High School Sports

Charlotte Catholic wins thriller over Ardrey Kell

Charlotte Catholic quarterback John Walton found Ryan Miller over the middle for a 21-yard game-winning touchdown with 8 seconds left to give the Cougars a 38-34 win over SoMeck 8 rival Ardrey Kell.

It was a wild end to a wild game that featured several lead changes, a nearly 2-hour weather delay and back-to-back 90-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns.

After falling behind by 11 in the third quarter, Ardrey Kell scored on a 7-yard Bryce McGinley run with 42 seconds left to take the lead. McGinley ran in the two-point conversion to give the Knights a 34-31 lead in the final minute.

Catholic (9-1, 6-0) took over on its own 43 yard line. Walton hit Miller for a 25 yard pass and John Newman for an 8 yard pass to get the Cougars deep into the Ardrey Kell side of the field and set up the game-winning score.

Ardrey Kell's (7-3, 4-2) desperation pass with 1.5 seconds left in the game was intercepted by Andrew Brouse.

The Cougars win and a Providence High loss to South Mecklenburg on Friday gives Charlotte Catholic sole possession of first place in the SoMeck 8 conference.

Charlotte Catholic scored first on a 28-yard Marco Baeza field goal, the only score by either team in the first quarter.

Ardrey Kell then took a 14-3 lead on two quarterback keepers by McGinley, both coming on 4th-and-2.

The first was a 3-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to cap an 80-yard drive. The second was a 12-yarder set up by an Ardrey Kell fumble recovery with 9 minutes, 21 seconds left in the half.

Charlotte Catholic, which had an Alex Lapiana punt return touchdown negated by holding in the first quarter, scored on its final two drives of the second quarter to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.

Cougars quarterback John Walton scored on a 1-yard keeper for the first score with 5:40 left in the half.

A Jack Speidel interception set up the second score, an 11-yard pass from Walton to Ryan Miller.

With 36 seconds left in the first half, the game was delayed by lightning. The coaches agreed to run off the time and end the first half during the delay. After a nearly two hour delay, the teams started the third quarter at 10:20 p.m.

Catholic opened the second half with a 48-yard scoring drive that ended with a 2-yard Jaret Anderson touchdown run, giving the Cougars a 24-14 lead.

Ardrey Kell answered with its own score, an 8-yard run by Bonte Freeman to cut the lead to 24-20 after a missed extra point.

The teams then traded kickoff return touchdowns. Anderson took the kick 95 yards for Catholic and Josh German took the ensuing kick 96 yards for Ardrey Kell.

Charlotte Catholic led 31-26 going into the final quarter.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer