Prep Football: Mooresville 21, West Rowan 14: Nation's longest win streak over at 46
By Ryan Bisesi
MOORESVILLE — The nation watched 46-0 meet 0-1 Friday night.
They’re probably not going to get along.
A 14-0 second-half lead for West Rowan crumbled on the field turf at Coach Joe Popp Stadium and subsequently, America’s longest winning streak concluded at 46 games as a new season started its first night.
The opening lap around their brutal schedule ended with the Falcons running out of gas in the final stretch in a 21-14 loss to Mooresville. A 36-yard run into the end zone by Mooresville quarterback Deonte Black with 3:44 left was the final blow for West, whose coach knew all good things had to come to an end.
“It’s going to sound very simple, but I think they wanted it more in the second half,” West coach Scott Young said. “I think we were a little fatigued and we knew we’ve got to work on that as a team.”
The Falcons drove into Mooresville territory in the last minute, reaching the 33-yard-line. Three long passes from Connor Edwards were off in the final 30 seconds, the last of which was intercepted by Brian Stockton.
“Great lessons to be taken from this,” Mooresville coach Hal Capps said. “Life’s going to get you down 14-0 sometimes, but are you willing to battle back?”
Mooresville was willing, and very accepting of what looked like North Carolina’s version of the immaculate reception. Shawn Lester corralled a last-gasp toss on fourth-and-22 around a pair of defenders and scooted into the end zone to tie the game with just over six minutes remaining.
Lester, who said he requested the play call, looked pretty smart.
“I had to come back and get it and broke a tackle and went down the sideline,” said Lester, a division I basketball recruit.
West went 3-and-out on the ensuing possession and punted to the Mooresville 38. Black then ran it 26 yards before breaking free and giving the Blue Devils the lead for good.
“Do I blame fatigue on that loss? No,” Young said. “Do I think it was a factor? Yes, I do.”
After a 36-yard touchdown reception for Desmond Jackson put West up 14-0 late in the first quarter, Mooresville’s rally began with a 10-play, 72-yard drive. Black, who finished the night with 121 yards on the ground, faked a handoff and ran 7 yards to get the Blue Devils on the board with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.
West’s longest possession of the evening was 94 yards and was keyed by Edwards’ pass to Jarvis Morgan, who went 28 yards to the Mooresville 11. Edwards stuck it in from a yard out four plays later for the game’s first points.
“I think they continued doing what they do best,” Capps said. “But I do think we winded and frustrated them a little bit.”
A weary West squad succumbed to the Blue Devils and earned just one first down and 56 yards of total offense in the final two quarters. Black was 4-for-5 passing in the second half for the Blue Devils.
Senior Dinkin Miller, who got 19 carries and ran 85 yards, got a rough start to his senior campaign.
“It hurts real bad,” said Miller of the loss. “The blocks were there for me, but I was thinking too much.”
It was West’s first defeat since Aug. 29, 2008, a 35-21 loss to Davie County.
Friday was not indicative of West, not putting a team away when it was on the ropes, but if anything positive resulted from the loss, it was a new goal coming into focus.
“We’re going to start a new streak,” Young said. “Point- blank, that’s what our challenge is.”