Friday Night Hero: East Rowan’s Chris Moore
By Ronnie Gallagher
GRANITE QUARRY ó This is not only the year of the talented running back in Rowan County, it’s the year of the small, talented running back.
The top two rushers this season, K.P. Parks of West Rowan and Shaun Warren of Carson, stand just 5-foot-7.
They need to move over. Chris Moore has joined their mighty-mite group.
Moore is around 5-foot-7 as well and he is a big reason East Rowan is 7-1. He has 606 yards rushing so far, and with three games regular-season games left and at least one playoff game, it’s conceivable a 1,000-yard season is in his future.
“In my opinion, he’s an overachiever,” East coach Brian Hinson said. “I’m proud of him.”
Moore was a key to East’s 31-27 win against Statesville last week. He finished with 14 carries for 82 yards and also scored on a short run. East won in typical fashion. It scored late.
“We always seem to pull it together right at the end,” Moore said with a smile. “It’s pretty cool.”
The only difference between Moore and Parks and Warren is this. People expected the other two to shine. No one really knew what to make of the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Moore since he spent his first two seasons on the jayvee team.
Moore seems a bit surprised by his success, shoving the compliments elsewhere.
“With my size, I have to stay low and run forward,” he shrugged. “I’m not fast either. I just cut it up as soon as I can because I know I can’t run to the outside. I’m not going to get anywhere.”
Moore’s not giving himself enough credit. One of his biggest fans is Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan, who was bragging on Moore recently. It was Salisbury that gave up Moore’s first career 100-yard game. He finished with 111 in that one and Hinson has used him frequently since. His lowest amount of carries has been 13.
The junior has become the perfect compliment to senior Quentin Sifford and quarterback Jamey Blalock and he helps make the option go. Against Statesville, the Mustangs ground out 409 yards.
When that trio is brought up, Moore once again gives the credit to others.
“I’m having a good year and it’s all because of the offensive line,” Moore said. “They do most of the job for me. I just hit the holes. It’s easy to do it when you’ve got good blocking.”
Hinson said he never knows who will get the most carries, “until we see how people line up. But all of our backs have done a good job not complaining who’s getting the carries.”
Moore is a coach’s dream. Against Statesville, he simply did what he was told.
“When Chris was supposed to be in position for the pitch, he was there,” Hinson said. “When he had the lead block, he was there. In this offense we’re running, he’s the carbon cut-out of what we want to do.”
Moore said his coach has a simple rule for the backs.
“Hinson tells us, ‘low, hard and fast,’ ” Moore grinned. “It works.”
As far as his number of carries?
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Moore said. “As long as we get the ball in the end zone and win the game.”
Hinson looked at the stats from the Statesville win and one thing jumped out about Moore. He produces.
“He averaged six yards against Statesville,” Hinson said. “We need to get him the ball more if he’s going to average six yards per carry. You can win a lot of ballgames like that.”
Regardless of how vertically challenged your running back is.