Prep Football: The Notebook, Week 13
From staff reports
The prep football notebook …
West Rowan’s frozen-tundra, 27-14 playoff victory against Statesville opened with a hit that warmed the hearts of West coaches and Falcon fans.
Linebacker Kameron Finchum unloaded on a Statesville return man on the opening kickoff with an impact that could be heard ó and felt ó on the back row of the bleachers.
Overall, though, West’s kickoff coverage wasn’t stout, and that’s an aspect the Falcons have to shore up if they’re going to beat Winston-Salem Carver Friday.
The turning point of Carver’s victory against North Buncombe was a 99-yard kickoff return.
TALL TARGET? Junior K.J. Sherrill, who might have made an imposing tight end at 6-foot-7 if he wasn’t such a fine basketball player, was honored at halftime.
Sherrill, who recently signed with Charlotte, scored the 1,000th point of his career in the playoffs last season at T.C. Roberson and the Falcons didn’t have any more home games.
Falcon Hoops Madness followed Friday’s football game.
TIGHT ENDS: West tight ends Patrick Hampton and Dustin Davis have caught one pass apiece this season, but they do their job as that sixth offensive lineman in the running game.
GUPTON HURT: Strong safety Marco Gupton, who is playing with a torn ACL, went down in the second half and stayed down for several minutes.
Gupton was helped to the sideline and was back on his feet a few minutes later.
BANGED UP: West offensive linemen Joseph Kerley (ankle), Timmy Pangburn (shoulder) and Garrett Teeter (shoulder) have all been playing through painful injuries, but they opened holes again on Friday.
West’s O-line has helped create 3,544 rushing yards. K.P. Parks has 2,441, but other Falcons have churned out nearly another 1,000.
Backup tailback Tim Flanagan has 227 yards, part-time quarterback Jon Crucitti has 198, QB B.J. Sherrill has 133, third-team tailback Nolan Phillips has 127, fullback Jeremy Melchor has 92 and backup fullback Coleman Phifer has 81.
B.J. LOOKS OK: Sherrill’s “turf toe” was a big concern heading into Friday’s 27-14 victory against Statesville, but he was moving well, throwing accurately and making good decisions.
Sherrill tossed his 15th TD pass of the season, a 39-yarder to Jon Crucitti, and scored West’s last TD on a sneak from the 1.
DECOY: Parks was limping badly in the first quarter, but West still called a timeout to get him back on the field for a key third-and-7 from the Statesville 22.
Sherrill faked a handoff to Parks, who drew enough attention to leave Jonathan Hill wide open in the middle of the field, and Sherrill hit Hill for a first down that was the key play on the Falcons’ first scoring drive.
PARKS UPDATE: Parks, a junior, rushed for 177 yards on Friday despite a sprained ankle and a determined Statesville defense.
Parks had 143 yards when West blew out Statesville 41-7 in September, but he sat down pretty early in that one.
Parks added to county records, boosting his career rushing yards to 6,698 and his TD total to 93.
His 37 TDs this season are a record, and he’s closing on the county-record 2,536 yards he rushed for last season. He needs 96 yards Friday to top it.
It’s hard to believe his ankle will be anywhere close to 100 percent, but he vowed to be out there.
HORTON’S BACK: Receiver Brantley Horton’s broken hand didn’t stop him from catching three balls on Friday for 44 yards.
GREAT NUMBERS: Statistically, West (12-1) is one of the best teams in county history.
The Falcons, who have won 11 in a row since losing to Davie County, have scored a school and county record 522 points ó 40.2 points a game. No West team has ever scored 500 points in a season.
West’s 2005 squad that finished 13-1 scored 498 points.
The previous county record for points in a season was the 502 amassed by the Salisbury squad that was 12-1 in 1995.
* West has allowed 117 points ó 9.0 per game.
The Falcons have recorded four shutouts and have held five more opponents to a single score.
West set a school defensive record in 1967 by allowing 8.8 points per game. The ’67 team posted only one shutout, but the most points it allowed in a game was 14.
West’s defensive numbers were hurt this season by the 35 points the Falcons allowed against Davie.
LOTS OF LOSSES: Junior defensive end Chris Smith had another sack Friday and also shared one with Kenderic Dunlap. The dynamic Smith added two more tackles for loss on running plays.
Also making key stops in the Statesville backfield were Gupton, who accounted for a 7-yard loss before he was hurt, Dylan Andrews, Nate Dulin, Mackel Gaither and Eli Goodson.
On Statesville’s final possession, sophomore Emmanuel Gbunblee made two tackles, including a sack.
Mike London and David Shaw will cover the West-Carver game for the Post.