Prep Football: South Rowan 46, Carson 21
By Bret Strelow
LANDIS ó Star linebacker Cadarreus Mason missed South Rowan’s rivalry game with Carson because he’s recovering from surgery for appendicitis.
Standout runner D’Andre Harris grabbed the back of his left leg following a 47-yard reception in the first half and didn’t return.
Shorthanded defensively and offensively, South still rolled to a 46-21 victory at Donnell Stadium on Friday night.
Carson (5-5, 2-3 NPC) trailed 32-0 before scoring twice against the Raiders (7-2, 3-1) during a span of 20 seconds early in the third quarter.
“Our guys played as a team, as a unit, and we played tighter together tonight than I’ve seen in a long time, and that says a lot about these kids,” South coach Jason Rollins said.
“One guy goes down, they pick up the slack and say, ‘We’re going to play for him.’ D’Andre went down and the offense steps up and says, ‘We’ve got you covered.’ They played for each other.”
South capped each of its first four possessions with touchdown runs ó two by Harris and two by Thomas Lowe, who finished with 145 yards on 23 carries.
The Raiders took a knee to end the first half, and Quan Glaspy began the third quarter with a 97-yard kickoff return for a score.
“We had to come out and continue the momentum,” said Glaspy, who rushed two times for 36 yards, made two catches and picked off a fourth-quarter pass. “We had a big lead, and we tried to keep it going. We had to do it for one person: our friend Mason. He was out, so we did it for him.”
The teams combined for three touchdowns before South’s offense took the field in the second half, and the Raiders picked up right where they had left off.
Lowe recorded five carries on an eight-play, 86-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard keeper by quarterback Blake Houston.
“It took us a while ó a little bit longer than I expected ó but we finally got back out there,” Lowe said. “When we got back out there we put it in the box.”
Carson, which trailed 13-0 when it lost a fumble inside South’s 5-yard line, came to life in the third quarter.
Fullback Clifford Long ran for a 10-yard touchdown on the drive that followed Glaspy’s return TD, and Jacorian Brown recovered a fumbled kickoff. Quarterback Zack Gragg fired a 19-yard touchdown pass to Cody Clanton on second down.
“That fumble recovery definitely got us going,” Clanton said. “It motivated us to score because we knew we were down and needed a big play.”
The Cougars drew within 39-21 on an 80-yard touchdown reception by Clanton, and South’s offense faced a fourth-and-2 near midfield as the fourth quarter began. Carson’s defense held, forcing the Raiders to give the ball away for the first time all night.
The Cougars took over at their 46, and John Davis tackled Shaun Warren for no gain. Zach Howell blew up a second-down running play, and Brandon Ledbetter limited Long to a 5-yard gain on a screen pass.
Kyle Rolla hurried Gragg into an incompletion on fourth down, and Lowe’s 13-yard touchdown run put the game out of reach.
“That was real important to take their hope away,” Howell said.
The Raiders limited Warren to 90 yards on 22 carries and rushed for 320 yards themselves.
Houston set up one score with a 63-yard scamper, and Harris ran 10 times for 60 yards before sustaining his injury.
“They’ve got a lot of weapons offensively,” Carson coach Mark Woody said. “They came out of the blocks real fast and got on us fast.”
NOTES: South’s Mark McDaniel fell on a fumbled pitch to wipe out Carson’s best chance to score in the first half. … Rolla and Davis had sacks for the Raiders, who play host to Statesville next week. Carson is at home against West Iredell. … Rollins said Mason, who underwent the medical procedure on Wednesday, shouldn’t be sidelined for very long. It wasn’t clear if Harris had a cramp or injured a hamstring. He dressed out for the second half.