Darnell Walker ran for three touchdowns to lead No. 13 Mallard Creek (Charlotte) to a 35-20 defeat of rival Butler (Matthews, N.C.) on Friday.
Walker had a 7-yard run for the Mavericks’ first score and also an 11-yard run for the team’s first touchdown of the second half. His last touchdown came on a 17-yard pass from Chauncey Caldwell in the third quarter.
It was Mallard Creek’s fourth consecutive win against the Bulldogs. The Mavericks won both games against Butler last season, including a 35-30 playoff game that ended the Bulldogs’ season.
Butler was hurt in the early going by penalties. The Bulldogs’ first touchdown, a 90-yard kickoff return by Dirk Cureton, was negated by an illegal blocking penalty. That led to Walker’s first touchdown, and just before the end of the first quarter, Caldwell found Ryan Jones on a fade route for a 10-yard touchdown pass and the Mavericks were up 14-0.
Caldwell also had a touchdown pass in the second half as he connected with Tre’ Exume for a 50-yard strike that put the Mavs up 28-13 in the third quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Butler got its first touchdown as Davis Cheek threw a 30-yard pass to Cureton, cutting Mallard Creek’s lead to 14-7. Cheek also connected with Cureton for a 4-yard touchdown pass with three minutes to go in the game.
Cheek brought Butler to within a point on a 4-yard run just before the half, but a bad snap on the extra point allowed Mallard Creek to hold a 14-13 lead.
The Mavericks (2-0) play host to Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) next Friday while the Bulldogs (1-1) play at Western Alamance (Elon).