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Friday Football Fever: Common Sense picks the games

Last Friday did for the football predictions business what 1929 did for the stock market.
Common Sense was fortunate to escape with an 8-4 showing and a dismal 21-10 season record.
A.L. Brown’s dramatic victory over Sun Valley helped.
Heartfelt thanks also go out to South Rowan, a 27-6 winner over Northwest Cabarrus. You read it here first that the 0-2 Raiders would beat the 2-0 Trojans.
In the interest of full disclosure, Common Sense erred on West Davidson-Starmount, North Rowan-Forbush, Porter Ridge-Marvin Ridge and Anson-Parkwood in a bizarre week.
White-maned Arnold Solomon, the wisest prep football expert in the state, is recognized universally as the pharaoh of forecasts, the prince of predictions, the honcho of hunches, the sultan of soothsayers and the grand-duke of guesses.
He’s been predicting the outcome of football games for 50 years and devised his original forecasting system while he was still in high school ó probably in the back of the class while the teacher was lecturing on the joys of Shakespeare.
Solomon’s mission was far more important than Hamlet or Macbeth. He was determined to win the weekly picks contest that used to appear in the Salisbury Post.
Solomon’s prophecies for every prep football game in the state now appear as “Fred Farkel’s Fearless Friday Football Forecasts” on NCPreps.com. He is normally 80 percent accurate over the course of a season, and he’ll pick 85 percent correctly during his warm weeks.
But even the humbled Solomon stumbled to a very human record of 119-46 after all precincts had reported last Friday.
“A dismal 72.12 percent,” he wrote in an e-mail. “The worst Freddie Farkel has ever done this late in the season. I had one team favored and they lost like 42-0. Many games found the underdog winning on the road, and not only winning on the road, but by double figures.”
Solomon was nearly on the nose with his picks on West Rowan-North Iredell, Davie County-Providence Day and Salisbury-West Stanly, but there were plenty of disasters.
How tough was it? Anson by 15 points over Parkwood? The final: Parkwood 41, butter-fingered Anson 20.
Statesville by 23 over South Iredell? It was South Iredell 10, Statesville 7.
North Rowan by 22 over Forbush? Well, you know how that one came out.
“I have two guys on the football boards on our site that have their ratings computerized, and they also hit only 72 percent this past weekend,” Solomon said. “I think the biggest nightmare for someone predicting high school games is the weather. Most fields across the state were water-logged. To me, this is the biggest equalizer.”
That’s a great point, and that’s why Arnold Solomon is still Arnold Solomon.
He apologizes to the world for last week’s lackluster ledger and sighs that it “might be time to put Freddie in mothballs.”
But his track record speaks for itself.
The only prediction Common Sense can absolutely guarantee this week is that Arnold will bounce back to his usual level of success.
Salisbury and North are off this week, so Common Sense can’t get them wrong.
The picks:
West 35, NW Cabarrus 14
Northwest will hold K.P. Parks to fewer than six TDs this time, but West has owned this series and the league for a long time.
Statesville 17, South 14Tossup. If they were at home, Common Sense would take the Raiders.
Carson 20, East 18
Waffled back and forth on this one all week. Looks even. Could go overtime.
A.L. Brown 27, Anson 20
Last week was a six-fumble aberration for Anson, and key players sat out.
Davie 56, Berry 6
At least as certain as death and taxes.
NPC: Mooresville 48, N. Iredell 7; West Iredell 21, Lake Norman 14
SPC: Concord 20, Hickory Ridge 17; Parkwood 35, Marvin Ridge 20; Sun Valley 38, Piedmont 14

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