Gallagher column: Roaming the county for Week 9
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight ...
SALISBURY - There has been a lot of hoopla in this paper about the North Piedmont Conference this season. And why not? It's been a topsy-turvy year with West losing twice in the league and one-win teams of a year ago, East Rowan and South Rowan, looking down on the Falcons in the standings. And let's not forget the new-look North Rowan Cavaliers, who are making a name for themselves.
It's almost enough to make you forget the hot team in the city - the 5-2 Salisbury Hornets.
Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said he has noticed what's going on around him.
"East Rowan's having a great year," he said. "West Rowan's always good. Joe Nixon has North Rowan on the rise. Put some things together at Carson and South and their seasons may change. Who would've thought South would be playing without (injured quarterback) Nathan Lambert and still be as competitive as they are? There are some good football teams in Rowan County."
And what about your team, Joe?
"I think we're having a great year," he said.
That's an understatement. In the past four games, all wins, the wishbone has lit up the scoreboard for 64, 68, 38 and 45 points. That's an average of 54 per game, folks. The Hornets have run for 435, 431, 306 and 291 yards.
Tonight, Lexington, Pinyan's preseason favorite, visits Ludwig Stadium. This is the second of what Pinyan calls the three-game playoff to decide first place in the Central Carolina Conference. Salisbury (2-0 in the CCC) beat Central Davidson last week, and has Thomasville coming in next week. Lexington and Thomasville are both 2-0 as well.
"Lexington has a lot of kids back - a lot of skill players," Pinyan noted. "A lot of kids have moved in. They've got dadgum NFL-sized lineman - 300-pounders. They'll dwarf us a little bit. But we'll play hard. Our kids understand these next two games are conference championship games."•Expect Hornet stud Keion Adams to make a spectacular play sometime tonight. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has become the county's Human Highlight Film.
Remember his one-handed interception and runback against West? How about him hurdling a South Rowan player? And against Central, he took the ball from a receiver and turned it into a score.
"A college coach came in here wanting to see all three of them," Pinyan said. "His jaw dropped. Those are the plays you put on a highlight film that will hopefully get him a college education."
And don't forget, Adams is quite a running back and tight end, having found the end zone. Adams said colleges are recruiting him at tight end, defensive end, as a pass rusher and as a linebacker.
Pinyan was asked a simple question.
Is Keion better on offense or defense?
"Yes," Pinyan deadpanned.•As far as the NPC, East (5-3), which shares first place with Statesville at 4-0, will host South Rowan (2-6), while West Rowan (6-2) has homecoming against winless North Iredell. Carson (2-6) will go for its second straight league win at West Iredell. North Rowan (5-3) travels to Chatham Central, a school that is 84 - count 'em, 84 - miles from the Cavaliers' parking lot. Next year's realignment can't come soon enough.
A.L. Brown has the big showdown, going to Hickory Ridge in a battle of 4-0 teams in the South Piedmont Conference. Both are 7-1 overall. Davie (6-2) will try to bounce back from its loss to West Forsyth when it hosts Mount Tabor.•On the air tonight ...
• WSTP 1490 AM will be at Salisbury's game, with Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry.
• WSAT 1280 AM will also be in Ludwig Stadium with Johnny, Mark, Glenn, Jeff and the boys.
• WRNA 1140 AM will see the "Commissioner of high school football" Carl Ford calling the South Rowan game against East.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.•Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.