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Friday Football Fever: Common Sense picks the games

It’s not polite to gloat that Common Sense was 15-1 picking winners last week, but what the heck.
In Vegas, it was what they call a form week, one of those dry, cold Fridays when teams that were supposed to win actually went out and won.
R.J. Reynolds burned West Forsyth in a CPC shocker to keep Common Sense (91-31) from running the table. Common Sense picked Obama-Biden too, but that one was even easier than West vs. South.
Before tonight’s picks are made public, Common Sense tips a Notre Dame helmet to Nick Bowton, whose four-plus years in the Post sports department ended this week.
We often suggested “Nick’s Picks” would be a Friday natural, but he was too sharp to fall for it.
His last name, by the way, rhymed with floatin’ not doubtin’. Some folks never got it right. He joked about that, as he did most things. He was serious only about the Cubs, Fighting Irish football and Indiana hoops.
Bowton banged out stories with bite, soul and wit, and as the resident sultan of soccer he’ll be sorely missed. When Salisbury coach Tom Sexton talks about corners, my ancient brain pictures the intersection of Fulton and Innes. Nick could visualize Paul Kollie, Will Mason and their mates executing a set play.
The Post has lost talented, young sportswriters before.
Bryan Strickland moved on to Durham, where he now hangs out with Coach K, and Steve Hanf drastically upgraded prep coverage at his new home in High Point.
Bowton stepped into Hanf’s large shoes, but this time it’s different because Bowton won’t be replaced.
The full-time sports staff is down to three. There are six Rowan schools. That’s math even Common Sense can do. Obviously, it won’t be a perfect world.
You’ve read about buyouts, and it’s a fact of life the old-school newspaper, like the railroad, is a challenged industry in a world with jet travel and the Internet.
Our working days ó actually, it’s working nights ó mimic those of the zany folks who toil at Dunder Mifflin in “The Office.” Their job is selling reams of paper in a mostly paperless world, but they tell a few jokes, pull a few pranks and keep going.So will we.
The Internet is a magic-carpet ride, right up there with the wheel, pizza and DVD player, and we encourage all to explore the Post’s ever-expanding site and to purchase products from those who advertise there.
At the same time, Common Sense is thankful many locals still like the feel of a newspaper in their hands. The Post’s circulation is a relatively healthy 99.2 percent of what it was a year ago, a figure marveled at around the state.
At larger papers that don’t have such a close connection with readers through lifestyles features, area news and high school sports, circulation numbers and staff have melted away like spring frost.
Without Nick, the challenge gets tougher, but we’ll strive to make the sports section a relevant part of your day for years to come.
The picks:Salisbury 35, Prov. Grove 14
PG could be in for an R-rated night.
Lexington 42, North 6
Jacket back Chris Bush is a reason to go watch.
West 24, Mooresville 17Can’t pick against the Falcons in league games.
Statesville 27, East 7 Tough end to a tough season.
South 20, N. Iredell 7
Raiders are guaranteed to win ó and lose.
W. Iredell 27, Carson 16 Don’t rule out an upset.
A.L. Brown 35, Concord 7 Romps are rare in this series, but the Spiders are way, way down.
Davie 24, N. Davidson 14 Davie owns the Knights.
Other games: NPC: Lake Norman 14, NW Cabarrus 10
CCC: West Davidson 35, C. Davidson 13; Ledford 17, E. Davidson 14
SPC: Anson 27, Marvin Ridge 13; Porter Ridge 7, Piedmont 6; Sun Valley 28, Parkwood 14
CPC: Mount Tabor 31, W. Forsyth 24; Reynolds 27, N. Forsyth 7

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