Prep Football Notebook: Week 10
The three straight kneel-downs by Thomasville late in the fourth quarter at the Salisbury 1-yard line perplexed the Salisbury coaching staff as much as the fans. The Hornets used two timeouts on the possession but stuffed the Bulldogs on the quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal to gain back new life. Two plays later came the Brian Bauk to Justin Ruffin 98-yard hookup and the Hornets had their first lead. "I'm guessing as well as anyone else," Pinyan said. "I really think they were trying to make us use our timeouts. I don't know why because a touchdown would put them up by 10." It was another wild game in the series between the heated rivals. Last year, Thomasville topped the Hornets twice, in the regular season and in the playoffs. The regular season affair saw the Bulldogs score on an 80-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left to win 34-27.•PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offensive lineman Parker McKeithan and Ruffin were the Hornets' offensive players of the week. Ruffin leads the county in scoring with 21 touchdowns and is fourth in the county in rushing. Jon Mark Petty, in addition to lateraling to Ruffin on the game-winning play, booted a 63-yard punt that made him special teams player of the week.•WEIRD STATS: It's a safe bet that the 98-yard touchdown pass from Brian Bauk to Justin Ruffin is the longest touchdown pass in quite some time for the run-oriented Hornets. Bauk had his best game statistically with 172 yards through the air. Another statistical anomaly would be the Hornets winning despite giving up 463 yards rushing. It was the most Salisbury had given up on the ground since 2005 in 51-13 loss to West Rowan when it also allowed 463 yards. Against Lexington in 2008, Salisbury allowed 415 rushing yards and won 28-25, and the Hornet beat Central Davidson 56-37 in 2010 despite permitting 402 rushing yards. The Hornets ran just 16 plays in the first half thanks to the Bulldogs' Gabe Brockett, who already had 160 yards at halftime. "I think he's still running somewhere," Pinyan said.•MILKSHAKES: The Hornets' special teams had their second "milkshake run" of the year when Justin Ruffin returned a kickoff for a touchdown Friday night. Whenever Salisbury returns a kickoff for a touchdown, the coaching staff buys milkshakes for the special teams unit. KEION UPDATE: Two-way stud Keion Adams didn't play for the Hornets against Thomasville. He was in full uniform on the sideline but never donned a helmet. The Hornets are hopeful he'll play against East Davidson. "He had a freak thing happen on Tuesday where he fell and banged his head," Pinyan said. "The kid has a great career ahead of him and I didn't want to take that chance." WEST ROWAN West coach Scott Young has watched his team win NPC games 42-0 two straight weeks and has found things not to like about both efforts. West rolled Carson Friday but it could've been a lot worse. Without a wave of penalties, West might've been ahead 35-0 or 42-0 at halftime, instead of 21-0. "Congratulations to the Falcons for setting a record for most penalty yards," Young said in disbelief. Most of those penalties were in the first half and wiped out long runs. Officially, West had 105 yards marked off in penalties, but the flags cost the Falcons at least 200 yards.•RUNNING WILD: West tailbacks Desmond Jackson and Daisean Reddick both had career games on the same night, which tells you how effective the Falcons' running game was against Carson. Jackson had 226 to propel him past the 1,000-yard plateau for the season. Reddick had 173 for his fifth straight 100-yard outing. Reddick sat out the first three games but still has 755 yards for the season. Reddick has 11 rushing TDs, while Jackson has 10. "They both had really good games," Young said. The Falcons pounded and sprinted for 409 yards against the Cougars, their season high by a lot. West had not enjoyed a 400-yard rushing night since the Falcons smashed Carson for 455 yards in 2009. K.P. Parks, a fellow you probably recall, had 356 of those.•TURNOVERS: Young was not thrilled that the Falcons, despite their dominance, lost the turnover battle 1-0. Ben Gragg recovered a fumble for Carson after West had marched to the Carson 5-yard line.•SURPRISE: After scoring to take a 14-0 lead, West surprised Carson with an onsides kick and made the recovery. "Just something we saw on film, and we went out and executed," Young said. NORTH ROWAN While many thought North Rowan would win in a breeze over a West Montgomery team with four losses, Cavaliers coach Joe Nixon tried to bring everyone back to reality. "I knew they were a good team," he said. "They're young. They had 25 turnovers in the first four games." And he was right. West took North into overtime but the Cavs prevailed 20-14 in an entertaining overtime contest. "After watching the film, both teams played extremely hard," Nixon said. "Both teams played physical."•BIG FOOT: West had North bottled up several times and Nixon praised his 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore punter Dylan Auten. "He did a really good job," Nixon praised. "He flipped field position. He had to punt out of the end zone a couple times and did a good job of handling that."•WHY NOT THE PAT? When North scored first in overtime, Nixon did not try to kick, instead going for a two-point conversion pass that failed. "They have a really good kicker and we knew if it came down to kicking, we'd be in trouble," he said. "Our kicking game is an adventure. It never crossed my mind to kick. We had what we wanted. We just didn't execute."•GO TO WEST, YOUNG MAN: Quarterback Alexis Archie found tight end Oshon West for two touchdown passes. West has been a good defensive player but was standing in for Carter Thomason, who was banged up and didn't play. Thomason is expected back this week at South Davidson.•ARCHIE UPDATE: Archie missed the previous week with injuries but had a hand in all three North touchdowns Friday. He also scored on a run and threw for 115 yards on just five completions. "He still isn't 100 percent, I don't think," Nixon said. "But he had a decent night."•DEE-FENSE: Nixon pointed to Cecil McCauley and Xavier Robinson as key players on defense. "For 47 minutes and 40 seconds, we held that team to seven points," Nixon noted. "Our defense kept us in the game. It did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage."•THE FUTURE: Nixon knows if homestanding South Stanly upsets Albemarle Friday, his Cavs would end up in a three-way tie for the Yadkin Valley Conference championship. "We're not too worried about what's going on down in Norwood," he said. "We're worried about beating South Davidson. Albemarle will be tough to beat, but I'm sure South Stanly will give them their best shot." And the playoffs? "We don't have a clue," Nixon shrugged. "If we win out, we'll have a chance for a couple of home playoff games and a decent seed." EAST ROWAN East's 59-39 loss to Statesville appears to have set several school records. The 98 points scored by both teams appear to make it the most offensive-minded contest in school history, and it would've been 100 if East hadn't failed on a late two-point conversion try. The previous high in an East game was a 69-21 loss to A.L. Brown in 2001 in which 89 points were scored. There were 85 points on the scoreboard when East nipped Northwest 43-42 in overtime in 2001. The 39 points the Mustangs scored Friday appear to be most East has ever scored in a loss.•RUSH HOUR: Calvin Edwards (1,235 rushing yards) and Madison Hedrick (819) combined for more than 2,000 yards in a 10-game season. Sophomore Sam Wyrick finished the regular season with 1,094 passing yards.•FUTURE: Statesville will be in the 3AA playoffs, while East will be in the 3A Midwest bracket, along with West Rowan. As the second-place finisher in the NPC, East will be one of the higher seeds in an eight-team pod. Carson is a possible first-round opponent. It's possible that West Rowan could be a second-round opponent. CARSON Sophomore Brandon Sloop's 24 carries for 82 yards may not sound like a huge game, but it's actually the most rushing yards any individual has managed against West Rowan so far this season. "I really like Sloop's toughness," West coach Young said. The previous best efforts against West were by East's Edwards (79 yards), Salisbury's Brian Bauk (66) and Davie's Cade Carney (60).•HUGE GAME: Despite its struggles, Carson still appears to hold its playoff destiny in its hands entering Friday's home game with North Iredell. Projections have Carson making the 3A Midwest bracket if it beats North Iredell as a No. 15 or No. 16 seed. East Rowan and Concord would be among the potential first-round foes for the Cougars. West Rowan would be in that eight-team pod as well.•PUNT PARTY: Greg Tonnesen, the starting tight end, was much busier as a punter. He was called on eight times to punt Friday, and he unloaded two big ones - one for 59 yards and another for 61.•MILESTONE: West Rowan limited K.J. Pressley to one catch, but he made some moves and turned it into a 61-yard play. Those yards after the catch put Pressley at 1,003 yards for the season and gave him the 10th 1,000-yard receiving season in county history. Pressley is now No. 3 on the all-time county list as far as career receiving yards with 2,241. On Friday, surpassed Lamont Savage (2,236), who played at North and West,for third place behind Carson's Cody Clanton and East's Johnny Yarbrough, the record-holder with 2,862 yards. SOUTH ROWAN It would take a tremendous game, but South senior Josh Medlin is at least within shouting distance of the school record for career receiving yardage, as he heads into Friday's finale against Statesville. Medlin currently ranks third in South history in receptions (74) and receiving yards (1,353). Adrian Parker, who played in the mid-1990s, had 91 catches for 1,493 yards. B.J. Grant, who finished in 2009, is second in both categories with 84 catches and 1,402 receiving yards. A.L. BROWN Coach Mike Newsome is enthusiastic about the play of Andrew Ramirez, who became the starting quarterback when Keenan Medley went down in the Mount Pleasant game in Week 8. "For his first start, he did very well in the loss to Hickory Ridge," Newsome said. "His stats were actually pretty great until that pick there at the end when were in desperation mode. This past week (a 49-20 win against Northwest Cabarrus), he managed the game well, threw it when we needed him to, and didn't turn it over." Ever the optimist, Newsome has found a silver lining in his QB situation for the future. "Now Andrew is going to have some games under his belt going into next season, and that's big," Newsome said. "Our first game next year is Concord, and now we won't be putting a guy out there who hasn't started a varsity game."•OH, THOSE ADMS: When realignment numbers were calculated for the 2013-16 football seasons, Brown fell just on the wrong side of the 3A/4A border and was slotted to play in a 4A league the next four years that will be made up primarily of Charlotte teams. But the latest ADM figures released by the NCHSAA this week, show Brown actually has fewer students now than does Hickory Ridge, which will be playing in a 3A league the next four seasons with West Rowan, East Rowan, Carson, South Rowan, Cox Mill, NW Cabarrus, Central Cabarrus and Concord. Hickory Ridge, at this point, has more than 1,400 students, while the biggest Rowan 3A school, Carson, has 1,152. South Rowan has fewer than 1,000 students.•AWARDS: In addition to Kalif Phillips' awards for offensive player of the week and "Hitman" of the week, the Wonders' award winners were junior linebacker Kyrell Williamson (defensive player of the week), junior center Kaleb Spry ("Hawg" of the week) and junior DB Rodney Edmonds (special teams player of the week). Spry opened holes for 353 rushing yards as the Wonders plowed past the 3,000 milestone for the season. Edmonds stood out covering kickoffs. DAVIE COUNTY Davie's Johnathan Wiseman has been the ultimate big-play guy this season. He's scored TDs on six of his 10 catches and averages 33.3 yards per reception.•CAN THEY THROW IT? Davie's move of running back Cade Carney to the quarterback position means teams are going to dare the War Eagles to throw the ball. Carney passed that test in a 28-7 win at Reagan. With 11 Raiders within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, he threw a 63-yard TD pass off play-action. Carney was 5-for-10 for 154 yards.•DEFENSIVE DEMON: Cornerback Caleb Mathis was the defensive star for Davie, picking off his third and fourth passes of the season.•Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Ryan Bisesi and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.