Prep Football: Mooresville 48, Carson 6
By Bret Strelow
CHINA GROVE ó Carson suffered its second consecutive loss, but it failed to move forward for the first time this season.
Jjshaun Pinkston rushed 13 times for 226 yards and three scores to lead Mooresville to a 48-6 victory against the Cougars on Friday night.
Carson picked up the first win in school history when it handled North Rowan in the opener, and the Cougars (1-2, 0-1 NPC) made another positive impression in a nine-point setback to Salisbury.
“This is a big surprise, to be honest with you,” Carson coach Mark Woody said. “We didn’t anticipate this at all.”
The Blue Devils (2-1, 1-0 NPC) led 48-0 when Carson’s Josh Mullis recovered a fumble early in the fourth quarter. Jacquarian Brown gained 48 yards on two carries, and Shaun Warren capped the drive with a 28-yard touchdown run.
Mooresville had scored on eight straight possessions prior to that turnover.
“They’re a lot better in person than they are on film, and we thought they were good on film,” Woody said. “They’re even better in person. The thing I was impressed with was the offensive line.”
Jensen Harden halted Mooresville’s first drive by intercepting a pass 5 yards shy of the end zone, but the Blue Devils broke through on Pinkston’s 1-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining in the quarter.
The Cougars, who committed five costly turnovers in the loss to Salisbury, ended their next three drives against Mooresville with two fumbles and a special teams miscue.
The Blue Devils capitalized each time and led 28-0 entering the second quarter.
“I don’t think they’re being slack with the ball,” Woody said. “I think it’s one of those things where they had some hits on it. It was just at inopportune times for us and opportune for them.”
Trailing 7-0, the Cougars picked up two first downs thanks to a 15-yard reception by Travis Hayes and a 12-yard run by Warren. Brown lost a fumble on the next play.
Pinkston, taking a late option pitch from quarterback Nathan Abraham, scampered 59 yards for a touchdown on Mooresville’s next offensive snap.
Warren lost a fumble on the second play of Carson’s next series, and Mooresville defensive end Prath Bruton returned the recovery to the Cougars’ 18-yard line. Fullback Alex Mooney scored on a 2-yard run.
Mooresville forced a three-and-out, and punter Joseph Basinger’s knee touched the ground as he fielded a low snap. The Blue Devils took over at the 16, and Abraham danced into the end zone two plays later.
“We haven’t dropped balls; we haven’t fumbled balls,” Woody said. “Sometimes those things happen, and I think you have to give Mooresville some credit.”
Carson, which held Pinkston to 34 yards on 17 carries in a 27-7 loss last season, enjoyed a strong start to Friday’s game.
Zack White and Scott Ashby stopped Pinkston for a loss on the first play. Basinger and Brandon Goodman tackled Abraham behind the line of scrimmage on second down. Abraham completed a 44-yard pass to Dalton Pierce on third down, and the Blue Devils rolled from there. Their next 17 carries, all gains, netted 198 yards.
A touchdown grab by Pierce helped Mooresville take a 38-0 lead into halftime, and Pinkston participated in only two second-half plays. He reached the end zone for the 11th time this season by racing 75 yards for a touchdown with 9:36 left in the third quarter.
“No. 1, I think he remembered that they did a good job on him last year,” Mooresville coach Barclay Marsh said. “No. 2, we’ve got a very veteran offensive line. They played very good.”
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