Middle Creek has its first winning streak against those heated rivals to the east. The Mustangs, No. 5 in the N&O poll, played a near ideal second-half and dropped No. 2-ranked Garner, 38-14 before a near capacity crowd at Trojan Stadium.
Junior quarterback Dominique Shoffner threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others to lead Middle Creek (3-0) to its biggest margin of victory in the series.
“I told the kids they executed the game plan we came in with tonight about as close to perfection as I thought we could,” said Middle Creek coach Randy Ragland. “Even when we had bad breaks, like the interception we were able to get a lucky bounce and get it back, didn’t really hurt us.”
Shoffner threw for 287 yards on 19 of 31 attempts and ran for 74 on the night. The Mustang defense held Garner under 300 yards of offense on the night.
Middle Creek led 24-14 midway of the fourth quarter when Garner intercepted a Shoffner pass, but Mustang receiver Shammond Hicks stayed in pursuit and stripped the ball away from the Trojans (2-1) and Middle Creek kept possession.
Five plays later, Shoffner hit Johnathan Spencer on a 19-yard corner route for a 30-14 lead with 4:33 to play.
They said it
“They picked us apart in stretches for 10, 13 yards but I thought our defense played well overall,” Ragland said. “We didn’t give up those big plays Garner is famous for most of the night.”
Three who mattered
Dominique Shoffner, Middle Creek: He knew when to do what at exactly the right time for the Mustangs. He hurt the Trojan defense with quick passes in the first half, then went to his feet, scrambling for touchdowns of runs of 16 and 54 yards.
Johnathan Spencer, Middle Creek: He caught two TD passes and six balls for 103 yards on the night on offense. On defense, he was the hard-hitting anchor on the back end of the Middle Creek unit, helping keep Garner’s big plays to a minimum.
Collin Eaddy, Garner: The junior back ran for 183 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
By the numbers
13: Players from Middle Creek had gain yards from scrimmage on the night.
11: Different receivers who caught passes for the Mustangs.
“It was just about executing the plays and every player on the team taking advantage of their chance when it was time to make a play,” Shoffner said.
2 ½: Sacks by Middle Creek’s junior defensive end George Maya.
4: Tackles for losses by Middle Creek junior linebacker Michael Russell.
2: Plays by the Trojans that gained 20 or more yards on the night.
6-foot-6: Height of Mustangs’ linebacker Connor Cheyunski who used all of it to make a leaping interception of a Garner pass in the second half.
74: Yards covered by Middle Creek’s John Singleton on his return of a fourth-quarter interception for a touchdown.