Myers Park High football coach Scott Chadwick said his team felt challenged before its 52-14 win over Harrisburg’s Hickory Ridge High Friday night.
Chadwick said the Ragin Bulls used TV and social media to warn the Mustangs that they were going to slow down one of the state’s most prolific offenses. Chadwick and QB Drake Maye said they read and heard Hickory Ridge saying it was “going to lock the Mustangs’ offense down.”
That seemed to wake up the Mustangs.
Myers Park, No. 2 in the N.C. Associated Press and Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 polls, rolled up 390 yards of total offense to celebrate their homecoming weekend in style with a 38-point rout.
Myers Park remained a perfect 8-0 with the victory.
“There’s no doubt that is one of one of the biggest games of the season,” said Maye, of the showdown with first-place in the Southwestern 4A conference at stake. “We were very focused on week in practice this week. We tried to block it out, but stuff on social media this week (by Hickory Ridge) saying they were going to “lock us down,” and we took it personally and used it as motivation.”
Maye, an Alabama commit, again led the way going 14-for-19 for 249 yards passing and four touchdowns throws.
Mustangs’ senior Porter Rooks, an N.C. State commit, started things with touchdowns catches on Myers Park’s first two drives. Rooks scored on a 40-yard pass and catch on the first drive, and a 14-yard touchdown grab on the next Mustang possession, and finished with five catches for 100 yards overall.
Meanwhile, Muhsin Muhammad, a Texas A&M recruit, finished the Ragin’ Bulls off with an eight-yard touchdown catch with 51.7 seconds left in the first half, and 48-yard touchdown grab with 10:09 left in the final quarter. Muhammad finished with three catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Myers Park (8-0, 4-0) was never really challenged leading 14-0 after a quarter, 35-7 at halftime, and 45-7 after three quarters of play.
Hickory Ridge had a chance to make it a tight game early on with a 20-play drive that ate up 8:41 on the clock (between first and second quarters) before the Ragin Bulls’ were stopped on downs at the Myers Park 2 with 9:01 left in the second quarter.
Myers Park responded with an eight-play, 98-yard drive that gave them a 21-7 lead, and they never looked back.
“We were really locked in from the start tonight,” Coach Chadwick said. “But I thought the key to the game was they drive down the field and we stop them on the two-yard line up 14-0, could have easily been 14-7. Then, we respond with a 98-yard drive to put us up 21-0. That was a huge momentum shift in the game.”
▪ Hickory Ridge (6-2, 3-1) was led by junior running back, Mookie McWilliams, a former Myers Park player who rushed for 112 yards on 22 carries.
▪ The Ragin’ Bulls’ senior quarterback, Kobe Clifton, also had a strong game going 18-for-27 passing for 245 yards and two touchdowns passes, including a 66-yard touchdown toss to Nolan Carey (four catches for 108 yards).
Records: Myers Park 8-0; Hickory Ridge 6-2.
Three Who Mattered
Drake Maye, Myers Park: The Myers Park junior does something that impresses you every Friday night, completing his first nine passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns, finishing the night 14-for-19 for 249 and four touchdowns throws.
Porter Rooks, Myers Park: The N.C. State commit had two first quarter touchdown catches with five catches for 100 yards for the game.
Mookie McWilliams, Hickory Ridge: The Hickory Ridge junior was impressive on the ground with 112 yards on 22 carries.
The Myers Park special teams also had a big night with senior Nick Morgan and sophomore Patrick Alvarez, both blocking punts that set up Mustangs’ touchdowns. Myers Park tackled the punter on a third punt attempt.
The Myers Park defense also continues as the Mustangs have allowed only 58 points in eight games, an average of just over a touchdown per contest.
Myers Park senior wide receiver Twan Flip missed the game with an ankle injury, but should be back next week against East Mecklenburg, according to Coach Chadwick.
Myers Park travels to East Mecklenburg next Friday night (Oct. 25), while Hickory Ridge also travels to Butler the same night.
Hickory Ridge 0 7 0 7 - 14
Myers Park 14 21 10 7 - 52
MP – Porter Rooks 40-yard pass from Drake Maye (Matthew Dennis kick)
MP – Rooks 14-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Tim Newman 1-yard run (Dennis kick)
HR – Christian Hamilton 27-yard pass from Kobe Clifton (Riley Stubbs kick)
MP – K’Daron Redfearn 9-yard run (Dennis kick)
MP – Muhsin Muhammad 8-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Jacob Newman 2-yard run (Dennis kick)
MP – Dennis 37-yard field goal
MP – Muhammad 48-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
HR – Nolan Carey 66-yard pass from Clifton (Stubbs kick)