Prep Football: South Rowan 51, Central Cabarrus 6

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 18, 2009

By Mike London
LANDIS ó The clock ran without stoppage in the fourth quarter, sort of like South Rowan’s Blake Houston and Thomas Lowe did the first three.
South crushed Central Cabarrus 51-6, as expected, on Friday at Donnell Stadium and carries a 4-1 record, the Raiders’ best start since 2000, into next week’s NPC opener at West Rowan.
“I guess this was one of those nights where maybe we could’ve set records and thrown for like 400 yards, but the coaches wanted to get everyone out of there early,” Houston said. “Big game next week.”
South wasn’t perfect, losing three fumbles and drawing seven first-half yellow flags, but the Raiders, bigger, deeper and faster, weren’t seriously threatened.
Central (0-4) has been shredded by the opening of two new schools in its vicinity this decade. The Vikings didn’t lack effort, but they challenged the world record for missed tackles and were flagged 13 times. Central incurred back-to-back offsides penalties just trying to kick off, and that’s about all you need to know.
“At first it wasn’t that easy,” Houston said. “But then our offensive line just starting dominating. They didn’t have any answers.”
Houston threw a touchdown pass to B.J. Grant and tossed only one incompletion. His four rushes gained 90 yards. He scored twice. He fumbled a third TD away when he was inches from the end zone.
Lowe’s half-dozen carries included gallops of 24, 39 and 54 yards. He trucked multiple defenders on all three romps.
Mark McDaniel’s 65-yard punt return for a score gave South a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
“Just nice blocking by everybody,’ McDaniel said. “When I caught that ball I looked the field over and knew I had a chance.”
South’s lead was 16-0 by the end of a quarter, with Kyle Rolla producing two points by forcing an intentional grounding penalty for a safety.
South led 30-6 at halftime, even though its offense didn’t spend much time on the field.
“The first half we were doing what we wanted to do on offense, but our defense was sloppy,” South coach Jason Rollins said. “We kept doing dumb things that kept our defense on the field. But at halftime we made the adjustments we needed. Our defense had a very strong second half.”
South’s Cadarreus Mason, who has made the shift from defensive end to middle linebacker was his usual destructive self.
When he tackled people, the impact could be heard a mile away. He forced a fumble and destroyed a two-point conversion try. On a Central punt, Mason bullrushed a blocker back into the punter, and the punt banged off the unfortunate blocker’s helmet.
“I like linebacker ó thank you, coaches,” Mason said. “It’s harder for teams to run away from me now, and we all carried out our assignments very well in the second half.”
John Davis recovered two fumbles and nearly had a touchdown when he scooped a football knocked loose by Randy Maxwell.
Skyler Stamey had two tackles for loss. Quan Glaspy, Davis and Mason all disrupted plays behind the line of scrimmage. Central made only two first downs after halftime.
“I knew I’d have to be a salesman this week to keep our kids from looking ahead,” Rollins said. “We know there’s a big game next week, but we did a pretty decent job of taking care of the task at hand.”
Rollins said South got a lift from assistant coach Barry Lipscomb, who is stationed in Iraq. Lipscomb, a Central grad, phoned home to make sure the Raiders didn’t take the Vikings lightly.
“Lip made sure we put it up on the board to stay focused and to do what we needed to do to get to 4-1,” Rollins said.