INDIAN TRAIL — Porter Ridge High sophomore Danny Kennedy scored two touchdowns in the first half, and the Pirates were able to hold off a late flurry during a 35-28 home win over Cuthbertson on Friday.
The Cavaliers made it interesting by scoring a late touchdown and then recovering the onside kick, but Porter Ridge stopped a tricky pass play to secure the victory.
The Pirates improved to 4-2 overall while the Cavs are 3-5.
Kennedy opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 6-yard run, and then caught a 19-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Myles Carroll in the second quarter. The Pirates led 21-14 at halftime.
Carroll helped the Pirates produce 409 yards of offense. Carroll, who has committed to play for Division 3 Washington and Lee University, completed 75% of his passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
“We have been preparing all week, and we knew what we had to do,” Carroll said. “Those two losses (against Marvin Ridge and Weddington) sucked, and we knew we had to get back our mojo. We came out and executed in all levels and it felt good.”
The Cavaliers got a pair of catches by sophomore Keenan Jackson (8 receptions for 88 yards) that set up Anthony Goodloe’s one-yard score that tied the game in the opening period.
Carroll was responsible for two touchdowns in the second quarter, including the pass to Kennedy with 7:42 left in the half as well as a 2-yard rushing score that gave PR a 21-7 lead.
Facing a fourth-down play in Porter Ridge territory, CHS sophomore quarterback Parker Burke (22-of-35 for 247 yards) got Cuthbertson back in the game with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jackson.
Porter Ridge head coach Michael Hertz seemed pleased with how his team responded in a back-and-forth game.
“It was really difficult,” Hertz said, referring to facing Cuthbertson’s passing game. “At times, we played really well and we got pressure on (Burke). Other times, we weren’t good because we had trouble locating (AJ) Colombo in the secondary. … I’m proud of the kids for hanging in there to the very end.”
Carroll threw his second touchdown pass to Stephan Zayachkowsky (8 yards) with 6:26 left in the third.
Carlton Anthony had an interception for the Pirates in the third quarter, while the Cavaliers’ defense recovered two fumbles in the same quarter. The first fumble led to AJ Colombo’s touchdown pass to Cason Johnson. Killian Fahy, Patrick Woods, and Carson Hegele each recovered a fumble for Cuthbertson.
“We have to continue to come to practice and get better every day,” Cuthbertson head coach Trey Kavanaugh said. “We never gave up, we never stopped believing that we would win the game, and never stopped trusting each other. … The next step is finding a way to come out on top in these close games.”
Porter Ridge will travel to Piedmont on Friday and Cuthbertson is at Weddington.
Porter Ridge 35, Cuthbertson 28Scoring Summary
PR — Danny Kennedy 6 Run (Braeden McAlister kick)
C — Anthony Goodloe 1 Run (Jack Rudko kick)
PR — Kennedy 19 Pass from Myles Carroll (McAlister kick)
PR — Carroll 2 Run (McAlister kick)
C — Keenan Jackson 33 Pass from Parker Burke (Rudko kick)
PR — Stephan Zayachkowsky 8 Pass from Carroll (McAlister kick)
C — Cason Johnson 18 Pass from AJ Colombo (Rudko kick)
PR — Calen Jordan 23 Run (McAlister kick)
C — Jackson 3 Pass from Burke (Rudko kick)
Rushing: C — Carson Hegele 15-61, Colombo 7-64, Burke 9-10, Goodloe 1-2; PR — Carroll 10-65, Zayachowsky 7-67, Samaad Peoples 7-34, Kennedy 5-17, Jordan 2-27, Carlton Anthony 1-14, O’Marion Taylor 1-4
Passing: C — Burke 22-35-1 247, Colombo 2-3-0 30, Goodloe 0-1-0; PR — Carroll 9-12-0 181
Receiving: C — Colombo 10-90, Jackson 8-88, Thomas Stamper 2-43, Johnson 2-30, Alex Tsoukalas 2-25, Hegele 1-1, Matthew Grant 1-0; PR — Kennedy 4-87, Zayachkowsky 3-50, Aaron Hough 1-36, Tristan Stitt 1-8