FUQUAY-VARINA — After watching Middle Creek score it’s third touchdown in just more than four minutes, a resounding cheer emerged from the hundreds-strong throng of Mustangs supporters packed into the visitor’s bleachers at Fuquay-Varina Friday night.
“It’s so easy! It’s so easy!”
The Mustangs certainly made it look so, dispatching the Bengals 52-21 in the teams’ Tri-9 4-A opener.
Middle Creek (3-0, 1-0) rode a 27-point second-quarter outburst to the resounding win.
Mustangs’ quarterback David Salmon was a cool 16-for-25 for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Curtis Burston caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Devone Johnson and Naylaan Lopez were just as efficient running the ball. Johnson ran for 67 yards and three touchdowns, and Lopez had 61 yards on only seven carries.
From the opening kickoff, Fuquay (1-2, 0-1) had the right approach – keep possession, grind out yards to keep Salmon and crew off the field. But the plan blew up when the Mustangs’ defense made stops when they had to.
The Bengals’ first possession chewed 5:38 off the clock and nearly ended with a touchdown. Quincy Mangum got behind the Mustangs’ secondary and was open in the back of the end zone. But quarterback Tyler Williams’ pass was too far, and Mangum caught the ball out of the end zone.
The Bengals’ next four possessions lasted a total of 3:20 and ended with a punt, a turnover on downs, a fumble and a fumbled kickoff.
Already up 7-0, the Mustangs blitzed the Bengals for three touchdowns in just more than four minutes and led 27-0 with 7:26 remaining in the second quarter.
Burston’s 13-yard TD reception, then Salmon’s 3-yard TD run put the Mustangs up 20-0. After Terrance White recovered the ensuing kickofff deep in Fuquay territory, Williams scored from 5 yards out two plays later.
Fuquay responded with a valiant 11-play drive, only to see it stall at the Middle Creek 15 and end with a turnover on downs.
Once again, Salmon crushed the Bengals. He lofted a touch pass to Jay Shuller, who raced 84 yards only to be caught at the one-yard line. Johnson punched it into the end zone on the next play, capping a 27-point second quarter for the Mustangs and giving them a commanding 34-0 lead at intermission.