Friday Night Hero: West Rowan’s B.J. Sherrill
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA ó West Rowan beat Carver last Friday to reach the Western 3A final against South Point.
Austin Greenwood’s name was on everyone’s lips. He scored the winning points on a fake punt and then intercepted a pass to end the last Yellow Jacket threat.
Greenwood may have finished off things for West, but someone had to get things started.
Coach Scott Young turned to a sophomore.
With Carver ahead 10-0, and tailback K.P. Parks being shut down, quarterback B.J. Sherrill took matters into his own hands late in the first half.
From the Carver 6-yard line, Sherrill rolled right, found a seam and sprinted into the end zone. That first score seemed to relax his teammates.
“The coaches told me to run if I could,” Sherrill said. “I saw a lane and took it. I had been a little anxious at first, but I got into the flow.”
Sherrill remembers feeling anxious at the start of the season. He took a backseat at quarterback to junior Jon Crucitti. But Young inserted him into the lineup in the second game of the season against Davie and he has been the man under center since.
“Now, he’s full-speed ahead,” Young said. “He’s making good decisions with the football.”
Sherrill was forced to face a talented Carver secondary but averaged 10 yards on seven completions.
“Carver’s pass defense was good,” Young said. “There were not a lot of wide open receivers. There were small windows to throw through and B.J. got the ball through most of those windows.”
Young explained that early in the season, he stuck with the upperclassmen at quarterback. But he also realized that Crucitti and Horton gave him more speed at receiver than Sherrill.
Everything worked out. Crucitti became a jack of all trades. Horton became the leading receiver.
And Sherrill became the signal-caller.
In his few series against Davie (West’s only loss of the season), Sherrill proved he belonged in the starting role, throwing for 181 yards.
“I did pretty good against Davie, I guess,” Sherrill said. “My first couple of starts, I was a little scared. Now, I feel good.”
But against West Iredell, Sherrill had a performance (7 of 17) that was described by Young as was one of the worst by a West quarterback in years. That’s when Young proved he was loyal to his sophomore.
“We talked about it at a coaches meeting,” Young said. “They all agreed I had to make a commitment to that kid in developing him in his job, which is playing quarterback. Since then, he has really stepped up.”
Sherrill has had Herculean efforts. He was 8-for-9 for 199 yards against South Rowan. He was 7-of-11 for 151 yards in a win over Mooresville that clinched the Falcons’ fifth straight North Piedmont Conference title.
Sherrill even fought through turf toe in the first round of the playoffs.
“It was painful, man,” he said. “You really can’t put any pressure on it. The coaches told me to just be tough.”
He might need another Herculean effort against South Point. Parks is still nursing an ankle injury and his offensive line is beat up.
“Hopefully, everybody will get better as the week goes on,” Sherrill said. “We’ll be fine.”
And West will be fine in the future as well.
“It’s a real good luxury to know you’ve got someone who knows how to run our system the next two years,” Young said.
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