Football Roundup: Cuthbertson, Marvin Ridge remain a top SCC Standings

Marvin Ridge receiver Carson Cross (No. 3) reaches for a pass against Monroe. (Photo by Greg Arthur).

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Cuthbertson High started with a bang and the Cavaliers used an opportunistic offense and a stifling defense to defeat Piedmont High 24-7 Sept. 28 to remain undefeated in Southern Carolina Conference play.

Cuthbertson scored on the first play of the game and the Cavaliers (3-3, 2-0 SCC) took a 24-0 lead to the final minutes of the game. Cuthbertson led 17-0 at halftime.

Cuthbertson head coach David Johnson said the Cavaliers were ready to play despite a short week of practice because the game was played on a Thursday night because of the Yom Kippur Holiday.

“I thought the kids and the assistant coaches did a top-notch of being prepared to face Piedmont,” Johnson said. “The kids were ultra-focused on the gameplan and we shut them out until there were about two minutes left in the game. That doesn’t happen a lot against Piedmont because they have a tendency to put points on the board.

“It was a great team effort.”

Quarterback Davis Walker was 11-of-23 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Walker’s first pass was a 51-yard scoring strike to Jayden Jennings on the first play of the game that gave the Cavaliers an early 7-0 lead.

Jennings returned the opening kickoff to near midfield to setup Cuthbertson’s first touchdown of the night.

“We hit him on a shot down the seam on the very first play of the game,” Johnson said. “To start a game like that, it kind of takes their home field advantage out of it.”

Jennings finished with 57 yards on two catches and the junior finished with 149 all-purpose yards. Myles Wallace led the rushing attack with 92 yards on 11 carries and the junior had one touchdown.

“Jayden had another huge punt return that set up a field goal,” Johnson said. ”

Josh Sepe led the Cuthbertson defense with 16 tackles. Chris Panko had 14 tackles and the junior has 36 tackles the first two games of conference play. Carter Kendall added 13 tackles and a sack.

“Carter Kendall had another big night,” Johnson said. “It may not have shown up on the stat sheet but he was really disruptive. Carter messed up what they were trying to do. Our linemen, on both sides of the ball, were spot on all night. It was a total team effort.”

Cuthbertson kicker Brendan Sroczynski had five kickoffs for touchbacks and he also hit a 35-yard field goal. Sroczynski averaged 39 yards on two punts.

“Forcing a team to start at the 20 is really a huge deal in high school football,” Johnson said. “Brendan is kicking the ball really well for us.”

Cuthbertson hits the road again when they face Monroe High on Oct. 6.

“Monroe is a really good and I don’t think the last two games are indicative of who they are,” Johnson said. “Monroe is a tough place to play at.”

Marvin Ridge

Marvin Ridge remained undefeated on the year as the Mavericks (6-0, 2-0) defeated Monroe 51-7 on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Marvin Ridge quarterback Bryce McLain rushed nine times for 109 yards and he was 6-of-9 passing for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Marvin Ridge rushed for 230 yards in the game.

The defense came up with three interceptions and five sacks in the win. Will Smith led the defensive charge with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, and he caused a fumble.

Marvin Ridge will look to remain undefeated when they travel to Parkwood High on Friday, Oct. 6.

“Obviously, it was a big win against Monroe because any win in this conference is a good win,” said Marvin Ridge head coach Aubrey Carter. “Monroe has had great tradition the last seven, eight years, and that was a good win for us.

“Bryce had a really good game. His feet speak for themselves as he has done a really good job in our running game. We didn’t throw the ball a ton, but the last few weeks we have done a better job executing our passing game. That has helped us be more diverse on offense.”

Carter said the Mavericks will face another big test Friday night at Parkwood.

“Parkwood is going to be a quality opponent and we are going to have to play well to win,” Carter said.

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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