Mack, Edmond star on rivalry stage
Two relatively unknown High Point Central players stepped into the spotlight in helping their team beat archrival T.W. Andrews on Friday night in A.J. Simeon Stadium.
Junior quarterback Jamiel Mack, in his first varsity start, factored in all four touchdowns — running twice and throwing twice — and connected with junior receiver Charles Edmond for 132 yards and a TD as the Bison pulled away for a 27-7 win.
“It was a little overwhelming at first,” Mack said. “I wasn’t nervous, though, because I know what our team can do. We always stay humble and keep faith in God. So, when we get on the field, we know what we can do.
“We trusted what we can do. We knew we had a better game plan. We just had to come out and execute, and we did that in the second half. We made a few adjustments at halftime, but we really stuck to the same things.”
After the Red Raiders started strong, scoring on their opening possession, Central responded well with a score of their own, with Andrews leading 7-6 into halftime. But in the second half, the Bison took full control, both offensively and defensively.
Early in the third, deep in their own territory, Mack hit Edmond on a short screen, and Edmond caught it and ran across midfield for a 45-yard gain. Four plays later, Mack, who said he tried to take advantage of the defense’s over-pursuit, ran 5 yards for the go-ahead score and added another TD two possessions later.
“That was a big momentum shift,” Central coach Wayne Jones said of the screen. “When you’ve got a team like Andrews that’s fast and tries to put pressure on you, it’s hard to run the ball up the middle. So, you have to put the ball on the perimeter.
“And Charles is one of our best receivers. We actually have four top receivers, and I feel comfortable throwing to any of them. A lot of teams will just key on (Charlotte commit) Juwan Foggie, but they’ve got to realize we have three other receivers who catch the ball really well too.”
Marquell Cartwright played well for Andrews with 157 rushing yards — including 104 in the first half — and his team’s lone score. But the Bison defense tackled better in the second half, limited the run enough to entice the Red Raiders to pass, and they weren’t able to connect.
Andrews completed 35 percent of its passes for the game and, after its opening drive of the second half netted two first downs, only managed to move the chains three times over the final 20 minutes after moving the ball well in the first half.
“Overall, I’d say it was about a ‘D,’” Red Raiders coach Rodney McKoy said. “We started off well, but we just didn’t play well enough to beat them. I just didn’t think we played well enough offensively. It’s just that simple. ...
“They had the ball a bit much, and we just made too many mistakes. Everything we planned on was there (early), but we just dropped some balls, didn’t execute the blocking schemes and didn’t play well enough on defense.”
While it was a good win by Central, both teams know there is plenty more work ahead. On Friday, the Bison visit Asheboro, which played well in beating Eastern Randolph, while Andrews hosts Southwest Guilford, which also won its opener against Rockingham County.