Many people who came to watch the Mallard Creek Mavericks take on the Byrnes Rebels expected to see a shootout. But there was not much offense going on as both defenses kept each other’s offenses out of the end zone. But on the last play of the first quarter, Mallard Creek got on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run by quarterback Chauncey Caldwell. Josh Silverstein’s kick for the extra point made it 7-0.
The Mavericks extended their lead to 14-0 with a 15-yard touchdown run by Joel Gilmore. The Maverick defense, on the other hand, continued to shut down Byrnes’s offense. Their running game was going nowhere and quarterback Brock Carroll was constantly running for his life. That forced the Rebels to have to air it out. Byrnes got on the board before half-time with a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Carroll to Demarcus Gregory. Luis Hernandez’s kick cut the Maverick lead to 14-7.
Byrnes would struggle to get anything going after that. The Rebel defense would prevent the Mavericks from putting more points on the board. But it was the Mallard Creek defense that would draw first blood in the second half. Larry Matkins intercepted a pass from Carroll and he took it 25 yards for a touchdown. Silverstein’s extra point made it 21-7.
Byrnes cut the Mallard Creek lead in half once more with a Carroll eight-yard pass to Quez Mayes and Hernandez’s extra point. Byrnes would not get any closer. Each team would exchange two turnovers. Though Caldwell and Gilmore scored for the Mavericks, it was senior running-back Darnell Walker that did most of the dirty work with 139 yards rushing.
“It’s a big win. It’s a great win for the program. We expected a tough game. We watched them last week. They got a lot of fight over there. We just made a couple more plays then they did.” Said Mallard Creek head coach Michael Palmieri
“That’s our style of offense. We are a physical football team. We try and play physical football.” Palmieri added “We are happy with the result. All we care about is winning. We don’t care about stats. We don’t care about who scores. We are going for our fourth title so when we get to that level, we just keep winning games. We’ll worry about stats later. We got to cut down on penalties. We’re killing ourselves with penalties.”
Mallard Creek is off next week. After that, they travel to Rock Hill-South Pointe, S.C before beginning conference play.
“Two good football teams playing each other. The team that made the most mistakes lost.” said Byrnes head coach Brian Lane “They’re a great defense. We couldn’t get anything going. We play top caliber teams. We don’t shy away from anybody. That’s what gets you ready for the playoffs.”
Byrnes will host Rock Hill-Northwestern, S.C. next week.