Prep Football: Carson 32, North Rowan 0

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 28, 2009

By David Shaw
SPENCER ó A short work-week, a delayed start and less-than-perfect playing conditions hardly fazed Carson’s football team Friday night.
The Cougars hurdled every obstacle in their paths and gained an easy 32-0 non-league victory at North Rowan.
“We tried to be an A-plus team today,” senior defensive back Deonte Moses said after Carson squared its record at 1-1. “We tried to be better than we were last week.”
Consider that mission accomplished. JCHS ó forced to travel to Hickory Ridge both Friday and Saturday to complete its season-opener last week ó spent more than two hours in its dressing room waiting out a pregame downpour. When the game kicked off some 50 minutes late, it was well-prepared.
“We just had to keep our heads in this game,” said offensive lineman Steven Newton. “Last week? We forgot all about that.”
And it showed. Carson running back Shaun Warren scampered for 200 yards and three touchdowns despite sitting out the fourth quarter. He scored on runs of 27, 28 and 71 yards ó all in the first half, when he zigged and zagged his way for 187 yards.
“He’s a really good back,” Cavs’ coach Tasker Fleming acknowledged. “He’s speedy and he reads cutbacks very well. Each of their linemen cover an area and create running lanes ó and together they made us pay.”
Carson’s line ó anchored by Newton and teammates Jacob Scarborough, Tyler Christy, Colton Ballard and Kaleb Denton ó created enough space for the Cougars to rush for 280 yards.
“We love to block for all the running backs,” said Ballard, a 245-pound senior.
“We were firing off the ball,” added Christy (6-0, 255).
Carson’s defense forced six turnovers and limited North (0-2) to 78 total yards. NR’s Vince Shropshire was most successful, bumping and bruising for 69 yards on 14 carries. He could have blamed poor traction or a slippery ball for the Cavs’ disappointing performance, but he didn’t.
“That had nothing to do with it,” he said, sitting near his locker post-game. “Everybody brought intensity. Everybody did their job. We all had a good week in practice. And nobody quit out there.”
The problem, Fleming indicated, was a failure to finish. North took the opening kickoff and drove to Carson’s 25-yard line, only to lose the ball on a fumble. Midway through the second period the Cavs penetrated to the Carson 3, but Shropshire was stuffed for no gain by Carson’s Jenson Harden on fourth-and-2.
Later North recovered an on-sides kick to open the second half, but the opportunity fizzled when Moses returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown and a 25-0 Carson lead.
“We had a chance to score and didn’t,” Fleming beefed in his quiet manner. “If we had had the drive that we had in the second quarter, it may have turned out differently. Down 19-8 with a lot of time left sounded good.”
It was a sound never heard. Moses, who last returned an interception for a score two years ago while living in Ohio, made sure of it.
“They had already tried that play,” he said. “And they got me for pass interference. That time I just read the play. It was a bad pass. I caught it and took it to the house.”
And with it, he helped give Carson something more than a one-sided victory ó hope.
“We’ve just got to get back to practice and keep working hard,” Warren said. “We’ve got to get ready for Salisbury.”

NOTES: Carson’s Derrick Sewell, Alex Lee and Zack White also picked off passes. … Shropshire made North’s first reception of the year when he snagged a 7-yard pass.