Sep 22, 2012
The Middle Creek Mustangs (5-1) defeated the Cary High School Imps (3-3) Friday night by a score of 31-24.
Cary had its chance to take down the conference leading Mustangs but were unable to capitalize during pivotal moments.
Scoring occurred early and often Friday night as Middle Creek scored on the fifth play from scrimmage as senior quarterback David Salmon connected with a Mustang receiver for a 50-yard strike, putting the Mustangs up early.
Cary’s senior receiver Elijah Bryant started the game under center for Imps, sporting a Wildcat style offense. Bryant, who had not attempted a pass all season led Cary down the field but settled for a field goal after being held on third down, cutting the Mustang lead to 7-3.
Middle Creek later extended their lead to 14-3 after running back Devon Johnson scored on the ground from 10 yards out, giving Middle Creek a 14-3 lead. Johnson has totaled more than 500 yards rushing and has four touchdowns on the season.
Senior quarterback Jordan Dawson entered the game for the first time during the first drive of the second quarter, connecting with sophomore running back Trevion Hackney for a 10-yard gain.
Senior running back Marquise Sherron-Ponds cut the lead to 17-9 after powering through the Mustang defense en route to a 40 yard rushing touchdown. The score was Sherron-Ponds’ third of the year. He is averaging 117.2 yards a game on 4.8 yards per carry.
After receiving the ensuing kick-off, Middle Brook again drove down the field but was held on downs. The Mustangs decided to keep the offense out on fourth down on the Imp’s 23-yard line but fail to convert, turning the ball over to Cary with 5:14 left in the half.
The Mustang’s aggressive decision cost them, as the Imps later capitalized from their mistake.
Dawson added his first score of the game as he rolled out to the right and connected with senior receiver Jamal Caesar for a 68 yard bomb, claiming the lead for the first time in the game. Cary went for the two-point conversion and was successful, giving the Imps a 17-14 lead.
Middle Creek quickly answered back, driving down to the red zone. Senior running back Naaylan Lopez found the end zone, reclaiming the lead at 21-17.
The imps countered the Mustangs score, quickly finding themselves at the Middle Creek two-yard line after efficiently driving down the field with under a minute to play in the half.
Cary looked as if they would take the lead going into half after the Imps traveled into the end zone but the play was called back after a holding penalty.
The Imps were unable to capitalize after they took the ball down to the Middle Creek one-yard line with 22 second remaining in the half. Dawson mishandled the snap, fumbling the ball on fourth down, turning the ball over to the Mustangs.
“I don’t feel that we played our best half of football, so we we’re going into the half trying to improve, trying to do some things a better,” Salmon said. “We left some point on the field, gave some points we shouldn’t have given up but we refocused at halftime.”
Cary took the opening drive of the second half down to the Mustangs two yard line, scoring on second and goal. Sherron-Ponds reclaimed the lead for the Imps, pounding his way into the end zone.
The Mustangs’ elusive offense attempted to answer back after Cary’s opening drive touchdown but was halted after Cary junior defensive back Dejan Foster intercepted a pass from Salmon.
Salmon directed the Mustangs into Imps territory after a Cary four and out. The Mustang offense clicked on the drive, but was halted at the 17-yard line and settled for their second field goal of the night, tying the game at 24-24 just before entering the final quarter of play.
The Imps would again turn the ball over on downs.
After a personal foul penalty and defensive pass interference, the Imps allowed the Mustangs to enter their side of the field. Salmon, again, led his team down the field, scrambling down to the four-yard line. The senior quarterback kept the ball himself and took the ball in for the score, reclaiming the lead for the Mustangs 31-24, with under seven minutes to play.
Following the Middle Brook, the Imps were stopped by a furious defensive attack and never found the end zone again, falling to the Mustangs 31-24.
Salmon went 8-16 for 131 yards and rushed for 67 yards. He finished the game with two touchdowns, one through the air and the other on a scramble into the end zone.
“I just took advantage of them over pursuing and caught them out of position one too many times, and we got the score,” Salmon said.
Cary finished the game with 299 yards rushing, 179 of those yards can be credited to Sherron-Pines who powered past the Mustangs, finding the end zone twice Friday night.
Next week Middle Creek will host Panther Creek and Cary will travel to Lee County.
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