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Nate McLean and Garner Magnet dominate conference rival South Garner

The Garner Magnet Trojans (2-5, 1-1) scored 35 unanswered points in the first quarter against the South Garner Titans (1-6, 0-2) for a 42-6 victory in a one-sided conference rivalry game.

The Titans’ offense was nonexistent the first quarter as the Trojans recovered two fumbles and had an interception of South Garner quarterback Ben Mangungu. Six different Trojans scored in the first half, so a lot of skill position players were involved in the offense early.

“We tried to get things going in the right direction (to) try to make a playoff run. I’m proud of our kids getting better each week and growing and maturing. We’re going to hopefully be able to make a run for the playoffs,” Garner Magnet coach Thurman Leach said.

The Trojans’ offense was dominant, and quarterback Nolan McLean’s four touchdown passes in the first half stopped any momentum the Titans defense might’ve had entering the contest.

“We came out strong, our O-line did a very good job giving me lots of time. It’s a whole lot easier making good throws when you have time,” McLean said.

The only score by the Titans came in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run from Mangungu, but the offense was stagnant throughout most the game.

“A little disappointed tonight, I thought we had been making strides over the last two or three weeks as far as not having so many busted assignments and not backing down just because teams have been bigger and more physical,” said South Garner head coach Daniel Finn. “We got to kind of feel our way through this little rivalry that we’re trying to create here.”

RECORDS: Garner Magnet Trojans (2-5, 1-1 South Wake 4A), South Garner Titans (1-6, 0-2 South Wake 4A)


Nolan McLean, Garner Magnet: The senior quarterback had an impressive outing as he threw four touchdown passes in the first half. The standout pitcher for the Trojans exhibited his arm talents to the detriment of South Garner’s defense.

Garner Magnet – Defense: The Trojans’ defense was impenetrable as they stopped the Titans from scoring throughout the entire game. The defense also recovered two fumbles and had an interception in the first half to put its offense in optimal scoring positions.

Garner Magnet — Senior Skill Position Players: Running back Derrick Alston, wide receiver Jackson Mitchell and athletes Tyler Peacock and Sean Jones-Bennet all scored in the first half.


  • This is Garner Magnet’s second consecutive win after defeating the Middle Creek Mustangs 29-21 last Friday Oct. 11.

  • Seniors were responsible for five out of six scoring plays in the first half.

  • Trojans quarterback Nolan McLean pitched on the United States U18 National Team during the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup.

  • Senior athlete Daveon Dunn replaced McLean to begin the second half of the game.

Scoring Summary

G – Derrick Alston 4-yard run

G – Tyler Peacock 36-yard pass from Nolan McLean

G – Andrew Vines 3-yard run

G – Jackson Mitchell 4-yard pass from McLean

G – Russell Sanders 44-yard pass from McLean

G – Sean Jones-Bennett 16-yard pass from McLean

S – Ben Mangungu 3-yard run

Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.