Wildcats Keep 'Stangs Winless
Despite another strong performance from Xavier Scotten, the North Moore Mustangs football team couldn't end its season-long losing streak Friday night.
Scotten rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and completed four passes for 53 yards, but South Davidson scored 26 unanswered points, taking advantage of four Mustang turnovers to earn a 33-13 win on homecoming in Robbins.
Cody DeCamp rushed for 113 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the visiting Wildcats. DeCamp's first score came on a 28-yard run with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. The extra point by Josh McClure gave the Wildcats the lead for good, 7-6.
Scotten got the Mustangs (0-5, 0-2) on the board early. The sophomore quarterback engineered a 9- play, 74-yard scoring drive. He completed the drive with a 2-yard TD run.
On the drive Scotten ran for 50 yards and he completed a 17-yard pass to Trevor Farquharson.
The two-point conversion pass attempt failed, giving the Mustangs a 6-0 lead with 2:12 left in the first quarter.
"Xavier's a good football player," North Moore head coach Butch Cleaveland said. "We are trying to get the other guys some confidence. but right now he's got to carry the load."
The next four Mustang possessions of the half gained a total five yards and ended in two punts and two turnovers.
Both turnovers gave the ball to the Wildcats inside the Mustang 30. Both resulted in touchdowns.
The Mustangs blocked one of the two extra points, but trailed 20-6 with 46 seconds remaining in the half.
The key play on the Wildcats final scoring drive of the half was a halfback pass from DeCamp to quarterback McClure for 17 yards on a 4th and 6 play from the Mustang 25.
North Moore had four turnovers in the game.
"You can't turn the ball over, especially deep in your own end, and give the other team short fields to work with," Cleaveland said. "When you do that you aren't going to win many games."
The Wildcats completed two passes for 24 yards on the night. They made up for it on the ground, however, as a bevy of Wildcat runners gained 236 yards on 38 carries.
Trailing 20-6, the Mustangs seemed poised to make it a game in the second half.
After a strong opening series by the Mustang defense, their offense took over at their own 35 with 9:27 remaining in the quarter.
Scotten led the team on a 14-play 36-yard drive that ended at the Wildcat 29 after an incomplete pass on a 4th and 11 play.
During that drive, which consumed seven minutes, the Mustangs nearly scored, but an apparent 40-yard touchdown pass from Scotten to Sean Gillmare was ruled incomplete in the end zone when the officials ruled Gillmare didn't have possession of the ball before going out of bounds.
The Wildcats (2-4, 1-1) secured the win in the fourth quarter, thanks to another big fourth down play.
Leading 20-6 and facing a 4th and 1 from the Mustang 39, McClure turned in a back-breaking play on a quarterback sneak. He broke free from two tackles at the line of scrimmage and scampered 36 yards to the Mustang 3.
Two plays later Cody Robbins scored. The extra point was blocked, and the Wildcats held a 26-6 lead with 8:18 left.
On the ensuing kick, Scotten returned the ball 55 yards to the Wildcat 40, and then engineered a 7-play drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Brown. Alejandro De La Cruz kicked the extra point to cut the margin to 26-13 with 5:28 to play.
DeCamp scored the Wildcats final touchdown on a 15-yard run with 1:42 to play.
The Mustangs, who have now lost 15 of their previous 16 games, will travel to North Rowan next week before returning home to play East Montgomery, the last team they defeated.
North Moore senior Jazmin Medina was crowned Homecoming Queen at halftime of the game.
Contact Tom Embrey by e-mail at email@example.com.
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