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Mooresville’s Keshaun Black attempts to elude a defender following a pass reception during Friday night’s regular-season finale against I-Meck Conference champion Mallard Creek. (

Brrrr.

On what wound up being the coldest playing night of the season to date, Mooresville’s football team was given its the cold shoulder treatment as well resulting in a 24-7 decision dropped to I-Meck Conference ringleader Mallard Creek.

Doing so inside the usually warm comforts of Coach Joe Popp Stadium Friday night, the outcome spoiled the Blue Devils’ traditional Senior Night festivities in what was also the regular-season finale for both teams.

Despite the defeat during which the Mooresville offensive unit was limited to one of its lowest production performances of the season overall, it wound up having little if in fact any either additional adverse and/or positive affect on either entry.

The Devils (6-5 for the season overall and 4-3 in the I-Meck rank) headed into play sitting alone outright in fourth-place in the league standings and are assured of maintaining that position upon the conclusion of circuit competition as well.

Meanwhile, Mallard Creek (10-1 and 7-0) began the night residing all by its lonesome atop the I-Meck and exited matters with that status still intact and headline what is anticipated to be a healthy number of league representatives meriting invites in statewide postseason play.

For a half anyway, and despite the season-low game temperatures in place, Mooresville made its highly-touted opponent sweat. That was the case as the Devils forced Mallard Creek into the logging in of the latter’s lone touchdown in the first-half play for Mallard Creek’s mere 10-7 edge at the intermission break.

As was practically the case throughout the chilly night, Mooresville can credit its defensive unit for that.

Trailing by a 3-0 count approaching the midway mark of second quarter play, the Devils’ senior linebacker Malik Birchett first blunted a Mavericks punt attempt. He then gobbled up the block in midair and raced untouched 50 yards for a touchdown. Accompanied by placekicker Isaac Riffle’s point-after kick, it provided the home team with a 7-3 lead.

Mallard Creek then marched in for that first-half score late in the period to resume a lead it would never lose.

All the scoring in the second half came courtesy of two touchdowns tallied by Mallard Creek in the third period alone for the game’s final spread.

The most successful of all of Mooresville’s offensive output actually took place over the span of just two plays.

On the first snap from scrimmage, senior quarterback Hunter DeBerardino connected with favorite target Keshaun Black on a 60-yard pass play. Later in the game, the same two hooked up again on a similar aerial attack covering 37 yards. Those two tosses stood up as the Devil’s longest successful offensive plays of the night.

Otherwise, the defense ruled. In addition to Birchett’s block and TD return of a Mallard Creek punt, Mooresville senior Devin Joslin recovered a Mallard Creek fumble to stymie one Mavericks drive while sophomore defensive back Eli Wilson plucked a MC pass for an interception that ended another.

The regular season now complete, Mooresville will anxiously await word of its pending postseason positioning in preparation for that particular and pivotal phase of play that will get underway for the majority of the teams picked to perform as early as Friday night.

Mallard Creek: 0-10-14-0-24

Mooresville: 0-7-0-0-7

2{sup}nd{/sup} Quarter:

Mallard Creek: Seth Howell 35 yard field goal

Mooresville: Malik Birchett blocked punt for 50 yard return — Isaac Riffle PAT

Mallard Creek: Trent Simpson 3 yard run — Howell kick

3{sup}rd{/sup} Quarter:

Mallard Creek: Brian Robinson 1 yard run — Howell kick

Mallard Creek: Dustin Noller 1 yard run -Howell kick

Note: Unable to retrieve any photos for use with article.{/div}

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