Mooresville’s football team made a feast from famine following its first I-Meck Conference appearance Friday night.
With limited possessions, the Blue Devils managed to fill their plate with just enough helpings to fashion a stomach-churning, 20-17 triumph over host North Mecklenburg in the I-Meck debut for both teams.
Mooresville (3-2 overall and off to a 1-0 start in crucial circuit competition) leaned on a defensive unit that spent the majority of the night trying to keep the offensive outfit of North Meck’s Vikings (1-4 and 0-1, respectively) in check.
With just inside three minutes left in the game and North Meck piecing together a potential tying and/or go-ahead drive, Devils’ defensive back Devan Joslin intercepted a Vikes pass attempt in the Mooresville end zone to thwart the late charge.
Twice Mooresville battled back from deficits in the first half alone, doing so despite being held to just a trio of possessions during the half.
After surrendering an opening field goal to North Meck late in the first period, the guests notched their first lead of the game on quarterback Hunter DeBerardino’s 25-yard scoring pass connection to Ashton Edstrom near the midway mark of the second quarter.
Following the home team’s own 21-yard touchdown pass-play some four minutes later, Mooresville secured the halftime edge courtesy of QB DeBerardino’s second successful scoring strike, this time covering 30 yards to receiver Ryan Jackson. Matching point-after kicks following each of the Devils’ tallies from placekicker Isaac Riffle pushed the score to 14-10.
The visitors, in action for the first time in two weeks following a scheduled bye, moved out to their largest lead on what was just their first of two possessions during third-quarter play. The Devils’ Jebari Lackey rammed his way into the end zone on a one-yard tote to push the spread to 20-10 following a rare missed PAT try.
Matters tightened once again less than a minute later when, on the opening play of the ensuing drive, North Meck struck on an 80-yard, pass-and-catch play allowing the home team to close the gap to three points.
A back-and-forth defensive tussle resulted in multiple turnovers by each and led to a scoreless fourth quarter only after the clutch pass pick from Mooresville’s Joslin ended all hopes of a home team comeback score.
For the game, Mooresville maintained possession eight times, ending its final drive of the night by taking knees following snaps on each of the game’s last two plays to salt away the welcome decision. The Devils’ Edstrom topped the visiting team’s receiving corps with his six catches covering 100 yards and the score.
Mooresville engages in its first home game in more than a month when playing host to Hough High on Friday night.
NM 3 7 7 0 – 17, MHS 0 14 6 0 – 20
1st Qtr:NM: Sulemani Fortuna 36 field goal 2:31.
2nd Qtr:M: Ashton Edstrom 25-yard pass from Hunter DeBerardino (Isaac Riffle kick) 6:05. NM: Aamauri Johnson 21 pass from John Geter (Fortuna kick) 2:32. M Ryan Jackson 30-yard pass from DeBerardino (Riffle kick) :40.
3rdQtr:M: Jebari Lackey 1 yard run (kick failed) 6:46. NM: Jabin Reid 80-yard pass from Geter (Fortuna kick) 6:34.