If you’re at a Marvin Ridge football game this season looking on the sidelines for Mavs coach Aubrey Carter, you’d better catch him either before or after kickoff.
Carter, who is in his fifth season, doesn’t prefer to stand on the sidelines alongside his coordinators and where most coaches stand, right in the heat of the action.
Instead, this year he’s going back to the press box where he can get a better view and clearer head to put the Mavs in position to win.
“I used to go up there my first two or three years here,” he said. “I like managing the game better. I like being removed from the emotion and make sound decisions. It’s a little unorthodox, but it works for us.”
From his vantage point, Carter got to see his Marvin Ridge team fight back from deficits of 21-20 and 28-21 before eventually falling to defending So. Meck 7 champion Ardrey Kell 36-33.
Junior quarterback Sully McDermott continued his stellar play as he completed 23-of-34 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception.
McDermott has thrown 55 passes through the first two weeks, and is third in the state according to Maxpreps.com with a 344.5 yards per game average.
“He got us out of some bad spots,” Carter said following the game. “We ended up scoring on a drive where we faced a 3rd-and-27 so the good part is that no matter where you are in a situation you have a chance to score.”
McDermott completed passes to six different receivers, but he has a sure connection with Ian Hutter (6 catches, 85 yards), Ethan Robitaille (6 catches, 127 yards and two touchdowns) and Bryce Kennon (7 catches, 124 yards and a touchdown) who were all sensational against Ardrey Kell.
The Mavs rushed for just 98 yards and averaged 3.4 yards per carry, but Jeb Despard had five carries for 58 yards on his own and Jacob Terwilliger and Daniel Daenecke both scored rushing touchdowns.
Carter didn’t comment specifically about the run game or the defense allowing 33 points despite standout performances Tanner Blackwell, Jack Makarewicz, Cooley Smith and Bobby Savage.
But overall the tone was clear.
“We need to clean a lot of stuff up,” Carter said. “We had too many penalties and some other mistakes, but this is also just our second game of the year so some of it is from that. But we have to clean it up everywhere.”
Last season, the Mavs started 6-2, but lost consecutive games to Weddington, Charlotte Catholic and Sun Valley to close the regular season and were beaten by Mount Tabor to open the playoffs.
To avoid a repeat, Carter knows the little details are going to matter, and especially over the next few weeks.
The Mavs are in the midst of a tough three-game stretch that included Ardrey Kell and the next two weeks when Marvin Ridge plays Northwest Cabarrus, who is a perfect 3-0, and a makeup game with 1-1 Porter Ridge after they were washed out on opening night.
“We’ve talked about it that these three weeks are going to tell us a lot about who we are,” Carter said. “They were a good football team, Northwest is a good football team and then Porter Ridge is up next so we have to clean it up before we get through that and into the conference.”
But, in reality, the Mavs are a play or two away from being 2-0 after Ardrey Kell scored on a pick-6 and later with 10 seconds left after completing a long pass late.
But that’s how the chips fell and Carter and the Mavs are ready to move on.
“The good part is we got down twice and good teams respond,” Carter said. “There’s a ton of positives to take away, we just have to clean some of that other stuff up.”