Prep Football: West Rowan 41, East Rowan 7
By Mike London
firstname.lastname@example.orgGRANITE QUARRY ó West Rowan Falcons aren’t just big, strong and fast ó they are ambidextrous.
In the postgame picture-taking party that followed a 41-7 romp at East Rowan, Falcons were forced to use fingers on both hands to signify the number of consecutive NPC titles they’ve won.
This was No. 6.
“Using two hands, that did make it a little challenging for our guys,” said West coach Scott Young with a chuckle. “Now we’ve just got to make sure we win this thing outright. We’ve still got teams chasing us. We don’t want to share with anyone.”
In theory, teams are chasing, but they are canoes pursuing a destroyer.
There’s significant separation between West and everyone else. East (7-2, 3-1) and South Rowan are the one-loss teams in the NPC. Ranked No. 1 in 3A, West (10-0, 5-0) has already blistered South 28-0.
East entered Friday’s game with a six-game winning streak and upset hopes, but Cinderella got trampled by runaway horses.
Both West lines dominated. Completely.
Tailback K.P. Parks took a seat in the third quarter with 21 carries, 263 rushing yards and four TDs. B.J. Sherrill threw for 160 yards. Jon Crucitti had eight catches and was a demon blocking for Parks on the edge.
“Offensively, it was near perfection, except penalties. Maybe no big hitters, but 10 yards at a time down the field,” Crucitti said. “Film told us the underneath stuff would be open.”
East still hasn’t moved the chains. Statistically, the Mustangs were credited with their lone first down when Jamey Blalock hit Preston Troutman with an 83-yard bomb, but by then it was 41-0, and West was playing reserves.
“They’d just brought in a little No. 15 (5-foot-5 Chris Neal) at corner,” Blalock said. “I’m sure that kid works his tail off in practice, but I still had to pick on him. I guess that play made the stats look a little better, but that’s all it did. West is really good.”
East offered its most resistance on West’s opening drive. West faced fourth-and-4 at the East 10.
“Unfortunately, with the best running back in the state and that offensive line they’ve got fourth-and-4 for them is like second-and-1 for us,” East coach Brian Hinson said.
Sherrill hit Crucitti with a swing pass, and Crucitti scored unopposed. Too easy.
“We had a big speed advantage and the gameplan was to get the ball to K.P. and Jon in space,” Sherrill said. “On that first TD, it looked like their defense got confused. We had the play flowing right, and Jon got lost a little bit on the left.”
Sherrill, a ballboy for West’s 2004 and 2005 champions, has had a hand in all six title teams. He had 134 of his passing yards by halftime.
“B.J. made really good reads and we had very good execution,” Parks said. “Even with Timmy (Pangburn) out, the O-line came through.”
Pangburn suffered a concussion in practice on Tuesday and sat out, but Jairahmai Robinson and Louis Kraft kept things rolling.
“We had plenty of reasons to be concerned about this game,” Young said. “We weren’t gonna take any chances with Timmy and we had so much sickness at school this week that our band couldn’t even make the trip over here. We also knew in East Rowan we were playing a very well-coached, physical football team.”
East surprised the Falcons with a few formations it used early, but Young said the Mustangs missed a few reads that may have led to solid gains.
Then West made adjustments, carried out assignments and shut East down. East’s five first-half possessions were three-and-outs, followed by punts.
“If you can’t block that nose (Eli Goodson), it’s gonna be a long night,” Hinson said.
Parks racked up three rushing TDs in the first half, and Sherrill hit KaJuan Phillips with a 15-yard TD strike. It was 35-0 at halftime. It would’ve been 42-0 had Chris Demitraszek not recovered a fumble by West back Dinkin Miller that rolled into the end zone.
Parks scored his final TD with 6:51 left in the third quarter on a 9-yard run. It was his 35th of the season and the 134th of his career.
Parks’ final touch in West’s 33rd straight county victory was a dash for 21 yards.
“Coach said it would be my last carry, that was fine with me, and I just tried to make it a good one,” he said. “Right now, I feel great. Every championship you win means a lot.”
Even when it means you have to use both hands.