The Soul Bowl – the annual football battle between the Melrose Golden Wildcats of Orange Mound and their Crosstown rival, the East Mustangs – showcased the dominance of host Melrose, 58-20.
Both teams are trying to get back to storied pasts. East won a state championship several years ago. Melrose used to be synonymous with powerhouse in Memphis.
Melrose struck early as Jordan Brown scored from 56 yards out on the first play of the game. The Golden Wildcats put 30 unanswered points on the scoreboard in the first quarter.
East quarterback Kenji Lewis went off the left edge for a five-yard touchdown that put the Mustangs on the scoreboard (30-6) early in the second quarter. Melrose kept rolling, adding 20 more points on the strength of two touchdowns by Cameron Miller and Jordan Ward’s scamper into the end zone with a 60-yard pass from Miller.
Lewis added a couple of more touchdowns for the Mustangs, who did not quit despite being down early.
“We have got to grow up quicker than normal,” said East head coach Dr. Katarii Donald. “Everybody is in COVID situations. We have to make the corrections and get (to) next week and handle league business. My quarterback, we can move him around. My line is strong up and down.”
The goal for the Mustangs has not changed, Donald said.
“We are trying to be league champs. I think we have one of the better teams in the league. If we correct a couple of small things, we will be better in the league.”
Melrose’s Miller threw for three touchdowns (29, 57 and 60 yards). Brown rushed for two touchdowns and Jordan Irving had a rushing touchdown. It was the first win of the season for the Golden Wildcats (1-2).
“We played well early,” said Cedric Wilson, Melrose’s head coach. “We got a little lackadaisical later in the second half. Overall, I think we were pretty good.”
Making improvements “has been an uphill battle,” said Wilson. “It has been tough. We have a lot of speed out here. It is tough to build an offensive line in five weeks. A lot of our kids just came out right before school started. We have got to get these young men to realize it is the off season where you win championships.”
Melrose lost a hard-fought game last week at Mitchell, 28-20.
NEXT: Melrose will travel to play Fayette-Ware in their first district game. East (1-3) will face winless Hamilton.