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Prep preview: East Rowan at Hickory Ridge

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: East Rowan 2-1; Hickory Ridge 2-1
Series: First meeting
Last week: East whipped Concord 30-0; Hickory Ridge nipped Central Cabarrus 28-26
Next week: East is home against new school Cox Mill; Hickory Ridge travels to Indian Trail to take on Porter Ridge
Game notes: Hickory Ridge, a third-year school in Harrisburg, owns a win over Carson and is actually in first place in the SPC after pulling out an early conference game against Central Cabarrus.
After being shut out in the first half, Hickory Ridge stopped a two-point conversion last week to beat winless Central.
Running back Brian Baltimore scored three TDs last week and rushed for 106 yards. He carried 30 times for 171 yards against Carson.
It’s a big game for East, which owns shutout victories against two winless squads ó North Rowan and Concord.
East’s schedule is friendlier than usual. It plays new school Cox Mill next week, so it has a chance to start 4-1 if it can find a way to slow Baltimore and win tonight it.
Not many East teams have opened 4-1. The Mustangs have enjoyed only one winning season since 1999 and have started 4-1 only twice in the last 35 seasons.
East’s offense ranks fifth in Rowan County (224.6 yards per game), but QB Jamey Blalock, receiver Riley Weber and RB Chris Moore had good games last week. Greysen Gordy is part of an O-line that had a good night against the Spiders.
Defensively, Quentin Sifford’s three sacks helped lift the Mustangs. East’s defense ranks second overall in the county. Statistically, East has the top-ranked pass defense and second-best rushing defense.

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