Prep Football: West Rowan 32, West Iredell 0
By David Shaw
STATESVILLE ó Looking for the chief contributors in West Rowan’s 32-0 rout of West Iredell on Friday?
Round up the usual suspects.
K.P Parks continued his assault on the state record book, rushing for 238 yards and four touchdowns. Jon Crucitti made five receptions for a season-high 139 yards. And defensive end Chris Smith played like Popeye after a couple of cans of spinach, leveling everything in his path.
But don’t ignore the Falcons’ offensive line ó the main ingredient behind West’s 480 yards total offense. And award a gold star to its defense, which contained West Iredell’s do-it-all senior P.J. Clyburn and held the Warriors to 12 yards in the second half.
“P.J. Clyburn is a phenomenal player,” coach Scott Young said after West Rowan (7-0, 2-0 NPC) earned its 21st straight victory. “He lines up in multiple positions on defense and multiple positions on offense. And then he plays the kicking game as well. Stopping him was our focus all week. They’ve got other good football players, but he is an outstanding football player.”
Senior linebacker Josh Poe got to be up close and personal with Clyburn all night.
“He’s an amazing weapon on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Our corners did a great job containing him, keeping him in front of them at all times. That was the key to the game.”
Clyburn ó a 6-foot-2, 210-pound wideout who’s received scholarship offers from six Division I schools and Catawba ó barely touched the ball. He caught one pass for 5 yards and gained 13 more on a pair of reverses.
“But the main thing was kickoff returns,” Clyburn said. “They made sure they kept it away from me.”
When the Falcons weren’t doing that, they stayed busy giving the adding machine a thorough workout. Parks broke the state record for career attempts in the second quarter. His 13th carry was his record 1,133rd and produced a twisting, 12-yard gain to the right side.
“It’s a special record, a trust record,” Parks said. “The coaches trust me with the ball in my hands and kept giving me the rock.”
Why not? Parks navigated downfield like his name was GPS. He scored his first touchdown on a 10-yard sweep late in the first quarter to get the Falcons on the board. A pivotal play came on second-and-15 from the 15-yard line, when quarterback B.J. Sherrill tossed a 64-yard pass to Crucitti down the left sideline.
“Unfortunately, we blitzed on the play,” said Clyburn, who doubles as a West Iredell free safety. “We had vacated the area.”
Young said Crucitti’s grab was simply a read-and-react situation.
“We knew if they put eight in the box, we were gonna beat ’em in the passing game,” he noted.
Added Parks: “It was a play-action to me. B.J. threw a great ball, Jon made a great catch. That play was a little jump- start that got us going.”
By halftime, Parks added a second TD and freshman teammate Bertin Suarez booted a 21-yard field goal, giving WR a 16-0 edge. It turned the game into a layup drill in the third period, when Parks scored on a 3-yard burst and a blocked West Iredell punt spun out of the end zone for a safety.
Parks capped the scoring when he raced 46 yards for his fourth touchdown ó and 23rd of the season ó with less than a minute remaining in the quarter. He was quick to credit the OL and a mid-week shuffle instituted by line coach Joe Nixon.
“We moved our center (Tim Pangburn) to left guard and our left guard (Armando Trujillo) to center,” Parks reported. “It helped a whole lot getting Pangburn out there pulling and leading the way.”
When it was over, Parks wore a smile that said, “It’s good to be king.”
“We’re getting better every week,” he said. “But this was a good night’s work.”
NOTES: Parks has rushed for 1,557 yards in seven games. … Clyburn says he’s also getting “heavy looks” from North Carolina and South Carolina. … A replay of the game will be televised Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on WMYT, MYTV 12.
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