Charlotte climbed back into the CAAC Gold title race and handed Waverly its first league loss of the season, 28-7, on Friday night.
Junior quarterback Alex Stenberg ran for two touchdowns and threw for another for the Orioles (4-2 overall, 4-1 CAAC Gold), who join the Warriors (4-2, 3-1) and Mason with one loss in the league standings, one game behind unbeaten Jackson Lumen Christi. The Bulldogs and Titans face each other tonight in Jackson.
“This is a huge win,” Charlotte coach Eddie Ostipow said. “It’s homecoming, and it gets us one step closer to our goal of making the playoffs.”
Charlotte jumped out to a 14-0 lead, scoring twice in the last four minutes of the first quarter. Anthony Charameda ran 18 times for 87 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run that gave the Orioles a 7-0 lead with 3:57 left in the first.
CJ VanAlstine set up Charlotte’s second touchdown, ending a sequence of three consecutive turnovers by picking off a pass by Waverly quarterback Airic Boyce and returning it to the Warrior 32-yard line. Five plays later, Stenberg found Kevin Jalilian on a 10-yard touchdown pass that made the score 14-0 with 51.7 seconds left in the first.
Waverly came into the contest on a four-game winning streak, having scored 179 points in those four games, but were able to find the end zone only once in this contest, with the benefit of a short field after a partially blocked punt set them up at the Charlotte 22-yard line. Delano Glosson plunged in six plays later with 5:21 left in the second to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half.
“They were more physical than we were in the first half,” Waverly coach Anthony Walker said. “We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t cash in on them.”
The Warriors started to move the ball after the break, driving into the red zone twice in the quarter, but came away empty both times. Waverly had a first-and-goal at the Charlotte 4-yard line, but was unable to punch it in, and turned the ball over on downs at the Oriole 3.
Charlotte took over and scored the first of two fourth-quarter touchdowns that salted away the win. Stenberg capped off the 10-play, 97-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak with 8:36 left in the contest, and scampered in from 17 yards out with 3:57 left to make the final score 28-7.
The Orioles limited Waverly to 127 rushing yards and picked off two Warrior passes in the game.
“I thought we came out and defended well,” Ostipow said.
“They (Waverly) have some great athletes, and holding them to seven points, that’s a pretty good job by our defense this week.”