Prep Football: The Notebook Week 4
From staff reports
South had five interceptions and two fumble recoveries in a 27-6 victory against Northwest Cabarrus.
Quan Glaspy and Dylan Walker intercepted two passes each, and Mark McDaniel returned his lone pick for a touchdown.
Reid Shaver and Joe Gutierrez fell on fumbles, and Matt Coggins recovered a late kickoff that wasn’t fielded by the Trojans for an eighth takeaway.
The five interceptions were the most by the Raiders since 2001 when Keith Clark, Jay Phillips, Dale Rice, Matt Talbert, and, of course, Brad “Hit Man” Lanning, picked off passes against West Forsyth.
South intercepted 26 passes in 2001, including nine by Lanning, who added one more unofficial pick in the East-West All-Star Game.
South hadn’t come up with seven turnovers in a game since it did so against both West Forsyth and North Rowan in 2001.
SWEET VICTORY: South had not beaten Northwest since 1997 and had lost four straight to the Trojans, so it was a nice win.
“It was a major relief to get this one,” defensive end Cadarreus Mason said. “There’s more confidence now. This win brought everyone on the team even closer together.”
GOOD IN THE TRENCHES: South’s defensive line was dominant against Northwest, and the offensive line also had a very solid night.
Deandre Harris picked up 130 rushing yards.
“I’ve always been taught the battles between defensive ends and offensive tackles decide who’s gonna get whipped,” South coach Jason Rollins said. “There’s a lot of truth in that, and our kids won some battles.”
NEW LOOK: South used Harris at wingback, with Steve Sexton usually playing fullback. It worked out well.
South quarterback Blake Houston has usually kept the ball himself or handed off to the fullback in the past, but he made a lot more pitches on the option on Friday, and Harris made them pay off.
“We used all three options,” Rollins said. “We didn’t quite get the blocking on the perimeter we wanted, but we did some good things.”
TEAM ABOVE SELF: South is striving to put the focus on team results instead of individual numbers.
Guys bought in and sacrificed on Friday.
South had B.J. Grant, Quan Glaspy and Josh Wike, guys who have produced big offensive games, working often on defense, as Harris carried the offensive load.
Quarterback Blake Houston didn’t have a big statistical game against Northwest, but he managed the game well with the lead. Northwest’s only chance to turn momentum was a big turnover and Houston wouldn’t give it to them. He took a few hits rather than throw into traffic.
“We’ve kind of beaten that into Blake’s head,” Rollins said. “He’s learning. He played smart.”
FLAG DAY: Glaspy had an interception return for a TD wiped out by a flag. Wike had a big kickoff return nullified.
Flags flew on the second-half kickoff ó and on the next five snaps.
Sophomore quarterback John Knox threw for 176 yards in a 45-21 victory over West Stanly, and senior A.J. Ford had two receptions for 112 yards.
The wishbone Hornets had played 20 consecutive games without throwing for 100 yards before Friday’s outburst.
Salisbury’s most recent 100-yard passer had been Derrick Parker, who tossed for 109 yards in a 24-21 victory over Ledford in 2006. Ford was also the primary target in that game. He had four catches for 104 yards.
After four games, Knox is having a nice season with 352 passing yards, four TD passes and no interceptions.
Knox also has rushed for 160 yards and could challenge school single-season and career records for passing, as well as the single-season record for total offense at a place where offenses have favored the ground over the air for 50 years.
The record-holder for passing yardage in a season at Salisbury is Michael Blount, who threw for 1,185 yards in 1998.
Blount’s total is just ahead of Johnny Stratton (1,155 in 1971), David Garwood (1,129 in 1969) and Terry Johnson (1,100 in 1999).
Stratton holds the school career mark with 2,180 passing yards in 1971-72.
The school record-holder for total offense in a season is Hall of Famer Kenny Holt, who accumulated 1,516 yards in 1970.
Eddie Kesler’s career total-offense record of 4,199 yards from 1956-59 has been a school mark nearly 50 years and is the ninth-best total documented in county history.
MILESTONE: Senior Dario Hamilton enjoyed his first big rushing game of the season with 11 carries for 110 yards and has rushed for 2,863 yards in his career.
Hamilton passed 1970s South Rowan standout Greg Poole (2,772) Friday for the ninth-best total recorded in the county in the modern era.
North’s Bennie Geter (2,892) is the next standout Hamilton will climb past.
Only seven county athletes have amassed 3,000 rushing yards in the modern era.
The list includes South record-holder Darius Beaty (3,043), Salisbury record-holder Tyris Davidson (3,107), North’s Darryl Jackson (3,128), North record-holder Mark Sturgis (3,259), West’s Joe Jackson (3,491), West’s Wade Moore (4,256) and West record-holder K.P. Parks (4,761 … and counting).
GAME 5 BLUES: Unbeaten Salisbury also started 4-0 under coach Joe Pinyan in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
None of those teams won their fifth game. Twice, the Hornets lost to West Rowan and they lost once to West Iredell.
Because of disciplinary reasons, Hornets coach Joe Pinyan played several offensive players on the defensive line Friday night.
The move turned out to benefit Salisbury, as Pinyan said he found some guys capable of playing both ways. Tory Turner, Isaiah Whitaker and Jamel Wallace helped on defense, and Chris Bruce moved from linebacker to the line.
“Those four guys did a great, great job for us filling in the spots we had vacant,” Pinyan said. “Some of them did such a good job that I’m not sure we can get them back to their regular position. We created some depth because of a bad situation.
“Usually when you fall into something like that, you’ve gotta be happy.”
STILL KICKING: One storyline doesn’t seem to change week after week: Salisbury dominates the field position battle because of kicker/punter Frankie Cardelle.
Cardelle routinely sends kickoffs into the end zone for automatic touchbacks.
“It’s almost like knowing you bought the winning lottery ticket when you got a guy that can kick it in the end zone every time,” Pinyan said. “You look at it, they probably outgained us, outplayed us in the second half, time of possession’s probably never gonna be in our favor.
“He’s gonna put them on the 20 every week.”
BIG IMPACT: Kiontae Rankin continues to cause opponents fits with his play along the defensive line.
A 385-pound sophomore defensive tackle, Rankin intercepted a pass two weeks ago against Carson and recovered two fumbles Friday against West Stanly.
“He’s real athletic for his size,” Pinyan said. “He can play basketball. The thing about Kiontae, we don’t expect him to do a whole lot. We expect him to keep people off our linebackers, play from guard to guard, and he’s made tackles outside of there.
“We’re getting a lot of mileage out of him right now. He’s surprising us each week.”
MOVING ON UP: Salisbury’s Joe Pinyan is climbing the county’s all-time wins chart rapidly. Now in his sixth season, he’s 52-17. He’ll tie former South coach Rick Vanhoy, who had 53 wins in 10 seasons, with his next victory.
Pinyan’s teams have won 75.4 percent of the time.
West Rowan’s Parks rushed 10 times for 137 yards in a blowout victory against North Rowan to open the season, and he had 27 rushes for 130 yards in a loss to Davie County. He combined for four touchdowns in the first two weeks, and he scored five times in a 42-0 win against North Iredell last Friday.
Parks finished the night with 237 yards on 24 carries.
“We made a commitment the prior Sunday in our coaches meeting, and we were going to get him more involved regardless of how the game was going,” West coach Scott Young said. “We were going to get him the touches he deserved.”
West’s running game received a lift from 6-foot-2, 320-pound right tackle Rodney Cline.
Cline, a junior, made his first start of the season.
“He made some dominating run blocks for us,” Young said.
KEEP POUNDING: Parks, who has 65 career touchdowns, scored six in a game against Northwest Cabarrus last season to tie the documented county record. Landis’ Billy Ray Barnes scored six against Rockwell in 1952.
Ten more players have produced documented five-TD games in the county.
Besides Parks, the list includes Rockwell’s William Yates (1957 vs. Troy), North’s Mike Steele (1961 vs. Central Davidson), J.C. Price’s Joseph Johnson (1962 vs. Burlington Jordan-Sellars), West’s Phil Hogue (1974 vs. West Iredell), West’s Ernie Peace (1982 vs. North Davidson), West’s Lamont Smith (1994 vs. North Stanly), South’s Chris Torrence (1995 vs. West Rowan), North’s J.R. Neely (1997 vs. East Rowan), North’s Mark Sturgis Jr. (2003 vs. South Iredell) and West’s Moore (2005 vs. East Rowan).
DULIN GETTING HIS DUE: West linebacker Nate Dulin, a 5-8 senior, had a breakout performance against North Iredell.
“One of the best games we’ve had at linebacker in a number of years,” Young said. “We’ve got coach (Lee) Linville in here coaching linebackers, got coach (Kevin) Parks, and (Dulin) finally saw his keys, reacted to his keys and made tackles.”
COACHING RANKS: Young continues to climb up the wins chart.
Young, in his 11th season at West, is 90-37 heading into tomorrow’s game at Northwest Cabarrus.
W.A. Cline, who was 95-86 during 17 seasons and two stints at East Rowan, is the next coach Young can climb past. Young’s teams have won 70.9 percent of the time.
An unusual play cost East Rowan 5 yards on a crucial drive late in the first half Friday against visiting West Iredell.
On second-and-goal from the 4-yard line, and with less than a minute remaining, West Iredell was flagged for a false start. After a brief discussion, the flag appeared the be waved off. Instead of second-and-goal from the 9, the Warriors still had the ball at the 4 because the East band was playing.
“The bands can’t play while the offense is on the field,” East coach Brian Hinson said. “And the band started playing right when he jumped offsides, so they said the band caused it.”
West Iredell ended up scoring three plays later to tie the game going into halftime.
UNSPORTSMANLIKE: The Mustangs were flagged for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the second half ó one that could have been quite costly and one that was.
The Mustangs sacked West Iredell quarterback Quan Rucker on second-and-15 in the third quarter, but an East assistant drew a flag for saying something an official didn’t like. East ended up getting the ball back on a fumble.
“One of our coaches just made a mistake,” Hinson said. “He knows it, and we’ll move on and get by that.”
Late in the fourth quarter, an East defender was called for getting into a shoving match and then head-butting a Warrior. East could have gotten the ball back with about three minutes remaining and trailing 34-21. The penalty turned a fourth-and-14 into a first down, and the Mustangs didn’t get the ball back until 43 seconds remained.
MR. DO-IT-ALL: Ben DeCelle provided an electrifying performance with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and another 72-yard kickoff return that got the Mustangs to the West Iredell 17-yard line.
He also caught five passes for 77 yards, and his role should increase even more with star tailback Thomas Lowe no longer on the team because of disciplinary issues. DeCelle will now be counted on to carry the ball as well as catch it, return it and play defense.
“The kid’s a heck of a football player,” Hinson said.
“We wear him out. We wear him out, and he loves it. Ben’s gonna be a great football player for a lucky coach in college.”
Take the good, take the bad.
Carson opened its season with a decisive win against North Rowan, then played well in a narrow loss to Salisbury.
The Cougars fell flat in a 48-6 loss to Mooresville last Friday, and they will face East Rowan this week.
“One of the things we talk about is you can’t be too high or too low,” Carson coach Mark Woody said. “We had to put that North Rowan game behind us and get ready for Salisbury.
“You have to put the good aside, but you’ve also got to put the bad aside. Whether we like it or not, we have to get ready for East Rowan. That’s this job, and every coach in the state is the same way.”
NET GAINS: Soccer star Valentin Nava is trying to give Carson’s special teams a boost.
Nava kicked off against Mooresville and attempted an extra point after Carson’s only touchdown. The ball banged off the left crossbar.
The Cavaliers got a defensive touchdown when Javon Hargrave recovered a fumble in the end zone in a 14-6 loss to Forbush on Friday.
The most recent defensive TD for the Cavaliers was Lathan Charleston’s 100-yard interception return in last season’s playoff loss to Brevard.
PAT BLUES: North is 0-for-2 on PATs this season with two unsuccessful running attempts.
North’s extra-point struggles were well-documented last season, when it was able to tack on only 21 points ó either by kicking or going for two ó on 34 touchdowns.
DROUGHT: North has played 33 games without kicking a field goal. The last one came in 2005 against Central Davidson.
Talk about snakebit. The War Eagles keep suffering injury after injury.
In last week’s 38-20 win over Providence Day, cornerback Brandon Walls came out with an ACL injury.
The most baffling injury of all came before Friday’s game. Quarterback Jacob Barber was sitting on a bench in the weight room. A weight fell off the rack onto his right foot, breaking two toes.
“It beats all I’ve ever seen,” Davie coach Doug Illing said.
Star middle linebacker Terrance Johnson expects to make his much-anticipated 2008 debut in Brown’s Sept. 26 home game against Marvin Ridge.
The junior explained he tore the ACL in a knee attempting to dunk a basketball during the offseason. He didn’t realize how serious the injury was for some time, and surgery wasn’t performed immediately.
Johnson, a fine student who also excels in track and wrestling, is a Division I prospect. He’s a gifted guy who runs extremely well for a physical 240-pounder.
“He’ll make a huge difference on our defense against the run game,” predicted receiver Colby Reid.
GETTING HIS KICKS: Morgan McDaniel provided the game-winning points in a 34-31 victory against Sun Valley on Friday.
It was the first time he’d kicked two field goals in a game. He has eight career field goals and 109 PATs.
Mike London, Bret Strelow, Nick Bowton and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.