Prep Football: East Davidson 10, North Rowan 6
By David Shaw
firstname.lastname@example.orgTHOMASVILLE ó North Rowan’s troubles have taken it where no football team wants to go.
A sense of discouragement prevailed Friday night after the winless Cavs suffered a 10-6 loss at East Davidson and tumbled into the CCC basement.
“We had a good opportunity here,” linebacker Greg Melton said after North (0-7, 0-3) was derailed once again. “We just couldn’t get the push we needed when we needed it. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but we can’t let it effect our next game.”
First-year coach Tasker Fleming tried his best to remain upbeat, though he believes NR is still driving around with its “Check Engine” light on.
“We’ve been in every game in the fourth quarter since we left the county,” he indicated. “The last four games we’ve played well enough on defense, we just haven’t scored points. We’ve moved the ball on offense but haven’t scored points. Unfortunately, they keep score on first downs. They keep it on touchdowns.”
There was little to get jazzed about against East (1-6, 1-2), which recorded its first victory. North running back Vince Shropshire, who played like he was mad at the grass in the second half, hung out the “Do Not Disturb” sign after rushing for 41 yards and snaring three passes from quarterback Jesse Rudisell for another 39. “I don’t want to talk about any plays,” he said. “Plays didn’t change the game.”
No, but a series of costly second- quarter penalties and some questionable timekeeping by the officials did. After falling behind 3-0 on a first-period field goal, the Cavs scored their only TD ó and fifth of the season ó when 205-pound sophomore Javon Hargrave busted a 31-yard run down the right side, providing a 6-3 lead with 2:14 remaining in the first half.
“I like that my kids are still battling,” Fleming noted. “They’re 0-7 and people that don’t watch them might not see how hard they play.”
Or how they collapsed ED’s last possession before the break. The Golden Eagles took over on their own 43-yard line with 2:07 on the clock and marched in for the game’s decisive touchdown. Tailback Dwayne Galimore (27 carries for 102 yards) had a couple of solid runs and quarterback Sam Nelson completed a 21-yard pass to the North 11. The Cavs also stung themselves with a 15-yard face mask penalty, another for illegal substitution and finally the back-breaker ó a sideline infraction against the coaching staff that gave East a first-and-goal from the 1. Nelson made it matter when he scored on a sneak play with eight seconds left in the half.
“That last penalty really hurt us,” Fleming said. “It would have been fourth-and-2 from the four. But instead it’s first-and-goal from close in. I’m gonna have to work on my coaches who are 45 yards away from the play, because that is a major infraction.”
The second half was scoreless, but not without drama. North’s final drive began at the East 40, courtesy of a bobbled snap on a punt attempt. But Rudisell, who completed 10 of 15 passes for a season-best 87 yards, couldn’t pick up a first down. Shropshire caught his fourth-and-long pass and was wrestled to the turf at the 33 with 4:01 to play.
Misfortune crossed NR’s path again in the closing moments. Oddly, the game clock did not stop for nearly 30 seconds while a holding penalty against East was stepped off with about two minutes to go. Then Fleming was forced to burn his final timeout with 1:32 remaining to assist an injured player near the North sideline.
“We play as a team. We win as a team,” said Melton, who treated ED quarterback Taylor Warren to a second-quarter pancake. “Everyone has a part. All we can do now is try our best to get ready for next week.”
NOTES: Hargrave’s TD was his first on offense. … Neither team had a turnover.
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