Prep Football: Common Sense Picks
One thing about football is that records happen at random and can come out of nowhere.
For example, when South Rowan hosted Northwest Cabarrus on Sept. 26, 1997, no one was thinking about records. South was just trying to figure out a way to survive the season and get a win.
South stood 0-5 after three county losses and setbacks against neighbors A.L. Brown and Mooresville, and after Northwest, the 4A Raiders were looking at five straight tough CPC opponents. There was serious talk that South might lose them all for the first time in its history.
South’s quarterback in 1997 was senior Charles Sherrill, a fast first-year QB who had picked off four passes as a junior cornerback. Coach Rick Vanhoy’s offensive philosophy made some sense — get every snap in the hands of a talented athlete and hope he can make something positive happen.
Against Northwest, Sherrill did make things happen, and fans who had arrived expecting a yawner between two struggling teams (both would finish 2-9) got a lot more than they bargained for.
South beat the Trojans 39-28 in a shootout, and Sherrill set two school single-game records that still stand at South — five TD passes and 242 passing yards. Ramsey Connor caught two TD passes from Sherrill, which wasn’t unexpected. Jamie Cunningham had the game of his life, and he also caught two.
While 242 is a relatively modest school passing-yardage record, Sherrill’s mark has narrowly withstood the best nights of good recent QBs. Catawba Indian Nathan Lambert had a 228, a 230, a 233 and a 240 during his South career, so he was one nice completion away from breaking Sherrill’s mark four different times.
Current QB Aaron Kennerly accumulated 237 passing yards against East Rowan as a sophomore last season when he replaced the injured Lambert, so maybe he’ll be the guy that finally changes the South record book.
Who knows when a record will happen? Maybe it’ll be tonight when a South team that hasn’t won yet plays host to Northwest Cabarrus in a Southern Piedmont Conference opener.
Common Sense was a dismal 2-2 last week, as North Rowan and A.L. Brown pulled out tossup games that Common Sense picked them to lose. The season record is a shaky 10-4.
South’s going to be throwing it a lot tonight, but Kennerly’s chances of breaking the record are probably better than South’s chances of winning: Northwest 28, South 17
A.L. Brown’s coaching staff was dismayed by Common Sense’s lack of faith in the Wonders against Weddington, although they appreciated the motivation and requested that they be picked to lose every week. Sorry, can’t help this time: A.L. Brown 21, Berry 7
Common Sense asked West’s coaches who they’d be going to scout tonight since West is off. But the Falcons won’t be scouting. Like just about everyone else, West coaches are going to the Davie-North Rowan game in Spencer. “We’ve got a lot of friends on both staffs,” explained West defensive coordinator Lee Linville, who predicts a shootout. Common Sense agrees that some serious points will be scored: Davie 31, North 28
Carson stays on the road all this month, and the Cougars couldn’t have a tougher SPC opener than tonight’s game at Central Cabarrus. West, Concord and maybe some others will have something to say about the SPC championship, but at this point, Central looks like the favorite: Central 27, Carson 10
Still flying under the radar, but another potential SPC contender is East Rowan. The Mustangs haven’t been at full strength yet, but they should win their SPC opener on the road: East 27, Cox Mill 14
Salisbury isn’t the Salisbury we’ve gotten used to seeing, and the schedule is brutal. Lake Norman, a decent 4A, visits tonight. Salisbury beat Lake Norman in soccer, but football will be a different story: Lake Norman 42, Salisbury 7
Also in the SPC: Concord 35, Hickory Ridge 20