Prep Football: East Rowan 30, West Iredell 7
By Marny Hendrick
STATESVILLE - The final score was 30-7 but East Rowan's win at West Iredell Friday night was far from easy.
The Mustangs overcame some offensive sputtering in the first half, played hard-nose defense the entire game, then put it away with a couple of explosive plays in the second half. As a result East remains atop the North Piedmont conference standings at 2-0, 3-3 overall. The struggling Warriors fell to 0-2, 1-5.
"Overall we didn't play so well but I will take a win anytime," stated sophomore quarterback Sam Wyrick. "We are starting to believe in this offense."
Wyrick converted some more believers himself as he passed for 121 yards and one TD then turned a broken play into a zig-zag 42 yard scoring run late in the first half that gave East the lead for good.
The Mustang defense was equally impressive as Dalton Moose, Austin Hill and Tyler L'Hommedieu took turns blowing up The Warrior's spread offensive attack all night. Defensive back Donte Means then delivered the dagger at the start of the 4th period as he picked off a pass and raced 43 yards for the score and a 23-7 lead. It was his 4th interception of the season.
The soft-spoken Means explained it simply, "I saw it, I broke on it, I caught it and I was determined to score."
It was homecoming night at West Iredell and for most of the first half the Warriors held a 7-0 lead thanks to a one yard dive by Josh Lamberth early in the second quarter. West was forced to play an unorthodox spread offense with wide receiver Preston Harrison at QB running the triple option. Their star quarterback Brett Pope watched from the sidelines on crutches as his team had some early success but could not maintain the momentum.
"We were very limited in our offensive package," Coach Mark Weycker stated. " We really had to revamp things over the last week...we are like the Indians with bows and arrows against the Gatling gun."
The early frustration belonged to East however, as they were stopped on downs at the Warrior 9 in the first period. Then trailing 7-0 in the 2nd period, they embarked on one of the strangest drives of the season covering 79 yards, almost 7 minutes on the clock and not one but two touchdowns nullified by penalties.
Wyrick hit twin brother Seth for 44 yards but offensive pass interference was ruled. Then Calvin Edwards scored from the one but holding pushed them back again. The drive stalled at the Warrior two just over three minutes before the half.
"Before this year we would have folded right there," said Mustang head coach Danny Misenheimer, "But we persevered there and that is big when you are trying to build a winning mentality."
East finally dented the scoreboard when a bad snap over Harrison's head in the end zone turned into a safety. The ensuing free kick put East on the West 46 and two plays later Sam Wyrick broke his 42 yard run to make it 9-7.
East made a strong defensive stand in the third period then built a cushion late in the quarter when the Wyrick brothers teamed up for a 6 yard scoring pass. The pick six by Means followed a few plays later then East iced it midway in the fourth on Madison Hedrick's short scoring dive.
Although he didn't score, East receiver Jordan Phillips was a big factor with 3 catches for 106 yards.
, including a pair of slant passes that he converted to gains of 43 and 53 yards.