Points – and picks – were plentiful for West Mecklenburg High in a record-inducing romp.
The Hawks rolled up 518 yards in their 62-12 win against Independence in a nonconference game Friday, but the defense shared in the glory with six interceptions, including four by Keonte Cherry with a pair returned for touchdowns. Cherry tied a state single-season record with four interception returns for scores in as many games.
West Meck reeled off the game’s first 35 points, with J’Mari Taylor scoring three touchdowns, including runs of 8 and 1 yard to go with Preston Brown’s pair of scoring strikes. Cherry returned an interception 86 yards to stake the Hawks to a 28-0 advantage.
West added to its 35-6 halftime advantage behind the opportunistic defense and Brown, who hooked up with Khafre Brown for a pair of his three touchdown receptions. Khafre Brown finished with 147 yards on four receptions, including a long of 71 yards.
Records: Independence 2-1; West Mecklenburg 3-1.
Three who mattered:
Preston Brown, West Mecklenburg: The Hawks quarterback completed 13-of-18 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns. He had 287 yards and two scores in the first half.
Khafre Brown, West Mecklenburg: Made the most of his opportunities with four receptions for 147 yards and scores of 71 and 45 yards.
Keonte Cherry: The Hawks safety snared four interceptions, including returns of 84 and 40 yards for scores. He tied the N.C. mark for touchdown returns in a season with four.
▪ West Mecklenburg’s defense forced six turnovers – all interceptions.
▪ Independence running back Amarray Green had a productive night with 133 yards rushing on seven carries with a 77-yard sprint for a touchdown on his second attempt.
▪ For all West Mecklenburg’s interceptions, Independence’s receivers managed to find holes in the Hawks’ secondary. Wideout Quihmari McCall caught four passes for 110 yards.
▪ Independence managed five sacks, compared to three for West Mecklenburg.
▪ The Hawks have won three straight games after a season-opening loss to Vance.
They said it
“It’s getting there. We still have work to do. We’re trying to get better every week, every day. Hopefully, we can keep getting better and stay hungry.” – West Mecklenburg coach Jarvis Davis.
Independence hosts Garinger; West Mecklenburg travels to Scotland County.