Prep Football: Week 4 Previews
4A Davie (1-2) at 2A North Rowan (3-0)
While Carson, South Rowan and East Rowan all start league play in the Southern Piedmont Conference tonight, the biggest game, the most talked about game and the most anticipated game is non-conference. It will take place in Spencer at Eagle Stadium where Davie is visiting high-flying North Rowan.
North is ranked sixth in 2A, and the Post voted them considerably higher than that this week in the AP Poll. But it’s still 2A against 4A, so it’s a tossup, even with Davie’s unimposing record. Davie’s losses are to talented Greensboro Page and West Rowan, and the game at West could have gone either way. West needed a punt-return TD and a critical fourth-down stop by inches to beat the War Eagles by four.
North has Jareke Chambers. Davie has Cade Carney. They’re young, but they already are two of the most dynamic players in the Piedmont.
Chambers is quarterbacking the Cavaliers with Alexis Archie injured, and he had 198 rushing yards and 127 passing yards in last week’s dramatic win at Statesville for a relatively rare 300-yard total-offense game. Chambers’ 325 yards vs. Statesville ranks 23rd all-time in Rowan County single-game history and marked the biggest total-offense night any Rowan player, even K.P. Parks and Shaun Warren, ever enjoyed against Statesville.
Carney, a sophomore with early ACC offers, has 400 rushing yards, and at times, it took five Falcons to wrestle him to the ground when Davie played at West.
Receivers Seth Dunn (Davie) and Sakil Harrison (North) have three TD catches apiece.
Probably the key figure will be Davie QB Parker Correll, who struggled his first two games, but was great in last week’s blowout of Lexington. If Davie can throw, it’s going to be hard to stop the War Eagles.
North’s gotten four turnovers already from Kenyon Tatum, who transferred from Davie to North shortly before the season. His presence in green adds a little more emotion to the fire.
As far as the series, the schools haven’t met since 1984 when both were competing in the 3A NPC. Davie won that one 16-9.
North leads the all-time series 15-11-1 overall. The last time North beat Davie was 1982 when the Cavaliers won the NPC and went unbeaten in the regular season.
3A SPC game: NW Cabarrus (2-0, 0-0) at South Rowan (0-2, 0-0)
Northwest beat West Stanly (1-2) and Robinson (0-3) before its open date last week. SR was smashed by South Iredell and lost big to A.L. Brown before the bye last week.
South is an underdog, but this will be the first game in which the Raiders, who have many guys going both ways, will have a realistic chance to compete.
South throws it accurately. Aaron Kennerly has 334 passing yards, with the receptions spread among a half-dozen players.
South’s defense has allowed 40-plus points two straight games, but it has a good chance to improve those numbers tonight.
Senior running back Armon Dooley leads Northwest. In the win against Robinson, he rushed 25 times for 149 yards, and he’s also dangerous on kick returns.
The series has been good news-bad news for South. South leads all-time 20-10 because it beat the Trojans 10 straight seasons from 1988-1997, but Northwest has won five of the last six, including 26-21 in 2012. South coach Jason Rollins’ only win against Northwest came in 2008.
4A Lake Norman (1-2) at 2A Salisbury (0-3)
This will be the first football meeting of the schools.
It’s been an offensive nightmare for Salisbury — nine points, one touchdown and 235 rushing yards in three games. Not counting those forfeits in 2008, Salisbury has been shut out back-to-back for the first time since 2002 when the Hornets were blanked by South Rowan and Robinson on consecutive weeks.
Lake Norman has been an offensive team, with QB Josh Ladowski throwing for 553 yards and running for 459 and receiver Corey Joyner making 22 receptions. The Wildcats have scored at least 26 points in every game, and they have played three 4A opponents.
Of course, the Wildcats also have allowed 28, 33 and 51, so there’s a chance the Hornets can get their offense untracked.
Defense was supposed to be Salisbury’s strength, but last week’s 55-0 loss to West Rowan — the worst in school history — has that unit looking for some redemption.
Salisbury coach Ryan Crowder is just looking for a step in the right direction. And like he says, the Hornets are still 0-0 in the CCC.
3A SPC game: Carson (1-1, 0-0) at Central Cabarrus (2-0, 0-0)
Both had their bye last Friday. Carson has never played Central.
Central is being touted as a possible team-to-beat in the SPC, and the Vikings have won two wildly different games. They beat Mount Pleasant in a low-scoring struggle before lighting up Albemarle for 68 points.
While not everyone agrees that Central is the SPC’s best, everyone does agree that the Vikings have special players in QB Haasan Klugh, RB Kenny Purvis and TE Anthony Mullis. Purvis — you’d better sit down for this — had 303 rushing yards and seven TDs vs. Albemarle.
Daniel Crosby, an all-county linebacker in his playing days at South Rowan, is Central’s defensive coordinator.
Carson won 14-9 opening night against Salisbury, a win that doesn’t look all that impressive given the Hornets’ struggles the last two weeks. Carson played well for a half in losing to undefeated North Rowan.
Carson junior running back Brandon Sloop is 11 yards shy of 2,500 for his career. Carson coach Joe Pinyan will need big games from Sloop, QB Austin McNeill and his defense to have a shot.
How much does coaching matter? Central’s record was 3-41 from 2008-11. Donnie Kiefer, successful everywhere he’s been, was 8-4 in 2012 after taking the reins at Central. Talent doesn’t hurt either.
3A SPC game: East Rowan (1-1, 0-0) at Cox Mill (1-2, 0-0)
Favored East was off last week.
Cox Mill beat Robinson, lost big to Charlotte Latin as expected and lost by two TDs to Mount Pleasant.
East opened with a loss to North Rowan but bounced back to batter Salisbury.
East has played so far without RB Calvin Edwards, who figured to be its marquee offensive player, but the Wyrick twins, Samuel and Seth, have been oustanding, and freshman Max Wall and junior Jake Boltz have been strong additions.
Seth Wyrick owns back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. Nick Heard accomplished that feat twice in the 1990s, but to find three consecutive 100-yard receiving games by a Mustang, you’d have to go all the way back to Johnny Yarbrough (1968-70).
East’s defense, which includes veterans Dock Corpening, Donte Means and Austin Hill, owns one shutout (matching the total from 2012) and could get a few more. East and Cox Mill have played twice as non-conference foes since Cox Mill opened in 2009.
East beat the Chargers 30-6 in 2009 on their way to a 9-4 season. East lost 21-7 to Cox Mill during a 2-9 2010 season.
4A Berry Academy (0-2) at 4A A.L. Brown (2-1)
The unfamiliar foes are moving up to the 4A ranks. Berry will compete in the South Meck Conference, while the Wonders are a Mecka team.
Charlotte’s Berry Academy Cardinals lost by 20 to Vance and they were overwhelmed 69-9 by Mallard Creek, which may be the state’s best team.
Berry is just a few years removed from competing in 2A. The Cardinals staged a memorable battle before losing at Salisbury in the 2010 playoffs. Berry is young but extremely fast, and the Wonders concede that Berry has at least four guys faster than the fastest Wonder.
Still, Brown is coming off an almost legendary defensive effort a week ago in a 7-0 win against Weddington and wants to keep building defensive confidence.
Brown lacks the offensive explosiveness it usually has, but this team could have success with an old-fashioned smashmouth running game and a lot of defense.
This is Brown’s endowment game, and it will be again next year. For gate reasons, both contests will be played at Memorial Stadium.