Prep Football: Previews for Week 9
South Rowan (2-6, 2-2 NPC) at East Rowan (5-3, 4-0 NPC)
Series: South leads 32-15.
2011: Fullback Corey Darrah defense trampled South 21-0.
History: It's been a serious rivalry since South opened in 1961. East won that first meeting 6-0.
East has won the last two. South's most recent victory was 27-20 in 2009 when both programs had a strong year.
Last week: South lost 31-25 to Carson. East rolled 49-0 against North Iredell.
Notable: East has won four straight and is 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1998. East's defense has allowed just 21 points in four league games.
East's Calvin Edwards is the county's leading rusher (850 yards), and South is last in the county in rushing defense (259.4 yards per game).
South's Aaron Kennerly has thrown for 469 yards and seven TDs (with just one pick) and has done a stellar job replacing injured Nathan Lambert at QB.
The game features two of the county's three top receivers in South's Josh Medlin and East's Jordan Phillips.
Both schools are playing 10-game regular seasons.
Next week: South has an open week before it plays Statesville on Oct. 26. East has its showdown with Statesville next and will play for the league title if it takes care of business tonight.
North Iredell (0-8, 0-3 NPC) at West Rowan (6-2, 1-2 NPC)
Series: West leads 18-3
2011: West's 54-0 win in Olin wasn't overly suspenseful. The Falcons scored on eight of their first nine possessions.
History: North Iredell stunned the Falcons 22-6 in 2002, but West has routed the Raiders every year since. The closest game in that stretch was 48-21.
Last week: NI took a 49-0 beating from East Rowan. West may have played its best game and smashed Reidsville 35-6.
Notable: West coach Scott Young owns 154 career wins, second all-time in the county. He's 10-1 against North Iredell.
West leads the county in rushing defense (55.8 yards per game), total defense and scoring defense. The Falcons have scored six TDs on defense and special teams, with linebacker Logan Stoodley and returner Tyler Kennedy accounting for two apiece. DBs Harvey Landy and Najee Tucker have the other scores.
It's homecoming tonight at West against a school that is a popular homecoming guest in the NPC.
Next week: North Iredell hosts West Iredell. West Rowan is at Carson.
Carson (2-6, 1-2 NPC) at West Iredell (1-6, 0-3)
Series: West Iredell leads 4-1
2011: West Iredell jumped out 24-0 and won 40-34 in China Grove.
History: Carson's lone win in the series was 35-28 at West Iredell in 2010. Jacorian Brown was the hero.
Last week: Carson broke a five-game losing streak with a 31-25 win against South Rowan. West Iredell was clobbered 48-0 by Statesville.
Notable: West Iredell hasn't tasted victory since it edged Wilkes Central back in August. Sophomore Preston Harrison, a dangerous runner, continues to fill in at QB for the Warriors. Starter Brett Pope was injured in the Sept. 14 game against South Rowan.
Carson junior Austin McNeill's next TD pass wil be the 30th of his career and he'll break Zack Gragg's school record. Sophomore Brandon Sloop has rushed for 820 yards. Senior K.J. Pressley is one of the top receivers in county history. His three-season varsity career: 113 catches, 2,143 yards, 21 TDs. Pressley broke Cody Clanton's school record for career receptions last week and he's closing in on Clanton's marks for yards (2,371) and receiving TDs (24).
While its struggles have been well-documented, Carson can still make the playoffs if it handles West Iredell and North Iredell.
Next week: Carson plays West Rowan. West Iredell is at North Iredell.
Lexington (3-5, 2-0 CCC) at Salisbury (5-2, 2-0 CCC)
Series: Some early games have yet to be officially documented, but since 1930 the Yellow Jackets lead the series 37-33-4.
2011: QB Brian Bauk led the Hornets to a 21-13 win at Lexington.
History: Lexington is always talented and often good, but Salisbury has owned the series since Joe Pinyan became head coach. Pinyan is 9-0 against the Yellow Jackets. The last time Lexington won was 41-14 in 2002 in Lexington. The last time the Yellow Jackets won at Ludwig Stadium was in 2001. QB Cory Holt guided the Jackets to both those victories.
Last week: Salisbury outscored Central Davidson 45-35 with Justin Ruffin scoring four TDs. Lexington rolled 40-17 against West Davidson.
Notable: Only West Rowan had held the Hornets under 200 rushing yards, and they've topped 400 yards twice. Pinyan owns 94 career victories. A victory tonight would move him into a tie with W.A. Cline (East) for sixth place on the all-time county wins list.
Lexington allows 33 points a game and Salisbury averages 37, so the Hornets should put up points. Lexington was outscored 192-21 in a rough four-week stretch against bigger schools Forestview, Davie, North Davidson and Reagan. Since losing to West Rowan, Salisbury has won four straight.
Next week: Lexington is home against Central Davidson. Salisbury is home against Thomasville.
North Rowan (5-3, 3-1 YVC) at Chatham Central (3-5, 1-3 YVC)
Series: North leads 3-0
2011: North struggled to beat Chatham Central 20-14 in Spencer.
History: North Rowan buried Chatham Central 49-0 in 2009 and won 35-14 at Bear Creek in 2010.
Last week: North lost a 29-22 struggle with Albemarle that probably meant the YVC title for the Bulldogs. Chatham Central pounded South Davidson 40-14 for its first league victory.
Notable: North should win, but Chatham Central is playing decent football and is far better than the bottom teams in the YVC. The Bears have lost 48-28 to West Montgomery and 41-25 to South Stanly, the league's third and fourth best clubs.
North has to bounce back from a difficult, physical loss and has to make a long trip, so it won't be a routine night.
North's pass defense is tops in the county (72.4 yards per game).
Next week: North Rowan is home against West Montgomery, a program that has given the Cavaliers trouble. Chatham Central is at East Montgomery.
A.L. Brown (7-1, 4-0 SPC) at Hickory Ridge (7-1, 4-0 SPC)
Series: Wonders lead 6-0
2011: Brandon Eppinger threw five TD passes to tie Jonathan Efird's school record and the Wonders drilled the Ragin' Bulls 47-0 in Kannapolis.
History: Brown had two tough battles with Hickory Ridge in 2010, winning 28-13 in the regular season and 21-18 in the 3AA playoffs.
Last week: A.L. Brown beat Mount Pleasant 49-14. Hickory Ridge beat Northwest Cabarrus 56-28.
Notable: The game is for first place in the SPC. Neither has lost to a 3A opponent.
Brown's dominance of Cabarrus teams that don't wear black and gold is legendary. The Wonders haven't lost to Northwest Cabarrus since 1976 and haven't lost - ever - to Central Cabarrus, Mount Pleasant, Robinson, Cox Mill or Hickory Ridge.
A strong Hickory Ridge team has chance for a breakthrough, with the Wonders experiencing brutal injury issues. QB Keenan Medley is out, Shrine Bowl receiver Keeon Johnson isn't expected to play, and Shrine Bowl running back Kalif Phillips is questionable. Andrew Ramirez steps in at QB, and bullish Ricky Sherrill (112 carries, 779 yards, 10 TDs) will shoulder the offensive load.
Brown's defense will tell the tale. It's not like the Wonders can expect to keep putting up 40s every Friday.
Next week: A.L. Brown is home against NW Cabarrus. Hickory Ridge takes on Concord.
Mount Tabor (4-3, 1-1 CPC) at Davie (6-2, 1-1 CPC)
Series: Spartans lead it 15-9
2011: Mount Tabor scored late to beat Davie 32-28 in Winston-Salem.
History: Mount Tabor has won eight of the last nine meetings. Davie's lone win in that stretch was a playoff upset in 2010.
Last week: Mount Tabor destroyed R.J. Reynolds, the league's only weak team, 58-0. Davie lost 13-10 to West Forsyth despite another firm defensive effort.
Notable: It's homecoming for the War Eagles, who are allowing just 8.4 points per game.
Freshman Cade Carney (1,283 rushing yards) may move to quarterback tonight, with hard-nosed DB A.J. Blaskievich joining him in the backfield.
Davie's fine season has included a five-game winning streak, but a loss tonight would just about eliminate the War Eagles from league title consideration.
Next week: Mount Tabor is home against West Forsyth. Davie is at Reagan.