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Business-like Mallard Creek shuts out West Charlotte on homecoming

Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri addresses his team after a 27-20 win at Gaffney, the No. 4 ranked team in South Carolina
Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri addresses his team after a 27-20 win at Gaffney, the No. 4 ranked team in South Carolina Special to the Observer

Mallard Creek High is adept at grinding out wins.

The latest example is Friday’s 30-0 homecoming victory against West Charlotte in an I-Meck 4A game in which the Mavericks followed their formula of stifling defense and opportunistic offense. After a scoreless first quarter, Mallard Creek, which has won six straight games, reeled off 16 points in the second quarter to put the Lions in an inescapable hole.

“It was a good game,” said Mallard Creek defensive end Jonathan Whitmore, who tallied three of the Mavericks’ six sacks. “We executed our plays, and everything leads to itself.”

Brian Robinson was Mallard Creek’s spark plug with an 8-yard touchdown run to open the scoring followed by a 27-yarder on a screen pass from Dustin Noller to stretch Mallard Creek’s advantage to 13-0. The Mavericks were productive on the ground, gaining 184 yards, with Quasean Holmes running for 111 and a score on 14 carries. Still, they’re not quite meeting expectations with slow starts.

“We dropped too many balls early,” Mavericks coach Mike Palmieri said. “We had a couple touchdowns we dropped. We have a lot of work to do. I don’t know if we’ll ever get there, but we’ll figure it out somehow.”

Records: West Charlotte 4-3, 1-2; Mallard Creek 6-0-1, 3-0.

Three who mattered

Brian Robinson: The Mavericks running back scored a pair of Mallard Creek touchdowns on five first-half touches, one each on the ground and the air.

Jonathan Whitmore: Mallard Creek defensive lineman racked up three sacks in the first half, including consecutive takedowns in the second quarter.

Jalen Brown: West Charlotte receiver was the brightest light for the Lions with three catches for 35 yards, including a 24-yarder in which he bounced off a defender to extend the play.

Worth mentioning

Mallard Creek limited West Charlotte to 77 yards in the first half, including minus-7 rushing. The Lions also failed to reach the red zone.

West Charlotte’s secondary had its shining moments with a pair of stops in the Lions’ red zone in the first half.

Mallard Creek, which has struggled with penalties all season, was flagged three times for 30 yards. West Charlotte was penalized eight times for 41 yards.

The two teams combined for one turnover between them – a West Charlotte turnover.

They said it

“The coach got on me in the first half to kick it up another gear, so that’s when it’s a done deal.” – Whitmore

What’s next

Mallard Creek travels to Hopewell. West Charlotte hosts Vance.

West Charlotte 0 0 0 0-0

Mallard Creek 0 16 7 7-30

Second quarter

MC-Brian Robinson 8-yard run (Adi Turamalla kick)

MC-Robinson 27-yard pass from Dustin Noller (kick blocked)

MC-Turamalla 42-yard field goal

Third quarter

Noller 13-yard (Turamalla kick)

Fourth quarter

Quesean Holmes 11-yard run

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