Prep Football: Northwest Cabarrus East Rowan

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

By Bret Strelow
GRANITE QUARRY ó East Rowan has a small senior class, but it made noteworthy strides in its home finale.
East remained winless in the NPC with a 34-7 loss against Northwest Cabarrus on Friday. The effort in the Mustangs’ eighth straight setback encouraged head coach Brian Hinson.
“This is probably the game I felt our kids played with the most intensity and played hard the whole game,” Hinson said. “Right now that’s good improvement. We always expect that from our seniors, and it was good to see some of the underclassmen step up.”
Northwest Cabarrus (5-5, 3-5 NPC) totaled 261 yards, only 49 more than East Rowan (1-9, 0-8), and Jonathon Wallace threw three touchdown passes.
Northwest scored on each of its first three possessions, and the Mustangs trailed 17-0 before Ben DeCelle broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run on a draw play with 8:49 remaining in the second quarter.
DeCelle, who tallied his fifth TD of the season to end a five-game scoring drought, was one of 12 seniors recognized before the final home contest.
“Ben’s a special player, and I say that every week to somebody,” Hinson said. “I feel for him with the season we’ve had. He’s one of those kids you don’t get to coach very often with his work ethic and the desire he has.”
DeCelle finished with eight carries for 62 yards and eight catches for 48 yards. Senior quarterback Trevor Monroe threw two interceptions, but he completed a season-high 13 passes in 19 attempts for 111 yards.
The Mustangs moved inside Northwest’s 40-yard line on their first two drives of the third quarter, and Jordan Moore’s 41-yard reception helped East eclipse 200 yards of offense for the first time since a 33-21 loss to Carson on Sept. 19.
“We played with more passion than usual, and I like the emotion we played with,” Monroe said. “I’ll take that over any game we’ve played. It seemed like everybody was intense and happy to be out there. We had more fun tonight.”
Northwest’s passing game forced the Mustangs to play from behind.
Wallace, who came off the bench last Friday in a win against Carson, returned to the starting lineup and threw for 155 yards. He completed 13 throws in 18 tries and hooked up with Graham Wright for two touchdowns.
Wright scored on a 10-yard reception with 8:52 left in the first quarter, and Bradley Pinion kicked a 31-yard field goal five minutes later.
A 57-yard interception return by Grant Keyes set up Northwest’s third score, a 3-yard run by Dolando Clowney in the first minute of the second quarter.
“We have to have things go good for us early, but we fell into a hole real quick,” Hinson said.
Wright’s 28-yard touchdown on a middle screen enabled the Trojans to take a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Wright made all five of his catches for 84 yards in the first half, and Martin Murrell had six receptions for 52 yards after the break. Wallace capped the scoring with a 8-yard touchdown pass to Fred House midway through the fourth quarter.
“(The passing game) is a work in progress,” Northwest coach Rich Williams said. “(Wallace) did a good job tonight throwing the ball for us. We found some soft spots in their zone, and we were able to capitalize on it. Hopefully we’ll build from here.”
NOTES: Monroe completed 12 passes last week in a loss to North Iredell. He had a total of 14 completions in his first four appearances this season. … Kendall Self was in on two sacks for Northwest. … East will end its season with a game at third-place Statesville next Friday.