Sports Shorts for October 22: Hopewell looks to bounce back after loss

by Chris Hunt and C. Jemal Horton

On Oct. 15, the Hopewell and Mooresville football teams met at different peaks of their seasons.

The Titans were tied for first place with Mallard Creek at 3-0 in the I-MECK 4A conference, with games remaining against four of the top teams in the league. The Blue Devils, conversely, were looking up the mountain after a 1-2 start in league play, with losses to conference title contenders Mallard Creek and Vance. But following its game against Hopewell, Mooresville will face three teams with just two conference wins combined.

In a game with serious playoff implications, Mooresville seized the moment, dominating both sides of the ball to win, 19-3, and drop Hopewell to 6-2 overall. In the wake of a tough loss, the Titans’ playoff journey becomes even rockier with a monumental challenge against Mallard Creek on Friday, Oct. 22, followed by second-place Vance and crosstown rival North Meck.

Hopewell coach Chris Rust, however, embraces the challenge.

“With three games to go, it’s still in our hands,” said Rust of his team’s playoff chances. “Even though we have six victories, I’m still not comfortable about making the playoffs. You’re never comfortable. But if we win two out of three, or all three of our games, we’ll be in good shape.”

The Titans take on the Mavericks at 7 p.m. at Thunder Valley.

Hawks seek return to winning ways

On Friday, Oct. 22, the West Mecklenburg High football team will play a home game against MEGA 7 3A/4A conference foe Harding.

The Hawks are looking to rebound from last week’s disappointing 31-20 loss to Garinger, which dropped West Meck’s season record to 2-6, including a 1-2 mark in league competition. The Hawks were unable to capitalize on a 27-0 victory over Waddell on Oct. 8, largely because their offense sputtered at time against Garinger.

This week’s game against Harding (2-6, 2-1 MEGA 7 3A/4A) will be played on Senior Night for the Hawks, who are looking for their second home victory of the season.

This season, the Hawks have been paced by a number of players, including running back Jonathan Taylor, defensive tackle Shaquille Hart, senior defensive end Devin Martin, linebacker Tashion Singleton and wide receiver/defensive back Jakareen “L.A.” Smith. Harding, meanwhile, has been led by quarterback Vadarrian King, running back Shaun Wilson, receiver Preston Earle and linebacker Kyree Thames.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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