Prep football: North Rowan 42, South Stanly 14
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER - It was a homecoming of sorts for South Stanly coach Tasker Fleming at Eagle Stadium Friday night.
But since Joe Nixon, Alexis Archie and Oshon West have moved in, it's their house, their rules.
A refurbished North squad continued its rebirth in its Yadkin Valley Conference opener, breaking away with a strong second quarter and topping South Stanly 42-14. Fleming returned to Eagle Stadium after four years leading the Cavaliers and found it not to be as welcoming as he remembered.
"[North] played lights out in the first half," Fleming said. "They've got a good team and they're going to make a lot of noise."
The Cavaliers resumed their momentum after taking West Rowan to the wire last week with stout nights from the offense, scoring a season-high in points, and defense, which forced a safety and two turnovers.
"Not a bad place to be," Archie said. "We're not going to get our head bloated because we lost two games, but we feel pretty good right now."
Archie, coming off a 222-yard game against West Rowan, was solid for the second straight week. The sophomore phenom passed for 153 yards and produced three touchdowns, running for two and throwing for one. Two interceptions could have spoiled an otherwise grand night, but Archie finished completing 10 of 16 throws.
"Alexis is growing up," said Nixon, the North coach. "When you play quarterback, all eyes are on you. He's got to keep growing up and keep that thick skin he's got."
Sakil Harrison reeled in three catches for 62 yards to lead North in receiving.
West, a senior defensive end, had three sacks, two tackles for loss, and got in on a safety with Cecil McCauley.
"Oshon was all over everything," Fleming said. "We had no answer for his defensive pressure at times."
North (3-2) held a South squad that was coming off a 64-point performance against North Stanly to 61 yards rushing. South (3-2) fumbled it four times and lost one.
"It was sloppy at times, but overall it was a good conference win against a quality opponent," Nixon said.
South quarterback Luke Burris replaced Russ Weiker for the second straight game. Burris was hit behind the line scrimmage five times and held to 4 off 11 passing with Kasaun Coney picking off a throw.
Archie found Cameron Sifford twice on North's first drive for 21 and 14-yard catches. On fourth-and-8 from the SS 18, Archie connected with Jalen Sanders over the middle for the score.
"Jalen ran a seam route," Archie said. "It was a great pass and he did a great job of getting in the end zone."
Three plays after that, Burris tossed a jump ball to Juwan Johnson on second and long and Johnson came down with it and ran for a 76-yard touchdown reception and SS took a 7-6 lead.
North, which has gotten two special teams-touchdowns from Coney this year, got another one from Jareke Chambers on a 95-yard kickoff return to put the Cavs up for good at 12-7.
Archie ran for 7 and 25 yards on a second-quarter drive and hit Harrison for a 24-yard completion down to the SS 2. Archie punched it in on the next play for a 20-7 lead. The safety came on the next play from scrimmage thanks in part to a high snap.
McCauley recovered a fumble with less than a minute in the half and Sanders scored with 31 ticks left for a 27-7 edge going into the break.