Prep Football: North Rowan 49, North Moore 0
By Mike London
SPENCER ó Ryan’s Steakhouse, go ahead and get ready.
Add waitresses. Add chefs. Add items to the buffet. Fill the ketchup bottles and salt shakers. Knock out a wall.
The North Rowan Cavaliers are coming.
North Rowan’s defense was promised a sit-down supper if it shut out an opponent, and the Cavs blasted YVC opponent North Moore 49-0 on Friday at Eagle Stadium.
Zeroes are tons of fun for everybody.
“What do I plan to eat?”240-pound lineman Garland Archie mused with a satisfied smile. “Anything they’ve got that’s in the shape of a circle.”
The Cavs didn’t allow any points defensively last week against East Montgomery, but offensive turnovers led to a 40-12 final, and assistant coach Robert Steele shook his head. Uh, uh. Not a a legit goose egg.
This time, the Cavs left no doubt. Greg Melton crushed North Moore’s first offensive thrust 4 yards deep in its backfield. Then Javon Hargrave, Darrius Jackson and Melton poured through for a serious sack party on North Moore’s second snap.
“Their quarterback (Xavier Scotten) was a very athletic guy,” Hargrave said. “But there was no way their offensive line could block us.”
North Rowan posted its first on-the-field shutout since a 34-0 victory over Forbush in 2007 and logged its first shutout of a league foe since it blanked Central Davidson 25-0 in a CCC game in 2006.
There was drama down to the final seconds as far as the shutout. North Moore lined up for a field-goal try on the final play, but it turned into six more points for the Cavaliers.
Burly D’Andre Gaither blocked the attempt, and the ball took a friendly bounce into the arms of sprinter Sam Starks, probably the fastest man on the field. Starks took it to the house, then sprinted to the handshake line.
“I’m glad we blocked the field goal, but I sort of hate we returned it for a touchdown,” North Rowan coach Tasker Fleming said. “I feel for North Moore. I’ve been there. But I am happy for Starks. It’ll be a great memory for him.”
The Cavaliers got an easy TD on their first possession. On third-and-20 from the NR 30, Vince Shropshire rumbled 39 yards on a basic running play. Two plays later, Terry Allen scooted 31 yards to the end zone virtually unopposed. Then Gaither booted the Cavs’ first PAT of the year.
“I starting working on it Monday,” he said. “I was pretty nervous, but after I made it, I felt real calm.”
He didn’t make any more PATs, but his teammates forgave him when he blocked that field goal.
After that quick TD, North’s next possessions were ugly ó lots of penalties, not much focus. It was the first time North had been in a favored-by-50 situation in years, and the Cavs didn’t have much fire. It was doubly hard to get excited when the Cavs saw North Moore (0-7, 0-3) brought 50 fans and 20 players.
“It really was a challenge for the coaches and players to get ready this week,” Fleming said. “But we have to learn we can’t just turn it on and off, and we were sloppy and flat in that first quarter. But the second and third quarters, we played very well. Our fullbacks had a very good night.”
North Rowan’s defense had to weather a challenge early in the second quarter. The Cavaliers lost a fumble deep in their own territory and North Moore had third-and-2 at the NR 17. But Hargave roared in for a sack on third down for a loss of 8. Then Archie smothered a fourth-down run.
North Rowan (3-4, 3-0) scored three TDs in a three-minute span late in the first half for a 25-0 lead. Rudisell and Cameron Mallett scored rushing TDs. After North Moore fumbled a kickoff, Rudisell passed to Starks for a 45-yard score.
“Our QB read it good, saw me wide open,” Starks said.
A running clock was employed in the second half, but Cavaliers Darrius Jackson, Malik Jones and Shropshire ripped off repeated long gains as the score mounted.
“Our defense dominated,” Archie said. “Dominated all night.”
Ryan’s, get ready. The ‘D’ is about to be rewarded.