Middle Creek declared its intentions to the rest of the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference 4A Friday night with a resounding 52-24 win against Apex in the conference opener.
The Mustangs opened a commanding 28-0 first-quarter lead, leaving little question to how the game would end.
“We were aiming for this,” said Middle Creek running back Elijah Perry, who ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns. “We want to make a name for Middle Creek.”
After a 5-0 start and three conference titles in four years, anyone unfamiliar with the Mustangs needs to pay attention.
Middle Creek was ruthless on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Mustangs held Apex to three first downs on the Cougars’ four first-quarter possessions. By halftime, they forced three turnovers. Those quick defensive stops fueled the Mustangs’ no-huddle offense.
On their first offensive possession, Middle Creek marched 80 yards on seven plays in less than two minutes. Perry’s 1-yard touchdown run opened the scoring, 7-0, after barely four minutes had been played.
On their next possession, the Mustangs covered 73 yards in 2:12. Evan Yenulevich caught a 6-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead.
After Yorick Sands’ 33-yard fumble return put the Mustangs up 21-0, Johnathan Spencer scored the Mustangs’ fourth touchdown in 10 minutes on a 23-yard catch-and-run.
“We’ve been trying to start off games better, we’ve been focused on that,” Middle Creek coach Mike Castellano said. “(Tonight) we made some plays and took advantage.”
Quarterback Brant Grisel threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard bomb to Ashton Mitchell in the third quarter.
Despite the Mustangs’ defensive control early, Apex tailback Isaiah Totten, the Triangle’s leading rusher, tallied 198 yards and a touchdown.