Ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation, Mallard Creek came out and dominated a strong Independence High football team Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Any N.C. 4AA team that hopes to challenge the two-time state champs will look at film from this game and have a lot to think about.
Mallard Creek has massive size, speed and very few weaknesses.
The Mavericks beat Independence 58-6, handing the Patriots one of the worst losses in a school history that includes seven state championships.
And until Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri subbed in his reserves near the end of the third quarter, the Mavericks’ defense allowed 122 passing yards and minus-8 rush yards.
Mallard Creek led 24-6 at halftime and blew open the game with four touchdowns in the third quarter. In that period, Independence had three possessions against the Mavericks’ first-team defense. Those possessions resulted in minus-7 total yards on 17 plays.
Mallard Creek quarterback James Smith was 7-for-17 for 158 yards. He threw four touchdown passes. Smith, a 5-foot-10 senior, ran 10 times for 55 yards and two more touchdowns.
Tailback Chauncery Bowman ran 13 times for 107 yards. He had two rushing touchdowns and one pass receiving touchdown.
This was the first meeting between the teams in five years. The all-time series is now tied at 2.
▪ Mallard Creek tight end Thad Moss, son of NFL All-Pro Randy Moss, had a pretty 11-yard touchdown catch when he jumped over an Independence defender for a tough reception in traffic.
▪ Independence running back Quantavious McGill had 12 carries for 25 yards, but had some nice runs, making gains out of what looked to be losses as Mallard Creek’s large and fast lineup broke through blocking assignments.
Mallard Creek hosts No. 2 Butler; Independence hosts N.C. eastern 4A power Scotland County.
MC: Chauncery Bowman 1 run (Anthony Valderrama kick)
MC: FG Valderrama 22
I: Cedric Stone 64 pass from Christian McPhail (kick failed)
MC: James Smith 13 run (Valderrama kick)
MC: Thad Moss 13 pass from Smith (Valderrama kick)
MC: Bowman 18 run (Valderrama kick)
MC: Smith 13 run (Valderrama kick)
MC: Bowman 34 pass from Smith (kick failed)
MC: Ryan Jones 37 pass from Smith (Valderrama kick)
MC: Josh Cruz 84 pass from Seth Sturdivant (Valderrama kick)