Prep Football: West Rowan 33, Mooresville 6
By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA ó West Rowan junior K.P. Parks sprinted for 225 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-6 NPC victory against Mooresville on Friday.
Two of Parks’ senior teammates Joseph Kerley and Marco Gupton weren’t capable of doing any sprinting, but their spirit helped West claim its fifth straight NPC title ó and its fourth in a row outright.
“Only one team gets to hang a banner in the gym,” West coach Scott Young said. “We wanted that to be us.”
Gupton, a safety seven days removed from an ACL tear, actually got on the field a few plays. Kerley, an offensive lineman two weeks removed from a serious ankle sprain, played most of the time.
“Being the kind of kids they are they weren’t going to miss their senior night,” Young said. “West Rowan kids want to play football. Their competitiveness is second to none, and that’s why we’ve won so many championships.”
Mooresville (8-3, 6-2) moved the ball on the ground against West better than anyone has, but the Blue Devils were stymied by holding penalties in the first half, couldn’t hit big plays in the passing game when the opportunities were there and found the end zone.
“We had three holding calls in the first half and I don’t know that we’ve had more than two all season,” Mooresville coach Barclay Marsh said. “We didn’t play our best, but West had a lot to do with that.”
Mooresville’s standout back Jjshaun Pinkston rushed 23 times for 125 yards, but a bending West defense led by Kenderic Dunlap and Nate Dulin refused to break.
“Mooresville’s offensive line was huge, much bigger than us,” Dunlap said. “The only advantage we had was our quickness and we used good technique.”
Dunlap and Dylan Andrews made stops on Pinkston in the backfield. Chris Smith had a 13-yard sack of Mooresville QB Nathan Abraham. Trey Mashore picked off a pass. Eli Goodson recovered a fumble.
On the other side of the ball, Parks and quarterback B.J. Sherrill, who had 151 passing yards, made huge plays, and West’s offensive line dominated.
“K.P. was really fired up because he got ejected with the flip at Mooresville last year and Jon Crucitti (West’s junior wideout who played at Mooresville last season) was even more fired up,” West lineman Tim Pangburn said. “We just wanted to prove we were the better team, and I think we did. It was a tough game, but not as tough as it was with them last year.
The first half was antsy for Parks, Sherrill and Crucitti. They were spectators often because the Falcons (10-1, 8-0) had only three possessions in the half and one was with time running out.
The Blue Devils opened the game by recovering a surprise onsides kick, got a 47-yard field goal from Carson Smith and maintained momentum for a while.
“Their gameplan was to keep our offense off the field and they executed that in the first half,” Young said. “They had a big edge in the kicking game and they probably had the ball 17 of the 24 minutes in the first half.”
Sherrill’s 36-yard toss to Brantley Horton led to a 17-yard scoring run by Parks that gave West a 6-3 lead.
“That first touchdown was important because it got everyone excited,” Parks said. “The O-line blocked, and we started having some fun.”
Parks scored on a 21-yard run early in the second quarter after a Blue Devil personal foul on a run by Crucitti.
West led 13-6 at the half.
“To say it was emotional is an understatement,” Crucitti said. “I thought Mooresville came out playing their style and flying all over the place on defense. But we played that first half just to get to the second half and once we got there our offensive line really starting wearing them down. That’s West Rowan football.”
West’s defense forced a punt to start the second half.
A 24-yard burst by Parks got West out of a hole, and on a third-and-22 play, Sherrill launched a 60-yard strike to Crucitti behind the Mooresville defense.
After a third-down stop by Goodson and Smith forced another Mooresville punt, Parks punched in his third score for a 19-6 edge.
When Dunlap and Dulin teamed to stack up Mooresville fullback Alex Mooney on a fourth-and-1 play at the West 38 with 6:44 remaining, it was all over.
Parks went 62 yards on the next snap to ice the cake.”People talked about Pinkston and me, but it wasn’t a competition, Parks said. “This was about West Rowan winning the NPC championship game.”