After four consecutive losses to Waxhaw Marvin Ridge, Ardrey Kell finally topped its rival for the first time in program history, 31-21, on Aug. 24.
Historically, the series had been close, with the Mavs winning the previous two contests by only a combined seven points, but third-year coach Adam Hastings said earning the season-opening win was a good sign for his team, which is replacing several starters.
“(Marvin Ridge) is not an easy place to win,” said Hastings. “They’re an extremely well-coached football team. They play hard and do everything you want them to do.
“The first game of the year, to play like that, that’s a good feeling. We just have to continue to build off this momentum.”
The Knights received strong efforts from running back Quay Gilmore (one touchdown), kicker Derek Ondrof (one field goal, four extra points) and quarterback Nathan Turnbow, who found receivers Reggie Woods and Trey Ellis for scores in his first varsity start.
“I couldn’t be happier for (Turnbow),” said Hastings. “To see a kid progress and just have a great night, he did what we asked him to do. He had a couple of mistakes, but I know they’re things we can fix. He has a good understanding of what we want offensively, and I’m excited to see how he does from here.”
For Turnbow, his performance was a product of the team’s preparation.
“You’ve just got to trust the other guys and trust what the coaches have taught you, trust all the practices you’ve put in and just go out and do it,” Turnbow said. “It comes down to just playing ball and keeping composure and doing what you have to do.”