Prep Football: The Notebook, Week 10 – Parks chasing Pinkston
Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2008
From staff reports
West Rowan’s K.P. Parks had 14 carries for 179 yards at halftime of Friday’s rout of South Rowan, and the Falcons, led comfortably 42-7.
Parks didn’t play at all in the second half against East Rowan in similar circumstances, but Parks added to his totals in the third quarter against the Raiders and finished with 21 carries for 234 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-7 victory.
Part of Parks’ longer outing was South is stronger than East. Part of it was field conditions weren’t as treacherous as they were on a rainy night at East.
But most of it was the incredible year Mooresville senior back Jjshaun Pinkston is having.
Parks and Pinkston entered last Friday with 25 touchdowns apiece, but Pinkston held a lead of about 250 yards in the NPC rushing race.
“It’s kind of a tough spot to be in,” admitted West coach Scott Young, who wants to give his guy a reasonable chance to be NPC Player of the Year. “We’re not trying to pile it on, but we can look at the stats and see where K.P. and Pinkston stand, and we were trying to get K.P. a few more carries.”
Parks exited after back-to-back penalties for grabbing Parks’ face mask in the third quarter forced Young to start thinking about his star’s safety more than stats.
Young is trying to walk the line between not embarrassing beaten opponents and giving Parks, who already owns every county rushing and scoring mark, an opportunity to challenge state records. Assuming he stays healthy the rest of this year and next, Parks, will finish his career with some of the strongest numbers in state history.
While Parks was rolling over South, Pinkston was obliterating West Iredell for 282 yards and three TDs.
Pinkston now has 2,175 yards for the season. Parks checks in at 1,874. Parks holds a 29-28 edge in TDs.
Parks and Pinkston will both be in Mount Ulla tomorrow for a marquee matchup that should determine the NPC’s best player is as well as conference bragging rights.
Said A.L. Brown offensive line coach Todd Hagler, a neutral observer, “There won’t be a game in the state with two better backs on the field.”
HIGH FIVE: West didn’t win a single conference championship from 1959-99, but it finally broke the ice in 2000 when it beat A.L. Brown and Concord back-to-back.
West clinched a share of its fifth straight NPC title when it rolled over South.
West had a close call with Lake Norman this season, but it is now 35-2 in NPC games the last five years.
The Falcons lost to A.L. Brown 14-7 in 2004 and to West Iredell 20-18 in 2007.
INJURY REPORT: West strong safety Marco Gupton tore an ACL Friday.
He can’t damage it further, so there’s a chance he’ll be able to brace it and finish the season.
“Marco’s been cleared by doctors to play with a brace,” Young said. “Everybody reacts differently to a brace, so we’ll just have to wait and see. It will be up to his willpower and his strength.”
Gupton, a college prospect, will have surgery after the season.
Matt Bishop is the next option at free safety.
B.J. SHINES: West quarterback B.J. Sherrill was on target Friday ó 8-for-9 passing for 199 yards.
Sherrill, a sophomore who was mostly a receiver last season, has twice as many TD passes (10) as interceptions.
The 199 yards were a career high and put him over 1,000 for the season.
Quarterback Blake Houston has had a relatively quiet junior season with South relying mostly on its power game, but he provided the only noise against West Rowan with a 57-yard run and a 42-yard TD pass to B.J. Grant.
Houston went over 2,000 yards of total offense for his career. He has 1,705 passing yards and 352 rushing yards.
South’s career total offense record is held by quarterback Kevin Sides, who accounted for 3,376 yards from 1992-95 before walking on and eventually playing a significant role at South Carolina.
Sides set the school passing record with 2,737 yards.
GRANT UPDATE: South’s rarely fielded passing-oriented teams.
Grant, whose TD catch against West lifted him to 948 career receiving yards, is on the verge of becoming only the second Raider to surpass 1,000.
Adrian Parker, who pulled in a lot of Sides’ passes, is the runaway career leader at South with 1,493 yards and ranks ninth in county history.
STILL A WAYS TO GO: South was a lot better in 2007 than in 2006 and it’s quite a bit better this year than it was last season.
Improvement is obvious and the Raiders are getting more physical and more talented, but there’s still a gap between South and West that’s wider than most observers thought. People who thought South would be ready to challenge West on even terms in 2009 may have to reassess.
It’s no secret South coach Jason Rollins admires what West coach Scott Young and his staff has accomplished and he’s tried to structure South’s rebuilding process using West as the model.
“We’ve tried to mirror them, and by that I don’t mean doing exactly what they do on offense and defense,” Rollins said. “But we have tried to the things West does as far as their offseason preparation.”
Hornets kicker Frankie Cardelle didn’t have anything wrong with his right leg Friday night, although it might have appeared so based on his erratic kickoffs.
Cardelle typically sends most of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, if not every single one.
Against North Rowan, however, Cardelle had four kickoffs that didn’t reach the end zone. The reason? Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan wanted to work on certain types of kicks that the Hornets had only rehearsed in practice.
“We’ve got some things in our kicking game we’re trying to do,” Pinyan said. “One of them he just missed. A couple of them we’re trying to pooch the ball to certain areas or make certain kicks. We worked on them the last couple weeks in practice, but it comes a point if you do things in practice and don’t ever do them in a game, the kids say, ‘Well, why the heck are we doing it in practice?’
“We wanted to try some of it today.”
ONE OF MANY: Sophomore quarterback John Knox rushed for a career-high 113 yards against the Cavaliers.
Dario Hamilton, A.J. Ford and Ike Whitaker typically produce most of the rushing yards, but Knox convinced North coach Tasker Fleming that he’s just as viable of an option.
“They’re balanced, and their quarterback does a great job of carrying out the next level of the option,” Fleming said. “Tonight he was the better threat. They have a lot of good ones, but he was the better threat tonight.”
The Cavaliers never gave Salisbury much of a test in a 52-8 loss, but they did impress the Hornets with the talent they have defensively.
Javon Hargrave, a sophomore defensive end, already is one of the top defensive players in the CCC, and linebackers Vince Shropshire and Cedric Donaldson will be back next season as well.
“Hargrave’s a good player; we had to run away from him a lot and make him a spectator,” Pinyan said. “I thought Donaldson and Shropshire played well; they get after you.
“It’s a young defense over there that’s gonna keep getting better and better.”
Salisbury defensive back Martin Hosch-Cathcart agreed.
“North is gonna be good in the future,” he said. “I feel like they’re gonna have a good team.”
East Rowan honored 12 seniors before its home finale, and a pair of unsung sophomores made favorable impressions on coach Brian Hinson.
Taylor Lester contributed at linebacker and Evan Hiatt played well at cornerback in the Mustangs’ 34-7 loss to Northwest Cabarrus.
“We’ve got some good young players we can build on,” Hinson said. “I just hate the season’s gone this way for the senior class. We’ve got some good kids in our senior class who have given a lot to the program.”
SCRATCHING THE SURFACE: East Rowan’s last chance to pick up a conference win comes in the season finale at third-place Statesville.
East was officially winless in the NPC in 2002 (0-6) and 2003 (0-7). It went 0-6 on the field against 4A CPC foes in 2005, but R.J. Reynolds forfeited its victory against the Mustangs.
A good bet would be Shaun Warren becoming Carson’s first 1,000-yard runner on Friday.
He needs only 5 yards.
Warren also needs just one touchdown to reach double figures in that category.
Jacorian Brown needs 32 yards to pass 400. Daniel Yates needs 36 yard to reach 300.
BIG BAD JOHN: Linebacker John Mullis is having quite a year.
Mullis has three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. NCPreps.com has him ranked third in the state in tackles with 124.
Brown hasn’t had an average quarterback in the last decade, and Jamill Lott has lived up to a line that has included Justin Hardin, Josh Lee, Drew Maher, Brandon Franklin, Sean Fortson and Jonathan Efird.
All six of Lott’s predecessors made college rosters.
Hardin, Lee, Franklin and Efird played in the East-West Game, and Lott, who will probably be a next-level DB could join them this summer.
Lott, starting at QB for the first time, has amassed 1,709 yards of total offense (1,034 passing, 675 rushing) in 10 games.
That’s already the third-highest rushing total among recent Wonder QBs. Fortson had 879 rushing yards in 2005, and Franklin had 797 in 2002.
Franklin’s 2,588 yards of total offense in 2002 is the highest among recent Wonder QBs.
Efird, who had 2,069 passing yards in 2006, had the most prolific aerial season.
The War Eagles broke a three-game losing streak with a 27-0 win against North Forsyth and did it by running the ball more.
James Mayfield, who has suffered all season with a bad shoulder, was more than happy to tote the rock.
Showing prowess not seen since going for 143 yards in the season opener, Mayfield ran for 159 yards and scored three times.
“We needed to get Mayfield going,” Davie coach Doug Illing said. “He actually got (the shoulder) dinged so he’s still playing hurt. But he’s a trooper.”
Mayfield goes into Friday with 568 yards and nine touchdowns in seven outings.
HE’S BACK: Center Vince Cioce, who was out for four weeks with a broken finger, returned against North Forsyth.
“You don’t know how much you love something until it’s gone,” Cioce said.
SENIOR NIGHT: The seniors will play at War Eagle Stadium for the last time Friday against North Davidson, a team that has lost to Davie seven straight years.
Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Bret Strelow, Nick Bowton and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.