Prep football: Common Sense
Making the internationally acclaimed Common Sense picks requires a little research and a lot of gut feeling.
The picks are 25-5 for the season. Common Sense was 7-0 last week, although anyone who picks high school games (the NFL was a different story) did OK last week. Sept. 18 was one of those Fridays when teams that were supposed to win won. Favorites prospered. Underdogs floundered.
There was one tossup in the Post’s coverage area, but Common Sense can now reveal he had a gut feeling the first field goal of Davie wrestler Matt Cusack’s career would be a 47-yarder to beat Thomasville for the first time in 47 years.
Space limitations did not permit me to share the Cusack prediction with you ahead of time.
NCPreps.com expert Arnold Solomon, the grand poobah of predictors, returned home last week and picked every prep game in the state using his famed alter ego ó Freddie Farkel. He went 132-19.
He tells me he was 87.42 percent correct. I’ll take his word for it.
Solomon picked Cherokee by 34 over Highland Tech. Cherokee won 47-13. He hit seven more games on the button. On a dozen games, he was off by a single point.
He picked Salisbury over North Rowan by 41. The final was 51-12.
Solomon reports that 67 of his 151 picks came within seven points of perfection and claims to have had a stronger week than the other three guys who pick every game.
Solomon is fortunate I concentrate my energy locally. Common Sense would’ve gone 151-0 last week. No doubt about it.
Even after his latest success, Solomon points out that high school football is still high school football and no one really knows what’s going to happen.
How, he wonders, did South Rowan beat A.L. Brown seven days before losing to Northwest Cabarrus? Well, home field and home crowd has something to do with it. Plus, the guys playing are teenagers. Stuff is going through their heads.
Speaking of South Rowan, Solomon’s patented power rating system ranks the Raiders 20th in 3A. He can’t remember the last time they impacted his rankings.
West Rowan, of course, is his No. 1 team in 3A. No shock there.
Solomon ranks A.L. Brown eighth in 3A, so he has a higher opinion of the Wonders than many. Common Sense says he’ll be proven right down the road.
Finally, Solomon rates Salisbury 13th in 2A ó two slots above Thomasville ó for those of you looking ahead to that CCC slugfest.
Another power ratings guru, Ken Massey, picks just about every football game played anywhere in the world.
He ranks every team in this state, from Independence all the way down to Village Christian Academy. He says the big West-South matchup pits the state’s 13th-best team against No. 68.
Massey says it will be West 30, South 15. That sounds reasonable.
Also, allow me to plug Chris Hughes’ CarolinaPreps.com site. If you can’t get enough football chatter ó equal parts smack-talk and civilized discussion ó that’s the place where the message boards snap, crackle and pop.
The picks:W. Rowan 27, S. Rowan 14
South played sort of sloppy, looking-ahead ball last week and still won 51-6 with a running clock.
As tough as South is, the Falcons still set the standard in the county for defense and offensive-line play.
Plus, West is home. Plus, West has that stocky running back with the initials.
Davie 24, Salisbury 17
Look for a tight game if Salisbury QB John Knox’s ankle is OK. If it’s not, the deeper War Eagles could pull away.
Statesville 17, Carson 12
Ken Massey says Statesville is No. 114 in the state and Carson is No. 213, but this is doable for the Cougars. If they were at home, I’d give them the nod.
East 17, W. Iredell 14
The Massey ratings say it’s No. 140 (West Iredell) visiting No. 201, but Common Sense believes East can keep it rolling. The worry is that both of the Warriors’ losses were to unbeaten teams.
South Stanly 27, N. Rowan 6
South Stanly may be ranked 198th in the state, but it has two Division I signees, plus a pretty good quarterback.
A.L. Brown 50, Robinson 14
The Wonders, 34th in the Massey ratings ó Ken’s, not Ron’s ó could break 60 and could break the scoreboard. Depends on how long Travis Riley plays.SPC games
NW Cabarrus 27, Concord 7
Mt. Pleasant 34, Cox Mill 6
Albemarle 52, Chatham Central 0
West Montgomery 44, North Moore 7
East Montgomery vs. South Davidson? Wow. It’s No. 372 vs. No. 363. Give me the home team (South Davidson) to win 6-5.