Prep Football: Previews
With North Rowan off, Carson’s latest attempt to break through in its series with West Rowan is the most anticipated local game tonight. It’s Week 7, but Carson, believe it or not, will be at home for the first time all year.
South Rowan and Salisbury seek their first wins. East Rowan faces a must-win on the road. A.L. Brown and Davie go on the road against talented opponents.
West Rowan (4-1, 2-0 SPC) at Carson (3-2, 1-1 SPC)
Coach Scott Young has to love where the Falcons are right now. They’re still flying under the radar statewide due to an injury-plagued, opening-night loss to Mooresville, but it’s pretty clear now that at full strength that the Falcons are one of the state’s best 3As. That still doesn’t guarantee a league championship since Central Cabarrus and Concord also compete in the SPC.
West averages 41 points a game and allows 15. Daisean Reddick hasn’t really been unleashed yet, but the getting-healthier tailback is up to 92 rushing yards per game. QB Harrison Baucom continues to play at a high level and throws for 132 yards per game. He had four TD passes in last week’s 65-7 rout of South Rowan before fans were in their seats.
Even with Brandon Sloop rushing for 95 yards per game, Carson’s offense ranks fifth in the county. Defensively, the Cougars rank third in the county, behind North and West.
The history of the series has been West, West and a little more West. The Falcons are 7-0 against Carson. West won 42-0 last season and the Falcons have won every meeting by at least 20 points.
Two of the top coaches in county history will oppose one another. West coach Scott Young (162-44) won every matchup with new Carson coach Joe Pinyan (103-38) when Pinyan was at Salisbury.
While West is underrated, Carson probably is as well. Winning three of five road games is pretty good, and Carson won a game at East Rowan it wasn’t expected to win and won a game at Mount Pleasant it easily could have lost. Carson’s only setbacks are to Central Cabarrus and North Rowan, and Central and North have whipped everybody they’ve played.
Carson’s defense appears good enough to slow down West, but not to stop the Falcons. West is the clear favorite again.
East Rowan (2-3, 1-2 SPC) at Hickory Ridge (1-5, 0-3 SPC)
Hickory Ridge already has been blistered by Central Cabarrus (63-26 last week) and Concord and also lost at Cox Mill. East nipped Cox Mill for its lone SPC win, but since then the Mustangs have lost home games to Carson and to Concord (55-28 last week).
East’s offense has been balanced and productive — 320 yards per game and 25 points per game. Mostly because of last week’s struggle, East’s defense is allowing 28 points per game.
Jake Boltz has been one of the county’s surprises and has rushed for 319 yards. Samuel Wyrick has thrown a county-best eight TD passes. His brother, Seth, leads the county in receiving yards with 470.
Hickory Ridge was an offensive machine in 2012 and beat East 49-27, but the Ragin’ Bulls are scoring in the 20s just about every week this season.
Hickory Ridge leads the series 3-1, but the Mustangs are favored by a touchdown on the road tonight.
Cox Mill (2-4, 1-2 SPC) at South Rowan (0-5, 0-3 SPC)
Cox Mill’s new coach Craig Stewart is a South Rowan graduate, which adds a little bit to tonight’s contest.
South ran into a West Rowan buzz-saw last week and lost 65-7, but it has a chance to compete with the Chargers tonight.
South is putting up a respectable 280 yards per game, mostly through the air, but the Raiders haven’t translated yards into points. South is averaging only 12 points per game.
South’s Aaron Kennerly leads the county with 793 passing yards and hasn’t thrown a pick yet. Tyler Fuller’s 16 catches rank third in the county and he’s caught a TD pass the last two weeks. Eric Stowe is fourth with 15 catches.
Defensively, South is still on the bottom of the county stats, yielding nearly 400 yards and 44 points per game. It’s hard to win with those numbers.
Cox Mill has beaten Hickory Ridge and Robinson and could easily be 3-0 in the league instead of 1-2. It lost in overtime to Northwest and lost by one point to East.
South is playing football against Cox Mill, which opened in 2009, for the first time.
If you’re a South fan looking for a reason to be optimistic, Cox Mill has dropped its last three road games. Still, the Chargers have to be favored by 10 or so.
Salisbury (0-5) at Southeast Guilford (5-0)
Salisbury, as we’ve mentioned more than once, didn’t get any favors from the schedule-maker. The Hornets, who are coming off their bye week, haven’t played anyone except 3As and 4As and their only close loss was 14-9 in the opener against Carson. Since then it’s been 32-0, 55-0, 48-30 and 56-0.
Salisbury’s 55-0 loss to West Rowan broke the school record for lopsided losses. That mark lasted just two weeks before the South Iredell game topped it. Due to injuries and assorted other things, Salisbury had only half of its normal starters available for the South Iredell game.
Southeast Guilford’s Falcons rush for a whopping 318 yards per game and has topped 40 points three times. C.J. McThay and Shakir Turner have combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards.
Salisbury has never played Southeast Guilford.
If Salisbury can be reasonably competitive, it will be a step in the right direction. Salisbury starts CCC competition next week.
A.L. Brown (4-1, 1-0 MECKA) at Charlotte Vance (4-1, 1-0 MECKA)
A.L. Brown opened league play by smacking North Meck 30-14 last week, while Vance was burying MECKA opponent Robinson 47-7.
The Wonders’ loss was to Concord opening night. Vance’s loss was actually a pretty impressive one — 41-33 at perennial power Richmond County.
The teams have one common opponent, and Vance had a much easier time with Berry than the Wonders did.
Vance has extreme speed, but it’s mostly a Wing-T running team, and the Wonders’ biggest strength is an ability to stop the run. The Wonders have held their last three opponents under 100 rushing yards. Brown also had 13 sacks last week.
Brown’s offense has been pretty good — 350 yards and 29 points per game — and 29 tonight probably would mean a big conference win.
MaxPreps ranks the Wonders 38th in the state and Vance 58th. This might be a game for the bronze medal in the MECKA. Mallard Creek and Hough are the teams to beat.
This is the first meeting of the schools. Vance opened in 1997, the last year the Wonders won a state championship.
Davie (2-4, 0-1 CPC) at North Davidson (5-1, 0-1 CPC)
Both teams shelled Lexington and Thomasville outside the league.
North Davidson lost an early showdown with Mount Tabor (28-25 last week), while Davie got down in the first half and lost 45-37 to Reagan.
In some respects, North Davidson is Davie’s biggest rival, even bigger than West Rowan and West Forsyth. North Davidson beat Davie 34-24 in 2012 to take a 23-22 lead in a bitterly contested all-time series.
Davie star Cade Carney has rushed for 859 yards and has scored 13 TDs. He had 169 rushing yards against North Davidson a year ago.
While Carney is healthy, North Davidson’s star defensive lineman Shy Tuttle, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound junior, separated a shoulder last week and may miss the game.
North Davidson’s explosive offense is led by running back Kennedy McCoy and QB Brandon McCray.
North Davidson is favored, but if Tuttle is out, Davie’s chances of an upset improve a lot.
Previews of Davie-ND, Brown-Vance, West-Carson, CM-South, East-HR, Salisbury-SEG