The Mallard Creek football team could have easily lacked focus Friday night against Garinger, as the Mavericks were coming off a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to nationally-ranked Duncan Byrnes (S.C.), while they also have a showdown with nationally-ranked McDonough High (Md.) next week.
But the two-time defending N.C. 4A state champion Mavericks (3-1), ranked No. 2 in the Observer Sweet 16, brought their ‘A game’ again this week, rolling to a 70-0 home victory over Garinger.
The Mallard Creek offense wasted no time. Mavericks senior quarterback James Smith found teammate Corey Sutton on a 26-yard touchdown pass and catch on the game’s fourth play from scrimmage.
Smith shredded Garinger’s defense, going 14-for-18 for 317 yards and four touchdown passes in only a half of play.
Smith completed passes to six different Mallard Creek receivers. The most productive was 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior tight end Thaddeus Moss, who had two catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Moss scored on a 62-yard pass in the second quarter, when he ran over a would-be tackler and burst down the sideline for a score. Moss also had a 64-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
Mavericks junior running back Darnell Walker led his team on the ground with 74 yards on four carries, including a touchdown.
Garinger (0-4) struggled to string productive plays together, totaling just three first downs and 41 yards of total offense .
Quote: “We had a great week of practice this week. Last week was last week, we don’t really care about what happened last week. We take it week by week around here. I thought we played a complete game tonight. That is our goal every week. Champions are always working hard, no matter who they are playing or what the score is. We always want to play hard for 48 minutes.” –Mallard Creek football coachMike Palmieri .
Records: Mallard Creek is 3-1. Garinger is0-4 .
Worth mentioning: Mallard Creek’s offense gets a lot of the headlines, but the Mavericks’ defense has also been strong this season, allowing but 48 points in four games, including pitching its first shutout against Garinger. Garinger has lost 34 straight games, dating back to the 2011 season finale, when it beat rival Harding 16-14.
What’s Next: Mallard Creek hosts McDonough High (Md.) next Friday. Garinger visits Marvin Ridge on the same night.