Prep Football: Common Sense picks
Evaluating North Rowan back in August, Common Sense calculated an 8-3 regular season for the Cavaliers.
That was figuring losses to Statesville and Davie, and that was figuring one loss, somewhere along the line, in the CCC.
Sorry about that.
Upon further review, the Cavaliers’ probable regular-season record now appears to be 11-0.
They’ve already beaten Statesville and Davie, tough games but they won them, and while no trip to play the Red Dogs in Thomasville has ever been routine or breezy, North won’t be an underdog in any of its CCC contests.
North’s remaining schedule looks like this: Providence Grove (1-3), Forest Hills (0-4), Lexington (0-4), West Davidson (2-2), East Davidson (3-1), Thomasville (1-2) and Salisbury (0-4).
That’s a combined 7-20 for North’s future foes, and that’s a lot of losing records.
Salisbury and Forest Hills are almost always good, so North’s schedule looked like a bear when the season started. It’s looking less bearish now.
North’s bye is Oct. 4, and the comedians out there believe “Open Week” has as good a chance against the Cavaliers as anybody.
Time will tell.
After four years in 1A, North Rowan (4-0) is now ranked No. 1 in 2A by the three major state polls, so believers are popping up from Murphy to Manteo and from Monroe to Mayodan.
Of course, it aided North Rowan’s suddenly lofty ranking that basically all the 2A powers, including previous No. 1 East Lincoln, got beat last Friday by bigger schools. North was the only team in the AP’s 2A top-10 that won.
North opened in 1958, so this is its 56th football season. This is only the seventh time in those 56 years that the Cavaliers have started 4-0, and while 4-0 doesn’t sound earthshaking, it should be noted that five of the six previous North teams that started 4-0 enjoyed extraordinary seasons.
The 1961 team went 9-1 and earned a share of North’s first conference title. The 1982 and 1985 squads ran the table in 10-game regular seasons, although both settled for second-round playoff exits and 11-1.
The 1992 team played in the 3A state-title game. The 1994 team played in the 2A quarterfinals. In other words, starting 4-0, especially against three 3As and a 4A, does mean something.
Discuss his team’s status as No. 1 with North coach Joe Nixon, and it’s clear he paid attention during his time as a key assistant on some No. 1-ranked West Rowan teams.
He’s pretty comfortable with the bull’s-eye, and the bull’s-eye is actually pretty flattering when you think about where North was two short years ago.
Sure everyone is gunning for you when you’re No. 1, but at the same time, it’s where you want to be. It not only means you have special athletes, it means the players have put in the time — and the coaches have put in the time.
Big Joe said all the right things about No. 1, said that North wasn’t worried about anything except tonight’s game at Providence Grove, and that’s exactly what he was supposed to say. The next game is always the most important game. As long as the Cavaliers stick with that, they’re going to have that special season.
By the way, the 1992 and 1994 teams own North’s school record with 12 wins. That’s a mark the current Cavs could be taking aiming at in November. Time will tell.
Common Sense was 6-1 last week and is 16-5 for the season. A.L. Brown is off this week.
After erroneously picking North to lose the last two weeks, Common Sense cheerfully jumps on the green and gold bandwagon: North 49, Providence Grove 14
Salisbury’s injury situation isn’t good at all, and the schedule is unforgiving. South Iredell is ranked in 3A and unbeaten. The Hornets will just try to survive until they get to some winnable games in the CCC: South Iredell 42, Salisbury 10
Davie has been unlucky and unfortunate, but the War Eagles are due to win a tough game tonight: Davie 28, Thomasville 21
The night’s most intriguing contest figures to be Carson at East. It’s a big rivalry. It’s an important SPC game. The crowd will be massive. The teams appear relatively even. When in doubt, take the home team: East 21, Carson 17
Northwest is unbeaten and West isn’t, but the Trojans had their hands full stopping South Rowan, so they won’t stop the getting-healthier Falcons in their SPC opener: West 35, NW Cabarrus 17
It’s a different kind of Concord team from the pass-happy bunch we’ve seen in recent years, but it’s still a top-10 type team that plays stout defense and runs the ball. Tough night in the SPC for the Raiders: Concord 38, South 14
Also in the SPC: Cox Mill 28, Hickory Ridge 24
rich williams on west
we played good enough to win tonight but .... we know that won’t be good enough next week play like this and west will put up a big number people spreading out more and more waest is so big they can just come at you