Prep Football: West Rowan 69, East Rowan 0
By Mike London
email@example.comGRANITE QUARRY ó East Rowan fumbled the opening kickoff, and it went downhill from there.
The Mustangs experienced a 48-minute nightmare on a rainy, dreary Friday. They had as many lost fumbles (five) as first downs while absorbing a 69-0 beating from West Rowan that was scary enough to have been played on Halloween.
West broke a school record for most points scored, and East tied a school record for most points allowed.
West, which won its 28th straight county game and 21st consecutive NPC road contest, doesn’t need any breaks, but it was handed plenty, starting with Tamar McNeely’s recovery after a forceful hit on the initial kickoff. Five seconds into the game, East (1-7, 0-6) was sinking and sharks were circling.
“West showed pretty clearly they could take it 80 yards when they needed to,” East coach Brian Hinson said. “You can’t keep giving a team as good as West chances to only have to go 20, but we did.”
It could have been worse. The Falcons (7-1, 6-0) led 35-0 after nine minutes and were ahead 48-0 at halftime. Only one of West’s three second-half TDs came on offense, and the Falcons put their last point on the busy scoreboard when Matt Turchin kicked his ninth PAT with 9:56 left to play.A prep football TV shows arrived at halftime to film highlights, but record-breaking tailback K.P. Parks wasn’t part of its show. After rolling for 191 yards and three TDs on 16 first-half carries, the junior called it an early night.
West’s John Crucitti had one of those nights versatile guys dream about. He caught a TD pass, threw a TD pass and ran for a TD.
“I’d never done that before,” Crucitti said. “The coaches put me all over the field, and I’m just very fortunate to be on a team of this caliber.”
Dylan Andrews also did something he’d never done. He recovered three fumbles. One came in the East end zone when a harassed Mustang whiffed on a punting attempt.
“Stat-wise, at least, I had a good night,” Andrews said. “Guys were getting hit, and I just happened to be right there when the ball came loose.”
West scored just about every way imaginable. A.J. Little took a blocked field goal 65 yards to the house, and defensive end Chris Smith bullied his way for six points after scooping a shotgun snap that sailed over East QB Trevor Monroe’s head.
“I’m excited my guys showed up well, but at the same time my heart goes out to East,” said West coach Scott Young, who wore an East uniform in the late 1980s. “They’ve got a real good coaching staff, but they’re dealing with some personnel issues and disciplinary issues. Tonight it was a case of if it could go wrong for East it did go wrong ó and it went wrong so early it snowballed.”
Two plays after the opening-kickoff fumble, B.J. Sherrill faked to Parks and threw a 28-yard pass to a leaping Crucitti for a quick West TD.
“He hung it up there where I was the only one who had a chance for it, and I went up and got it,” Crucitti said.
East’s first snap from scrimmage resulted in another fumble. Andrews pounced on it, and after two runs by Parks, West led 14-0 less than two minutes into the game.
After the Mustangs went three-and-out, West took over on the East 43 and punched in another routine score to make it 21-0.
A 51-yard pass play from Monroe to Ben DeCelle led to a field-goal opportunity for East, but the kick was blocked and Little turned it into six points for the Falcons.
Andrews’s second fumble recovery set up Crucitti’s 17-yard TD pass to Brantley Horton, and West led 35-0 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Monroe hit DeCelle for a 61-yard TD, but it was called back by a holding penalty. After that it was just a matter of how much and how ugly.
“West has three great receivers, an offensive line that gives their quarterback all the time in the world and a great defense,” Hinson said. “You’ve got to give Scott credit. He turned it around at West and has built one of the top teams in the state.”
The victory was the 95th of Young’s coaching career and tied him with W.A. Cline, who coached Young at East.
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