Prep Football: West Rowan 28, South Rowan 0

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009

By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA ó West Rowan’s K.P. Parks broke a state record. His physical teammates broke South Rowan helmets and hearts.
Parks squirmed and hammered for 167 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns in West’s 28-0 victory. It was the 45th 100-yard game for Parks, breaking a state record previously held by Maiden’s Tommy Henry.
“It means a lot to me, but it’s really a program record,” said Parks, who has scored 118 TDs. “The defensive guys keep getting the ball back for us, and the guys do a great job blocking. I can’t say enough about all my teammates.”
South proved it was good. West proved it was better.
The Falcons have won 20 in a row. They own 31 straight county wins and 15 consecutive NPC wins.
“Every year there’s a new frontrunner, a new challenger,” West receiver Jon Crucitti said. “We knew South was good. We knew we would be fighting two wars tonight ó for the county and for the conference. There’s a lot of pride in our locker room. Those streaks this program has are great motivation.”
South (4-2, 0-1) had two golden chances to score early following Mark McDaniel’s game-opening kickoff return to the West 47 and a forced fumble/recovery by Cadarreus Mason at the West 30.
West’s defense met both challenges head-on.
South’s first drive ended when Chris Smith stopped D’Andre Harris on a fourth-and-4 run from the West 10.
South’s second threat reached the West 15, but Thomas Lowe was swarmed on a third-down run. Then Jacob Jester missed a field goal on fourth down.
After that, the window of opportunity closed in a hurry.
On its third possession, West (6-0, 1-0) steamed 68 yards for a 7-0 lead. Parks accounted for 61 yards on that go-ahead drive midway through the second quarter.
West got a sudden score less than two minutes later when quarterback B.J. Sherrill connected with Crucitti for a 65-yard TD strike and a 14-0 halftime lead.
Crucitti caught the ball with one hand at South’s 40 and took off.
“I cleared the linebacker and found a seam,” Crucitti said. “After I caught the ball, that’s one of those plays where you’re not supposed to get caught from behind.”
He wasn’t.
South has exceptional offensive weapons in quarterback Blake Houston, backs Lowe and Harris and receiver B.J. Grant. Somehow, inspired West shut down everything and everybody.
“Both defenses rose up, and that’s what you’d expect in a game like this,” West coach Scott Young said. “I was surprised how much our defense was able to limit their offense, but I was also surprised how much their defense limited our offense. The kicking game was a key. We worked hard at it all week, and I thought we won that phase tonight.”Dominique Noble had a stellar game at cornerback, holding Grant to one catch, and West’s front four of Smith, Mackel Gaither, Eli Goodson and Emmanuel Gbunblee dominated.
South’s goal is always 300 rushing yards. It managed 28, only 7 in the second half.
“South is very much improved, but we had one of those great team efforts tonight,” Smith said. “Every single one of the guys on the defensive front got a sack.”
Gaither had three sacks. Goodson had two. Linebacker Josh Poe added a sack. Goodson also made an interception when Smith put heat on Houston and tipped a pass.
West ruled the second half with its immovable defense and crushing ground attack.
“I was hard-headed, but we were bound and determined to keep slamming it up in there,” Young said. “This game was important to us. We wanted to prove a point.”