A thunderstorm ended Mallard Creek’s 56-0 home victory over Concord Robinson on Friday after three quarters of the MECKA 4A conference matchup.
But even in that abbreviated time, the Mavericks (9-1, 6-0) managed to produce some lightning of their own as they clinched the conference championship.
Quarterback James Smith completed 12-of-16 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a school-record 99-yard scoring toss to senior wide receiver Vernon Grier in a 35-point second quarter.
Senior wide receiver Kyle Horton caught touchdown passes of 46 and 16 yards and returned a punt 68 yards for another score.
Mallard Creek’s defense also did its part, letting the winless Bulldogs (0-10, 0-6) cross midfield just twice and limiting the visitors to 113 yards of total offense.
The Mavericks scored on every first-half possession except their first, getting their first touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Smith to Horton with 6:10 left in the opening quarter.
From there, Robinson never had an answer for the Mavericks, even after its best drive of the game, a march from Robinson’s own 12 to the Mallard Creek 40. Bulldog punter Joseph Bruner pinned the Mavericks back to their own 1 with a rolling 39-yard punt.
But Smith lobbed the ball down the middle of the field from his end zone to a wide-open Grier, who outraced two Robinson defenders to the end zone for a 14-0 with 1:30 left in the quarter.
Mallard Creek was never seriously threatened after that and put the game away with five scores in the second quarter.
Horton got the first two with a 16-yard touchdown reception, followed by a 68-yard punt return when Robinson went three-and-out on its next possession.
A 46-yard pass from Smith to Grier set up the first of two touchdown runs by senior Richard Evans on a 1-yard run. And the Mavericks took a 49-0 lead to halftime on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Javon Harbison and a 2-yard run by junior Cam Stover just 2.4 seconds before the break.
The clock ran continuously in a quick third quarter, which ended with a 2-yard scoring run by Evans. Lightning was sighted near the stadium before the fourth quarter started and the teams decided to cancel the rest of the game.
Mallard Creek plays its regular season finale at 7 p.m. Friday at North Meck. Robinson hosts West Charlotte.