Prep Football: A.L. Brown 28, South Rowan 7
By Bill Kiser
KANNAPOLIS ó South Rowan head coach Jason Rollins liked what his offense and defense did at times Friday night against A.L. Brown.
Note the words “at times.” The Raiders failed to capitalize on opportunities in the second half in a 28-7 loss to the Wonders at Kannapolis Memorial Stadium.
While South Rowan (0-2) saw its offense consistently move the ball against Brown, it could not put the ball in the end zone when presented the chance.
Four times in the second half, the Raiders drove inside the red zone only to get stymied ó either by Brown’s defense or their own mistakes.
“We couldn’t finish it, we just could not finish it,” Rollins said. “We moved the ball up and down that field at will, but we broke down at times.
“We made some good plays, did the things we had to do, and set them up for things. Those are the things that this offense does, but they’re also supposed to score. We weren’t finishing that off tonight.”
South’s defense was also showing its stuff early in the first half, holding Brown’s offense to negative yardage on its first possession.
But the Wonders scored on their next two chances ó a 14-yard TD run by Jamill Lott late in the first quarter, followed by a 12-yard scoring pass from Lott to Colby Reid with five minutes left in the second quarter ó to go ahead 14-0 at the half.
“Overall, our defense did a good job ó we just had two bad plays,” Rollins said.
The Raiders ó who have now lost five straight to A.L. Brown (2-0), and 13 of the last 14 ó also had a chance to make it a closer game early in the fourth quarter.
South Rowan cut into the Wonders’ lead when B.J. Grant beat Brown defensive back Josh Black deep and pulled in a dead-perfect pass from Blake Houston with 10:21 remaining.
As quickly as the Raiders had pulled the game’s momentum their way, the Wonders snatched it back.
On the ensuing kickoff, Brown wideout-kick returner T.J. Johnson picked up his own bobble, got a few key blocks up the middle and raced 91 yards for his first TD return of 2008.
“That took our bubble and popped it,” Rollins said. “Kannapolis is very prone to taking a kickoff return back on us. That popped our bubble real quick.”
After stopping two consecutive drives inside their own 20, Brown added an insurance score when Antwoine Jordan ó set up by runs of 38 and 32 yards by Johnathan Williams ó scored on a 6-yard run with 1:29 remaining.
“The kids didn’t give up ó they tried to fight back,” Rollins said.
“Our offense played well, but we didn’t finish it. That’s been our team motto all summer, finishing what we started. We’ve got to do that.”
NOTES: Houston finished with 141 yards passing on 6-of-11 completions. Most of that yardage came from Grant, who had two catches for 105 yards. However, Houston was also sacked seven times by Brown’s defense. … Williams finished with 98 yards on 13 carries for Brown, which had 193 total rushing yards. … Lott combined for 160 yards total offense for the Wonders, rushing for 48 yards and passing for 112 (on 8-of-12 completions). … Deandre Harris had 50 yards rushing and Quan Glaspy 46 for the Raiders. … Brown has a big non-conference game with Mooresville next Friday.