CARY — Middle Creek used an explosive first-half passing attack to put away Green Hope en route to a 30-7 Tri-Nine 4-A football win on Friday night at Falcon Field.
With the victory, No. 7-ranked Middle Creek (7-1, 5-0 Tri-Nine) won its fourth straight game and remained the only unbeaten team unbeaten in league play.
In the first half, Middle Creek quarterback David Salmon completed 13 of 21 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns. He finished 22 of 46 for 391 yards with three TDs and one interception. He also ran for a late TD on a 5-yard run.
"Those guys a do a great job of blocking on screens and they gave David time on the deep balls," Middle Creek coach Mike Castellano said. "David did a good job of getting the receivers the ball and we have athletic receivers. They also do a good job of blocking for each other."
But Salmon was more worried about the Mustangs' second-half play than pleased with the first half.
"We've got to finish games stronger," he said. "We're going to play good teams in the playoffs and we have to play a complete game."
Green Hope (4-4, 2-3) drew a big homecoming crowd with enthusiasm to the see the Falcons' improved program, but the Falcons lost their second straight game.
Green Hope scored in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 24-7 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Chris Tutweiler to Elijah Murrane. The score was set up by Ridge Ford's interception at the goal line that he returned 65 yards to the Middle Creek 45.
The Mustangs settled for Chris Hui's 21-yard field goal and 3-0 lead on their first possession, but they struck quickly after forcing a second straight punt.
On first down, Curtis Burston caught a middle screen and picked his way across the field and through defenders for a 73-yard touchdown catch-and-run that gave the Mustangs a 10-0 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
On Middle Creek's first possession of the second quarter, Burston got behind the defense and Salmon hit him in stride at midfield for an 84-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead with 11:27 left in the half.
The Mustangs led 24-0 by halftime on a 34-yard pass over the middle form Salmon to Demetrius Wilkins.