Prep football: Common Sense
Not to dwell on last week’s West Rowan-Salisbury game too long, but the fans who elbowed their way into Ludwig Stadium saw something they may not see again for a half-dozen years.
West lost the turnover battle 3-0 but won the game 14-7.
It was actually the first time West was minus-three in turnover differential since it lost 28-7 to Davie on opening night of the 2004 season.
Last Friday’s game marked the first time West has been minus-three and still come out on top since it beat Northwest Cabarrus 35-7 in 2003. The Falcons lost three fumbles that night, but Joe Jackson compensated with three touchdown runs.
West is 4-0 this season despite being minus-one in turnovers. The Falcons were plus-12 at the end of their 2008 championship season.
The ultimate turnover guys in recent seasons were the 2005 Falcons. They were plus-19 after seven games and finished plus-21.
South Rowan’s 2001 defense also should be mentioned. The Raiders forced a mind-boggling 48 turnovers in 13 games and finished plus-17 for the season.
As a rule, turnovers are the single most important stat.
East Rowan went into last week’s game with Hickory Ridge at minus-three for the season, but the Mustangs forced six turnovers and won by six points. East had not forced so many turnovers in a game since it recovered seven South fumbles in 2003. East still lost that one 50-8.Common Sense is 18-5 for the season, but the Mustangs have been hard to predict. They’ve turned over a new leaf ó they’re winning.As everyone knows, Common Sense isn’t usually a homer. Obviously, a county team is going to lose the North Rowan-Salisbury matchup, but it’s hard to imagine many of the local squads coming up short tonight.
There’s a better chance of aliens landing in Brian Hinson’s backyard tomorrow than East losing to Cox Mill.
There’s a better chance of Carrie Underwood singing the national anthem tonight and autographing coach Jason Rollins’ shaved head than South losing to Central Cabarrus.
One computer ranking guru ranks Central 313th in the state and Cox Mill 338th.
In other words, the schedule for Rowan teams on the last Friday before conference play finally begins is friendlier than a Wal-Mart greeter.
A.L. Brown and Davie, however, have their work cut out.
Salisbury 35, North Rowan 6
The Hornets are plus-six in the turnover battle, and North is minus-five.
On paper, it’s no contest, but maybe the heat of the rivalry and North’s defense can keep it close.
West Rowan 27, Mooresville 14
Mooresville is definitely better than its record, and the Blue Devils will take their best shot at home.
K.P. Parks can tie a state record tonight for most 100-yard games in a career. He’ll do it, and he’ll not only do it, he’ll give credit to his line, his fullback, his tight end, his coaches, his family and his barber. Even if you hate football, you’ve gotta love this guy.
South Rowan 42, Central Cabarrus 13
South comes in minus-two in turnover differential, but it’s still 3-1. South is good. Not many teams are going to beat A.L. Brown or Salisbury, much less both of them.
East Rowan 28, Cox Mill 0
Mustangs will get their fourth win and could record their third shutout.
Carson 27, Jay M. Robinson 20
Probably the tightest game of the night involving Rowan teams. Carson’s in a Jekyll-Hyde mode, losing by 44, then winning by 33.
A.L. Brown 27, Kings Mountain 24
None of the three previous meetings between these two have been anywhere close to dull.
Brown could give coach Ron Massey his 100th win in green and white, but a struggle with his old school is likely.
Davie 31, Thomasville 28
The War Eagles haven’t beaten the Bulldogs since 1962, so Davie is due.
The loser is 1-4. Hard to believe.