MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Cabarrus football coach Kenneth McClamrock admires the unselfishness of his players.
He said the only thing that matters to them is success.
Quarterback Dajon Johnson accounted for nearly 180 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cream of Cabarrus fourth-ranked Vikings to a 45-0 win in Mount Pleasant Friday evening at Larry Honeycutt Field.
This marked the second consecutive season that the Vikings have kept the Tigers scoreless. Central won last year’s matchup at Viking Stadium, 42-0, in the game affectionately known as the Battle of Highway 49.
Central Cabarrus has won its last two games by a combined 83-3 score since its season-opening loss to Hickory Ridge.
“They don’t care who is getting the touches or the touchdowns or who is getting the glory,” McClamrock said.
Johnson, who passed for 146 yards, hooked up with Arthur Bailey and Jay Rodgers-Freeman on touchdowns. Johnson also scored on a 9-yard run.
“I thought Dajon did some really nice things, keeping plays alive and making plays downfield,” McClamrock said.
The Vikings offense struggled to score early, so the defense stepped up.
DeAndre Boykins picked off Mount Pleasant quarterback Shane Reigel and raced 24 yards for a touchdown.
“The way this team works is when one side is struggling, the other side picks it up,” McClamrock said. “Obviously, DeAndre’s Pick-6 set the tone, and then we got a two-point conversion after that, so all of a sudden we go from not being able to do anything to having an 8-0 lead. Sometimes we need a spark.”
Boykins then scored on a running play on Central Cabarrus’s next offensive possession.
The Vikings’ defense forced three turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble.
It recorded a safety and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Central Cabarrus led 32-0 at halftime and then added two more touchdowns and ignited the running clock with 4 minutes, 20 second left in the third quarter.
“I feel like our kids did a good job of keeping their composure,” McClamrock said. “The defense played huge again. For 10 of our 12 quarters, the defense has played lights out.”
Central Cabarrus 2-1 overall, 0-0 South Piedmont 3A Conference; Mount Pleasant 0-3, 0-0 Rocky River 2A
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
Central Cabarrus’ defense didn’t lighten up in the second half, despite already having a healthy lead.
Early in the third quarter, the Vikings forced Mount Pleasant to punt from deep in its own territory.
The snap sailed over the punter’s head, but before it went out of the end zone, he picked up the ball and kicked it to the 1-yard line where Central Cabarrus defensive lineman Logan Anderson caught it and ran in for his second touchdown of the season.
“It was unbelievable because this is our rival,” said Anderson, whose father, Damon, played for Mount Pleasant. “I’ve played them all my life so it felt good to get in the end zone against them.”
-- DeAndre Boykins showed why he can take over a game. The junior returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. On Central’s next offensive possession, he found the end zone on a 6-yard run.
-- Quarterback Dajon Johnson completed 10 of 16 passes for 146 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score.
-- Wide receiver Arthur Bailey caught two passes for 60 yards. He hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Johnson with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.
-- Defensive back Devon Coley led Central Cabarrus with 4.5 tackles. He also had an interception.
-- Running back Anthony Eury only carried the football five times, but he averaged about 5.6 yards on those carries. He finished with 28 rushing yards.
-- Wide receiver Sawyer Osborne had Mount Pleasant’s biggest offensive play of the game when he caught a 41-yard pass from quarterback Shane Reigel. Osborne had three catches for 48 yards.
-- Central Cabarrus has athletes all over the field, starting on offense with quarterback Johnson.
-- Boykins is every bit of what he is advertised. Even though he didn’t touch the football a lot, he impacted the game on offense, defense and special teams.
-- Before the game, the announcement on the PA system said there would be $1 tacos after 9 p.m. Thank you, Mount Pleasant!
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
Central Cabarrus returns home to play Providence next Friday. Mount Pleasant travels to Concord on the same day.
Central Cabarrus 8 24 13 0 -- 45
Mount Pleasant 0 0 0 0 – 0
CC – DeAndre Boykins 24 interception return (Jay Rodgers-Freeman run)
CC – Boykins 6 run (Boykins run)
CC – Dajon Johnson 9 run (Jaciel Garibo kick)
CC – Safety
CC – Arthur Bailey 39 pass from Johnson (Garibo kick)
CC – Logan Anderson 1 blocked punt return (Garibo kick)
CC – Rodgers-Freeman 7 pass from Johnson (Garibo kick)