Ricky Taylor's 5 TDs pace Blue Devils in 55-29 win

Maiden running back Ricky Taylor did a little bit of everything for his team on the gridiron Friday.

The senior running back scored three rushing touchdowns, caught another and also returned an interception for a score, helping the Blue Devils win their home opener 55-29 against West Iredell at Blue Devil Stadium.

“In our last game, I played terrible,” Taylor said. “This is the first home game, and I came out with a lot of intensity and came ready to play. I want to thank my teammates for blocking for me. The interception I got was on a play we ran in practice. I jumped it when I saw it and took it to the house.”

West Iredell coach Mike Natoli, a former Newton-Conover assistant coach, made his return to Catawba County in the contest.

“Me and my wife have three kids, and we have a lot of really close friends and a lot of family members in this area,” Natoli said. “This is where I started coaching. We just wanted to come back home. The good Lord has put me in a great spot. I love this school where I’m at. It’s exciting. I love waking up, going to work every day and coaching in games like this against good programs like Maiden.”

Following up his 295-yard, five-touchdown performance against Foard in week one, Maiden quarterback Jake McRee 256 yards and two touchdowns.

“On the first drive, we established our run game, which we didn’t do last week," McRee said. "Having a two-dimensional game helped us out a lot because we were able to move the ball more fluidly and score more often.”

Maiden defender Dalias Woods returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown in the contest.

T.J. Vick also scored a rushing touchdown in the game for the Blue Devils, while wideout Kyle Kelly caught one of McRee’s touchdown passes.

The Blue Devils are off next week before taking on St. Stephens (0-2).