If there was any sense of drama in the Southwestern 4A football race, Butler High’s football team and coach Brian Hales probably put an end to it Friday night.
In a battle of top 10 Sweet 16 teams, the Bulldogs went to unbeaten Myers Park and scored 28 straight points to win 28-7 and get the inside track to another league championship. Myers Park was at home, with a new high-powered offense and a handful of Division I college football recruits. Myers Park, honestly, had a shot at a real changing of the guard in terms of which team rules the Southwestern 4A.
And for a team that usually smothers opponents with a flurry of points from Hales’ high-powered offense, this win – Butler’s 69th Southwestern 4A triumph in its past 74 league tries – was built with defense.
Myers Park led 7-0 in the first half and started two drives inside Butler’s 40, but was held in check afterward by the Bulldogs’ defense. The Mustangs managed 192 total yards and quarterback Brayden Hawkins was 13-of-35 passing with an interception.
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▪ Myers Park fans shouldn’t worry too much. I think the Mustangs still have the talent and coaching to make a deep playoff run, and losing a big game to an experienced playoff winner like Butler should be a teachable moment for them.
▪ Richmond Senior was upset by Fayetteville Britt 41-20. Britt (4-3) handed the Raiders (4-3) their second loss in four weeks. Richmond’s Caleb Hood threw for 250 yards and ran for 25, but the Raiders don’t appear to be a state title contender this season.
▪ Metrolina Christian’s Ishod Finger continues having the type season that should get him in player-of-the-year discussions. Friday, he had 16 carries for 245 yards and five scores in a 61-10 win over Asheville School. He also had a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown.
↑Porter Ridge offense: Pirates ran 46 times for 450 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s 51-8 win over Independence. Jaylin Coleman ran 11 times for 158 yards and two scores. Malcolm Hines ran 12 times for 131 yards and a score.
↑Charlotte Christian: The Knights ended Charlotte Country Day’s four-game win streak with an emphatic 42-0 win. Christian outgained Country Day 283-14 in the first half.
↑Mallard Creek defense: The Mavericks forced four West Charlotte turnovers in a 33-0 win Friday. Mallard Creek’s Jalen Weddington and Malcolm Franklin had interception returns for scores
↑Riley Ferguson, Memphis: Former All-American at Butler threw seven touchdowns in a 70-31 win over UConn Friday. Ferguson completed 34-of-48 passes for 431 yards.
Friday’s #BIG5 Top Performers
Keygan Mayfield, Maiden: He was 6-of-9 passing for 70 yards and three touchdowns in a 64-14 win over Lake Norman Charter. He ran six times for 150 yards and two scores.
Shamar Baker, Newton-Conover: He was 9-of-14 passing for 209 yards and four touchdowns in a 58-8 win over West Lincoln.
Malik Surratt, Shelby: He was 16-of-19 passing for 299 yards and six touchdowns in a 63-0 win over Chase. Surratt hooked up with Tucker Greene four times for 129 yards and two scores.
Devon Weiss, Alexander Central: He had 25 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-27 win over Morganton Freedom.
Jamal Worthy, Butler: Stepping in for injured Butler star Nijere Peoples, Worthy ran for 152 yards in a 28-7 win over Myers Park in a battle of Sweet 16 top 10 teams. Peoples, who set a school record for rushing last week, was injured in the first half. Worthy had 117 second half yards.
Charlotte Latin 45, Franklin Christian 16: Latin led 35-0 at halftime en route to winning. DeMarkes Stradford ran nine times for 133 yards. Quarterback Martin Sumichrast was 11-of-14 passing for 111 yards and three scores.
Pine Lake Prep 30, Highland Tech 0: Kris Petroski ran 24 times for 115 yards and two scores for Pine Lake Prep.