FUQUAY-VARINA — Panther Creek senior Dorrel McClain scored four touchdowns, including three in the second half, to help lead the Catamounts to a 34-16 victory over Fuquay-Varina on Friday.
Panther Creek, which improved to 3-1 in the Southwest Wake Conference, scored 24 unanswered points after halftime to remain in second place in the conference.
“We came out and played a lot harder in the second half,” said McClain, who scored on runs of 15, 17 and 8 yards following intermission. “It’s been great to see our team work so hard and come together as a family. Even when we got down tonight we didn’t lose our focus.”
The Catamounts capitalized on two special teams plays in the first five minutes of the second half. Javontay Rhoades returned the opening kick 50 yards to set up McClain’s second touchdown, and on the ensuing kickoff, Panther Creek jarred the ball loose and recovered at the F-V 28-yard line. McClain had his third score five plays later and the Catamounts turned a 16-10 deficit into a 24-16 advantage.
“We capitalized on some opportunities,” Panther Creek coach Sean Crocker said. “To come up with 14 points in the first five minutes after halftime was huge. Fuquay-Varina played well and took us out of some of the things we liked to do in the first half.”
Crocker credited the Catamount defense, which limited the Bengals (1-3 SWAC)) to 76 yards of offense in the second half. Phillip Stone connected on two field goals of 22 and 27 yards, and Panther Creek quarterback Brendan Magner was an efficient 10 of 17 passing for 142 yards. Magner’s 78-yard pass to Rhoades in the first quarter set up their first score.
Fuquay-Varina senior Tyler Williams rushed for 186 yards and scored twice, including a 67-yard burst on the game’s second play.
Williams was also named homecoming king at intermission.
Trevor Phillips sacked Magner for a safety in the second quarter to put the Bengals ahead 16-10.
“Panther Creek made some good halftime adjustments and shut down our inside running game,” said F-V coach Jeb Hall. “Our kids played hard on both sides of the ball, but McClain got loose and made some big plays for them. We have to be able to overcome some adversity, but as a young team that will come.”