Prep Football: East Rowan 30, Concord 0
By Bret Strelow
GRANITE QUARRY ó East Rowan ended a streak Friday night and found symmetry in the final score.Junior quarterback Jamey Blalock threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes to Riley Weber and rushed for a TD as East earned a 30-0 victory against Concord, which had won its last 25 meetings with the Mustangs.
The Spiders hadn’t lost to East since 1979.
“Thirty years, 30 to nothing ó perfect,” said senior Nathan Robbins, the starting left guard. “Like we said at the end, it’s poetic justice.”
The schools hadn’t squared off since 2004, when Concord cruised to a 48-6 victory.
East (2-1) picked up its most lopsided win since a 38-0 wipeout of North Iredell in the ninth game of the 2004 season, and the Mustangs pitched their second shutout in three weeks. They prevailed 7-0 over North Rowan in the opener.
Junior linebacker Quentin Sifford recovered a critical fumble and recorded three of East’s six sacks against Concord (0-3).
“Before we came into this game we felt real good about it,” senior linebacker Sam Edmonds said. “When we scored that first touchdown, you could just tell everybody’s morale went up.”
Concord marched inside East’s 20-yard line on the first possession, but a botched exchange prevented the Spiders from converting a third down.
Edmonds and Sam Sherman tackled fullback Adrian McWilliams for a loss on fourth-and-1, and Blalock kickstarted the Mustangs’ first series by gaining 38 yards on an option keeper. His 10-yard touchdown pass to Weber capped an eight-play drive.”That’s just a confidence booster right there that gets everybody going,” Weber said. “Before the game we were getting pumped up and getting ready to play. We just went out and did what we practiced.”
A punt by Andrew May pinned the Spiders deep in their own territory, and quarterback Jacquise Moore struggled to control a high shotgun snap.
Dakota Tilley arrived first for a two-point takedown.
“All of a sudden the game just seemed to barrel roll,” first-year Concord coach Glen Padgett said.
The Mustangs took over near midfield following the free kick, and Chris Moore’s 3-yard touchdown run helped push East ahead 16-0 late in the first quarter.
Another high snap hurt the Spiders late in the half after they had recovered a Blalock fumble at their 7-yard line. Sifford used one arm to pull a loose ball away from backup QB Jordan Havinga, and the Mustangs gained possession at Concord’s 40 with 1:12 left before the break.
“It was one of those situations where you get a turnover and you want to attack and go for the big play, kind of the knockout shot,” East coach Brian Hinson said.
Blalock dropped back to pass on first down and fired a perfect strike to Weber, who had created separation while sprinting down the right sideline.
Weber initially had faked like he was running a slant pattern.
“After I fumbled I was a little down,” Blalock said. “Coach called our little trick play, and (Weber) got wide open.”Sifford and Jesse Meismer sacked Havinga on consecutive plays, and East bolted to the locker room with a 23-0 advantage.
“We’ve never been in this position before,” Sifford said, “but we kept our heads and played good.”
East put the game away early in the second half. A 10-play drive featuring only runs closed with a 1-yard QB sneak.Blalock ó who had 80 yards rushing and 81 yards passing in the first half ó repeatedly praised the blocking of Robbins, Kendall Morgan, Dalton Miller, Greysen Gordy and Chris Demitraszek.
“The offensive line, man, they earned that one,” Blalock said. “Going in we thought their defensive line was going to be pretty good, and we handled them better than expected.”