The Marvin Ridge High football team was victorious again Friday night, defeating SCC-rival Cuthbertson, 28-14, thanks in part to a blocked punt return by senior Brady Villa in the third quarter.

The Mavericks (5-1, 2-0 SCC) have won three straight games since their Week 3 loss to Ardrey Kell (Sept. 3rd) and are averaging 29 points per game on offense. This victory also gives Marvin Ridge a share of first place in conference play with Weddington and their seventh consecutive win over the Cavaliers.

“We’ve been looking forward for the opportunity to play (on a rainy evening),” Marvin Ridge head coach Aubrey Carter said. “Anytime we play a team in the county and in (the Southern Carolina Conference), they are going to be well-disciplined and well-coached.”

Cuthbertson started the game on offense, and Parker Burke (21-of-30 for 176 yards) drove the Cavaliers the length of the field. A 25-yard pass from Burke to AJ Colombo set Carson Hegele up to score from three yards out and take the lead 7-0 with 7:32 left in the first.

When the Mavericks started on offense, it didn’t take long for them to claw back into the game. Sophomore running back Jeremiah Liszewski turned on the jets and picked up a pair of first downs. Four minutes later, sophomore quarterback Evan Medders lobbed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jake Young, who beat a defender to tie the game 7-7.

Marvin Ridge took the lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter thanks to Medders’ four-yard scamper that gave the Mavericks the lead for good. From there, both teams exchanged one turnover each for the rest of the period.

Just as Medders attempted another pass to the end zone, Cason Johnson hauled in an acrobatic interception for the Cavaliers with 5:41 remaining in the second. It looked like Cuthbertson might be able to capitalize on the momentum shift, but Marvin Ridge senior linebacker William Crawford intercepted Burke and returned the ball into Cavalier territory to end the first half.

“We know (Colombo and Burke) are both good players,” Carter said. “They’re going to get some stuff (going) on offense. Defensively, we have been doing a great job getting off the field on third down and limiting big plays.”

Liszewski started the second half, continuing to break off massive runs and keeping the offensive gameplan intact. Liszewski, who ran for 90 yards on 19 carries, punched in a six-yard touchdown run with 6:18 left in the third to extend the lead 21-7.

Two minutes later, sophomore Mark Arthur blocked his first career punt, which was recovered by Villa and returned 15 yards for a score. In his first season with the Mavericks, Arthur has 24 tackles on defense and a touchdown as a receiver.

“It was a crazy feeling, knowing that I helped my team score another touchdown to seal the game,” Arthur said of the play. “It was one of my favorite moments I’ve ever had on the field.”

Once again, Cuthbertson did not shy away from their deficit. Colombo ran 15 yards into the end zone untouched with 6:03 left in the game to cut Marvin Ridge’s lead 28-14. But at the end of the day, the Cavaliers failed to mount a comeback on their home turf.

Marvin Ridge will host Piedmont on Friday. Cuthbertson, which drops to 3-4 and 1-1 in conference play, will travel to Porter Ridge on Friday.

Scoring Summary

C — Carson Hegele 3 Run (Jack Rudko kick)

MR — Alex Meeks 28 Pass from Evan Medders (Jackson Moore kick)

MR — Medders 4 Run (Moore kick)

MR — Jeremiah Liszewski 6 Run (Moore kick)

MR — Brady Villa blocked punt return (Moore kick)

C — AJ Colombo 15 Run (Rudko kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing: MR — Liszewski 19-90, Medders 11-49, Jake Schumacher 1-2; C — Hegele 24-62, Colombo 6-53, Parker Burke 6-0, Drew Bryant 2-11, Anthony Goodloe 1-3

Passing: MR — Medders 10-14-1 125; C — Burke 21-30-2 176, Colombo 1-1-0 6

Receiving: MR — Cole Searight 5-69, Meeks 2-52, Luke Raykovicz 2-0, Cody Coleman 1-2; C — Thomas Stamper 7-50, Colombo 6-79, Keenan Jackson 5-34, Cason Johnson 1-15, Reece Morgan 1-8, Bryant 1-3, Hegele 1-(-2)