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Marvin Ridge Wins North Carolina Top-of-Table Clash

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Marvin Ridge Wins North Carolina Top-of-Table Clash

Marvin Ridge in blue and orange; South Meck in black and red. Photo by Greg Arthur.

It was very cold and windy in North Carolina but that didn’t chill the drama as two of the top school teams in the state faced off.

South Meck came into the game leading the league with a 4-0 record (tied with Hough), while Marvin Ridge was close with a 4-1 record.

In the end, it was Marvin Ridge that came away victorious 28-24 thanks in no small part to sophomore flyhalf Cameron Mitchell, who was perfect on his conversion kicks.

Marvin Ridge controlled territory and possession for the first 30 minutes, but South Meck defended fairly well and only gave up one try during that time—No. 8 Nate Rawls going over to make it 7-0. 

“We just made far too many errors in their red zone,” said Rawls. “The conditions made handling and lineout throwing tough for both teams but we expect to perform at a much higher level and usually take these chances.”

South Meck started to get some ball and despite a hard week of practice this week, found it difficult to run their pattern. Finally they did score off a play from a lineout to make it 7-5.

In the second half, Marvin Ridge center Jake Schumacher burst through and was over to extend their lead to 14-5. Soon thereafter flanker Aidan O’Connor muscled over for Marvin Ridge's third. 

South Meck hit back through flyhalf Brodie Evans. But Marvin Ridge’s strong defense and two yellow cards made it tough for Meck to add to that until late. 

“With Marvin Ridge double teaming [outside center] Jamison Beatty all night it left the inside a little more open than Brody Evans and Jack Flemmings might have thought,” said South Meck Head Coach Rick Norvell. “When the opportunity presented itself they took the inside and scored with their quick passing and good decision-making.”

Once they made that adjustment the tries began to come. But at that point Marvin Ridge led 21-5 and a long-range run from captain Finlay Mitchell made the mountain a bit too far to climb.

South Meck scored three tries in the final segment of the game and threatened to complete the comeback, but Marvin Ridge held on 28-24.

“I will say I take full responsibility for not having my boys prepared enough to win that game,” said Norvell. “They all played with heart and never let their foot off the gas.”

For South Meck Aiden Gallant was a massively strong carrier and consistently got his side go-forward. He added to that with solid support running and leading the forwards in running the structure. An experienced rugby player as a sophomore he understands the game well.

Also in the forwards Patrick Dugan was a ferocious tackler and hard worker and relished the unglamorous work.

Out wide, as mentioned Evans and Flemmings showed they can slice up defenses.

But it was a very good showing for Marvin Ridge in victory and Mitchell’s goalkicking, in tough conditions, was impressive.

"Over the season, Cameron's 90%-plus and 100% tonight is especially commendable in tonight's windy conditions with a couple of long-rangers,” said Marvin Ridge Coach Dan McLaughlin.

It was a special night for Marvin Ridge as they honored their nine graduating seniors and they added to that with their Tier 2 team beating South Meck 36-12 with both Mike Feeley and Bodhi Davis scoring a brace of tries each, while Trey Tidwell and Cole Hawkins also scored.

“It took us a while to break down the South Meck defense but our forwards carried well and I was pleased with how well we handled the ball and created multiple scoring chances,” said Hawkins.

With the victory Marvin Ridge is now 5-1 in Tier 1 and 4-0 in Tier 2. South Meck is 4-1 and Hough sits at 4-0 with a game against up-and-coming Sun Valley this weekend.