Larry Rountree III stood in the way of Middle Creek’s perfect season. DeAndre Jones and Dominique Shoffner kept it going.
Jones accounted for 183 total yards and four touchdowns while Shoffner piled up 230 combined yards rushing and throwing to power the top-seeded Mustangs past Rountree and Millbrook in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA playoffs Friday, 35-14.
With the win, still-undefeated Middle Creek moves onto the quarterfinals for a rematch with rival Fuquay-Varina. The Mustangs (13-0) defeated Fuquay-Varina 17-14 in overtime on Oct. 23 to secure the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference title.
Fifth-seeded Fuquay-Varina (12-1) defeated Northwest Guilford 35-20 Friday.
“We’re just taking it one day at a time and keep working hard every day,” Jones said of the Mustangs’ miraculous run.
Rountree, the junior standout for the ninth-seeded Wildcats (9-4), peeled off 118 yards of his own and finished the season with 1,987 yards and 23 touchdowns. But he was outpaced by Jones, whose pair of first-half touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving – pushed the Mustangs to a 14-7 halftime lead.
Shoffner then scored from a yard out on the opening drive of the second half to extend the lead to 21-7. Jones’ third touchdown of the night late in the third quarter – a 25-yard pass over the top of the Wildcat defense – helped the Mustangs pull away. Jones, who finished with 154 yards on the ground, added a one-yard score for good measure in the waning minutes.
Rountree, who entered the contest averaging 156 yards on the ground, completed a 42-yard pass to Isaiah Bowman on a trick play early in the second quarter to help set up his own rushing touchdown and tie the game at seven.
But the Middle Creek defense soon stiffened, forcing the Wildcats into a pair of punts, a missed field goal and a fumbled kickoff before a late touchdown sneak by quarterback Reid Herring.
“We talked about (Rountree) all week. He was all we were really worried about. We knew if we could shut him down we could win the game,” Jones said. “Our defense played like they can play and got the game for us again.”
Shoffner completed 13 of his 20 passes for 154 yards while Herring went 13 for 26 for 147 yards, 75 of which went to Bowman.