Six defensive turnovers, all interceptions, turned out to be enough offense for the West Mecklenburg Hawks to take a 62-12 non-conference victory over the Independence Patriots Friday night at West Mecklenburg High School.
West Mecklenburg finished the game with 518 yards of total offense. Hawks’ quarterback, Preston Brown, threw for 345 yards completing 13-of-18 passes and four touchdowns, two of which went to Khafre Brown, who had four receptions for 147 yards. Khafre scored in the second quarter on a 68 yard pass, and his second touchdown came in the third quarter on a 45 yard touchdown reception.
The game started with West Meck taking the opening kickoff on its own 41 yard line and driving down the field to take a quick 7-0 lead with 10:20 left in the first quarter.
After an Indy punt, the Hawks took over on their own 13 yard line and drove down to Indy’s eight yard line. On a fourth and goal the Patriots’ defense stepped up, stopped the Hawks, and took over on downs with 5:15 to go in the first period.
Indy was unable to move the ball and had to punt out of its own end zone. West Meck took possession on Indy’s 45 yard line with 3:59 showing on the clock. The Hawks finished off the drive on a 24 yard touchdown pass and took a 14-0 lead with 1:52 seconds left in the quarter.
On Indy’s next possession, the Hawks picked off a McPhail pass and returned it to Indy’s 38 yard line with eleven seconds left to play in the first quarter.
West Meck started the second quarter with a three yard touchdown run and moved out to a 21-0 lead with 11:11 remaining in the first half.
The ensuing kickoff went into the end zone, and the Patriots took over on their own 20 yard line. Luke McPhail hit junior wide receiver Trevor Bryan on a 58 yard pass play to move the ball to the Hawks’ 22 yard line. On McPhail’s next attempted pass, West Meck’s Keonte Cherry picked off the pass and returned it 86 yards for a Hawks’ touchdown to make the score 28-0 with 9:44 remaining in the first half.
With 6:57 left in the second period, West Meck’s quarterback Preston Brown connected with Khafre Brown for a 71 yard touchdown pass which moved the score to a 35-0 West Meck lead.
On Indy’s next possession, West Meck picked off another McPhail pass and returned it to the six yard line. Indy’s defense held and after a quarterback sack took over on downs on its own twenty yard line with 3:05 left in the quarter.
The Patriots drove the ball down to the Hawks’ 18 yard line. With 59.7 seconds left in the first half, Luke McPhail connected with Trevor Bryan for Indy’s first score. Indy attempted a two point conversion but came up short, and the first half ended with West Mecklenburg leading 35-6.
Starting the second half the Patriots took the opening kickoff and returned it to their own 21 yard line. On Indy’s first play, McPhail attempted a pass which was picked off on the 25 yard line and returned to the two. A flag on the Hawks moved the ball back to Indy’s 12 yard line, and the Hawks took over with 11:15 remaining in the third quarter. West Meck took advantage of the early turn over and ran for the touchdown taking a 41-6 lead.
On Indy’s next offensive play, senior running back AmarRay Green, playing in his first game after suffering a pre-season arm injury, took the hand off around the left end for a 78 yard touchdown run making the score 41-12. On the point after, holder Trevor Bryan had to field a low snap and was swarmed under by the Hawks’ defense.
On the Hawks’ next possession Indy forced the Hawks to punt. The Patriots drove the ball down the field and on a pass attempt, the Hawks came up with another interception on the goal line and returned it to their own ten yard line. On the first play West Meck ran around the left end for a 90 yard touchdown run and took a 55-12 lead with 6:27 left in the third.
With a 1:30 remaining in the third period West Meck’s Keonte Cherry picked off McPhail’s pas and returned it for a 45 yard touchdown to make the score 62-12.
Neither team could score in the final period. West Mecklenburg improved to 3-1. The Patriots lost their first game this season and moved to a 2-1 record.
Patriots fans looking for a positive side only need to look at Patriot’s senior running back AmarRay Green. Green returning from a pre-season injury, made his first appearance this season. Green rushed for 133 yards on seven carries and had a 78 yard touchdown run. Junior wideouts Quihmari McCall and Trevor Bryan found some openings. McCall had four catches for 110 yards while Bryan had a 58 yard reception and a ten yard touchdown catch.
Next up for the Patriots will be the Garinger Wildcats Friday night at Independence High School. Kickoff is schedule for 7:00 pm.
Independence 0 6 6 0 – 12
West Mecklenburg 14 21 27 0 – 62