for first place in the Southwestern 4A?
Well, he goes for two (high school OT rules are too wacky to risk). And he gets it.
▪ Tough way to lose for Butler. The Bulldogs lost to Vance on a two-point conversion in the N.C. 4AA quarterfinals last year.
▪ Butler had the inside track to the league title, but now the Bulldogs are tied for first place in the Southwestern 4A with Myers Park, Porter Ridge and Hickory Ridge with two games left. Butler played without star running back Nijere Peoples, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Myers Park two weeks ago.
▪ Harding beat South Mecklenburg 53-0 Friday to improve to 9-1. That’s the most wins for a Rams’ team since 1989.
▪ Two teams I wouldn’t want to play in the playoffs? Providence and North Meck.
Yes, North Meck has lost two straight after a 7-0 start, but losses to Hough by one point and Mallard Creek by one score prove that first-year coach Eric Morman’s Vikings can hang with anybody. And Providence, which beat Olympic 45-13, is now 6-3 and has already played two top 10 Sweet 16 teams to a pair of nailbiters.
▪ Emotional night for Providence Day, winning 42-25 at Arden Christ School a week after a former Chargers football player, Nathan Kochmond apparently committed suicide following complications from a concussion. Forty-two was an appropriate number. Kochmond wore No. 42 for the Chargers and each player had a sticker with Kochmond’s number on the back of his helmet.
The Chargers (8-1, 2-0) have the most wins since 2012 and are one win short of tying the single-season school record.
Providence Day has also won seven straight and will play Charlotte Christian (7-1, 2-0) at home for the CISAA championship next week.
↑North Stanly: Beat North Rowan 35-7 in a battle of teams tied atop the Yadkin Valley conference standings. North Stanly is 8-1, 5-0 in league play, winning its fifth straight. North Rowan fell to 7-2, 4-2.
↑Keaton Prevette, Charlotte Country Day: Heading into Friday night’s games, Country Day longsnapper Prevette, a Columbia recruit, was perfect on all of his punt snaps and point-after-touchdown snaps this season.
↑Carson Cross, Marvin Ridge: Cross set a Union County record with four interceptions in one game last week. He added another Friday against Weddington, and now has a Union County-leading seven for the season.
↑South Meck coach Rocky White: White, who played in the Shrine Bowl 40 years ago, was officially named an assistant coach for the 2017 game Friday.
↑Julia Knapp, South Iredell: South Iredell kicker was named homecoming queen Friday
No. 3 Charlotte Catholic 48, Parkwood 7: Parkwood (2-7, 0-5) lost its seventh straight game. Catholic topped 40 points for the fifth time this season.
No. 12 Shelby 51, East Gaston 6: Shelby got three touchdowns from Xavier Brooks in an easy win. Brooks rushed for two scores and caught a pass from Isaiah Bess for his third.
Charlotte Country Day 31, Hickory Hawks 12: Country Day (5-4) took a 17-0 lead over Hickory (2-6) and won easily. Tyler Shearer threw for 135 yards and two scores. Broadus Roberson had 78 yards receiving. Stephen Payne had seven tackles and a sack for the Bucs.
Alexander Central 59, St. Stephens 21: Alexander Central rushed for 444 yards and ran up 557 yards total offense in the win. Devon Weiss ran 24 times for 153 yards and a score. Bryson Godfrey ran 11 times for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Fort Mill Nation Ford 20, Rock Hill Northwestern 17: Nation Ford kicker Skyler DeLong made a 42-yard field goal with no time left to lift Nation Ford to the win and end Northwestern’s three-game win streak. On a night when his team gave up 285 yards passing and two touchdowns to Northwestern’s Dustin Noller, DeLong punted eight times, averaging 38.1 yards. Nation Ford managed 206 yards total offense but still won.
Friday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Nasjzae Bryant, Mallard Creek: 28 carries for 106 yards and a score in a 27-18 win over North Mecklenburg. Teammate RJ Carter had a blocked punt and a 10-yard return for a touchdown.
Ishod Finger, Metrolina Christian: 28 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 54-6 win over Rabun Gap. He had four catches for 74 yards and a score. Finger has rushed for 2,084 yards this season and is closing in on the Union County record of 2,342 set by Sun Valley’s Allen Funderburke in 2014.
Tim Newman, Charlotte Country Day: 13 carries for 155 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-12 win over the Hickory Hawks. Newman, a sophomore running back, averaged nearly 12 yards per carry.
Dylan Ratliff, Hickory Ridge: 18-for-36 passing for 210 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-42 win over Butler. Ratliff ran in the game-winning two-point conversion with 28 seconds left.
Nigel Summerville, Vance: Junior quarterback had 420 yards passing and six touchdowns in a 70-17 win at home against Lake Norman. That’s the 31st best single-game passing performance in Mecklenburg County history. The touchdown passes ties for the fifth-most in a single game among Mecklenburg County quarterbacks.