Cross picks help push Marvin Ridge past Cuthbertson

Marvin Ridge's Hunter Orloff (11) makes a tackle.(Photo by Greg Arthur)

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By the Numbers

0 Cuthbertson did not convert an extra point on three attempts.

4 Marvin Ridge’s Carson Cross had four interceptions.

5 North Carolina state record for interceptions in a single game is five.

6 Cross has six interceptions on the year, including two for touchdowns.

Carson Cross had a hat trick plus one as the junior recorded four interceptions to help lead Marvin Ridge to a hard-fought 25-18 win over Cuthbertson in a Southern Carolina Conference game on Friday, Oct. 13

Cross’ third interception set up Marvin Ridge’s game-winning touchdown with 1 minute, 34 seconds left in the game and his fourth interception sealed the Mavericks’ victory with 1:02 left in the game.

Cross also had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave the Mavericks (8-0 overall, 4-0 SCC) a 7-6 lead with 8:17 left in the first half. The North Carolina state record for interceptions in a single game is five. Cross now has six interceptions on the year, including two for touchdowns.

“Carson made some incredible plays that kept us in the game,” said Marvin Ridge head football coach Aubrey Carter. “He made the interception that gave us the chance to take the lead and the one that closed it out. Carson, he was unbelievable.

“The interception for a touchdown was big because Cuthbertson was sustaining drives. We were a little stuck on offense and that was an obvious momentum shift at that point in the game.”

Cuthbertson took an 18-17 lead with 10:15 left in the game when Myles Wallace capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed. Cuthbertson twice converted on third down to keep the drive alive. Wallace finished with 100 yards rushing on 25 carries.

Marvin Ridge countered by driving down to the Cuthbertson 30 but Jason Stricker missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with 6:55 left in the game.

The Mavericks got the ball back with 4:07 left in the game but Cuthbertson’s Jackson Cheek intercepted Marvin Ridge quarterback Bryce McLain with four minutes left in the game. Cuthbertson (4-4, 3-1) picked up a quick first down but Cross intercepted Davis Walker at the Mavericks’ 35 on third-and-10 and took the ball back to the Cavaliers’ 38

Three plays later, Caleb Woodley scored on a 17-yard run and the two-point conversion pass from Michael Freeman back to McLain put the Mavericks in front 25-18 with just over a minute left in the game. Woodley, who had three carries for 35 yards on the game-winning drive, dragged three Cuthbertson defenders the final five yards to the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

“On that last drive, that was want-to from our offensive line and, obviously, Caleb refused to go down,” Carter said. “Caleb had a couple of nice runs before the touchdown run.”

Cross then picked up his fourth interception at the Mavs’ 1 with 1:02 left in the game and Marvin Ridge then ran out the clock for the victory.

“Cuthbertson is a good football team and we battled and fought and scratched,” Carter said. “We talked to the kids at halftime on how we are going to respond in the second half. We were challenged but I thought our kids played with a ton of resolve and fought for each other.”

Walker was 22-of-36 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns for the Cavaliers. Trevor Grant finished with six catches for 114 yards and one touchdown for the Cavaliers.

McLain finished with 75 yards rushing and he was 11-of-20 passing for 153 yards.

Marvin Ridge, which is tied atop the league standings with Charlotte Catholic, hosts Weddington on Friday, Oct. 20. Weddington defeated Parkwood to move to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the SCC on Oct. 13.

“We don’t have any open weeks and we have a tough challenge against Weddington, which is a rivalry game,” Carter said. “We are going to have to play well to win.”

Cuthbertson hosts Sun Valley on Oct. 20.

Scoring Summary

Marvin Ridge 25, Cuthbertson 18

Marvin Ridge 0 14 3 8 — 25

Cuthbertson 6 6 0 6 — 18

First Quarter

CHS – Grant 23 pass from Walker (PAT blocked), 14.1

Second Quarter

MR – Cross 65 interception return (Lopez kick), 8:17

MR – Deveaux 5 run (Lopez kick), 6:52

CHS – Weber 22 pass from Walker (Pass failed), 36.6

Third Quarter

MR – Stricker 40 FG, 3:19

Fourth Quarter

CHS – Wallace 6 run (Pass failed), 10:15

MR – Woodley 17 run (McLain pass from Freeman), 1:34

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at