High School Sports

Burroughs’ ‘hot hand’ helps North Meck top West Charlotte

North Meck’s Branden Payne and other defenders keep West Charlotte receiver Dezmien Berry (8) from picking up more yardage during Thursday’s game at North Mecklenburg. The host Vikings won, 32-25. The game was one of 10 in the Observer’s coverage area that were moved up a day because of the threat of severe weather.
North Meck’s Branden Payne and other defenders keep West Charlotte receiver Dezmien Berry (8) from picking up more yardage during Thursday’s game at North Mecklenburg. The host Vikings won, 32-25. The game was one of 10 in the Observer’s coverage area that were moved up a day because of the threat of severe weather. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

De’montrez Burroughs looked forward to watching North Mecklenburg’s junior varsity Thursday night.

Instead, he spent it coming up with big plays for the varsity squad in a 32-25 win against West Charlotte in a MECKA 4A game that was moved up a day in anticipation of severe weather.

Burroughs was everywhere, catching seven passes for 119 yards and a touchdown, returning a kick for another and intercepting a pass.

“I was kind of upset we had to play the game on Thursday, so I came in mad and put all my anger into the game.” he said. “Thursday is like the JV game and go through practice like a run-through, so I didn’t expect to play today, but it paid off.”

Burroughs’ biggest contribution was his final catch, a 25-yarder on fourth and 20 at West Charlotte’s 30 to set up Emanuel Wilson’s 5-yard, go-ahead score with 1:32 left.

“It was fourth down and my quarterback (Kendall Coles) told me to get open and make a catch,” Burroughs said. “It was a post-corner (route) but I had to cut it short because we didn’t have that much time.”

West Charlotte fought back from a 19-point hole to tie the game on Jerko’Ya Patton’s 80-yard gallop with 6:19 left, but North Mecklenburg melted 4:47 off the clock to hit paydirt. The Vikings converted a pair of key third-downs to keep the drive alive and Burroughs’ fourth-down gem extended it further.

“They were singling De’montrez, and he had an unbelievable game,” North coach Brad Baker said. “When the chips are all in, you’ve got to go with the playmaker and the hot hand, and he had the hot hand for sure.”

The Vikings threatened to blow West Charlotte out early in the second quarter by exploding to a 25-6 advantage behind its passing attack and a pair of touchdowns by Burroughs, including a 75-yard kick return. North also took advantage of West Charlotte errors, converting a Burroughs interception into a 34-yard scoring pass from Coles (14-of-19 passing, 178 yards) to K.J. Buford in the first quarter for a 13-0 bulge.

North Meck outgained West Charlotte in the first half, 201 yards to 191 as Coles connected on 8-of-10 passes for 119 yards and a pair of scores. Coles had a rushing touchdown from 11 yards out to put the Vikings in front 6-0. He hit Buford on a 34-yard strike and Burroughs on a 40-yarder to increase the lead to 25-6 in the second.

West Charlotte settled down in the second quarter to rally to within 25-19 at the break on Jerko’Ya Patton’s 6-yard run and a 1-yard Cole plunge on the final play of the half to bring the Lions to within six.

Quote: “We’ve got some things to work on. We’re happy with where we are but we’re not satisfied.” – North Mecklenburg coach Brad Baker.

Records: North Mecklenburg is 5-2 and 1-1 in the MECKA 4A; West Charlotte is 1-6 and 0-2.

Worth Mentioning: West Charlotte receiver Jacory Reaves caught three passes for 103 yards and a score.

What’s next: West Charlotte hosts Vance in a MeCKa 4A game. North Mecklenburg plays at Hopewell in a MECKA 4A game.

Roundup

Charlotte Catholic 41, Harding 0: The Cougars sat most of their starters in the second half on a rainy Thursday night. The game was moved up to avoid heavy rains expected from Hurricane Joaquin. Charlotte Catholic (5-0, 2-0 SoMeck 8) got its third shutout of the season. The Cougars have allowed 20 points in five games. Harding (1-5, 0-2) lost its fourth straight.

No. 10 Weddington 31, Charlotte Country Day 0: Weddington (5-1) picked up an easy win Thursday at home. The Warriors defense earned its first shutout of the season, but has held two other opponents to just six points each. Country Day (3-3) had a two-game win streak snapped.

Independence 18, Porter Ridge 7: Independence (4-3, 2-0 Southwestern 4A) won for the fourth time in five weeks behind a punishing defense. Outside of a 41-20 loss to Vance, the Independence defense hasn’t given up more than seven points in a game since August. Porter Ridge (0-6, 0-1) is averaging 10.1 points per game.

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