A year ago, Mallard Creek’s climb up the national rankings was short-circuited by an early season 31-29 loss to Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) on a field goal in the final two minutes after Mallard Creek climbed back from a three-touchdown deficit.
This time, when the two schools met, Mallard Creek got the early lead and then held on for a 21-14 victory Saturday night.
Mallard Creek (Charlotte), ranked No. 11 in the Super 25, moved to 3-0 with the victory heading into an off week.
Byrnes (1-2) bounced back to cut the lead to 21-14 with eight minutes to play and then made an interception on the next possession to take over at midfield. Mallard Creek’s defense stiffened and forced a punt with less than five minutes left.
Mallard Creek was able to put together a drive and hold on for the win.
Mallard Creek got on the scoreboard with an 18-yard run by quarterback Chauncey Powell late in the first quarter. Mallard Creek then made an interception early in the second quarter and quickly turned the turnover into a TD for a 14-0 lead.
Byrnes got a fabulous one-handed catch in the back of the end zone from Demarcus Gregory to cut the lead to 14-7 with 4:26 left in the half.
Ahead 14-7 late in the third quarter, Mallard Creek had a chance to seemingly put the game away after getting to the Byrnes’ 6. But after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Mavericks went four-and-out.
On the next play, Mallard Creek’s Larry Mankins tipped the screen pass to himself and went in for pick six for a 21-7 lead.