Prep Football Notebook: Week 11
From staff reports
Shaun Warren, who is approaching 2,000 rushing yards, and Cody Clanton, who has 924 receiving yards, are having memorable seasons. Clanton even received a letter from Auburn earlier this week.
The quarterback throwing passes to Clanton is Zack Gragg, a junior who has 13 touchdowns and 1,175 yards through the air.
“He’s playing as a kid who is older than he is,” Carson coach Mark Woody said. “He’s just sharp. You see the confidence really growing.”
Woody wanted to praise the offensive line of Justice Schenck (tackle), Mitch Galloway (tackle), Kaleb Denton (guard), Colton Ballard (guard) and Tyler Christy (center). Tight end Dillon Eagle, who had two catches Friday against West Iredell, is also playing well.
BOUNCING BACK: Senior defensive back Deonte Moses had several big hits against the Warriors.
“It’s the best game he’s played by far,” assistant coach Travis Billings said. “He had a little something to prove.
“We struggled a little bit against South, and South’s a good football team. When you don’t play the best you can play and you make mistakes, it makes them even better. Deonte told me all week, ‘I’m going to make amends for that.’ He had a little chip on his shoulder.”
OPEN AND CLOSED: Most coaching staffs can start preparing for a future opponent during their open week, but Carson’s bye falls on the final Friday of the regular season.
“It’s nice to take a deep breath a little bit,” Woody said. “I figured we’d either be looking forward to the playoffs or packing it in. Either way the season was going to come to a standstill or halt.”
The Cougars have practiced this week with no clue who they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs. The brackets will be released Saturday.
“These guys, I think they’re on the Internet every five minutes,” Woody said.
Jamey Blalock had a big rushing game from the quarterback spot in a 21-9 win against North Iredell on Friday. East coaches pointed to offensive lineman Greysen Gordy as a big reason why.
Gordy was East’s player of the week after grading out well and recording nine knockdown blocks.
“He plays hard, and he plays physical,” offensive line coach Gary Bass said.
Added head coach Brian Hinson, “He has been our most consistent offensive lineman all year. We’ve been very pleased.”
As far as Blalock, who led East with 81 yards rushing, it was just another day at the office. He scored on runs of 28 and 41 yards.
“He had another great week,” Hinson said. “He’s consistent.”
NEW GUY: Players just keep coming out of the woodwork to help East Rowan win games.
The latest is freshman defensive back Justin Kerr.
An injury to a varsity player prompted Hinson to summon Kerr from the jayvee team.
“We felt Kerr was our next best option,” Hinson said. “He came in and played real well.”
Other good performances came from DB Evan Hiatt and nose Jeffrey Haltom.
The Falcons didn’t play last week, but they were still traveling.
– K.P. Parks made a visit to Charlottesville to watch Virginia lose against Duke.
– Chris Smith, an Arkansas commitment, traveled to Fayetteville to watch the Razorbacks rout Eastern Michigan.
– Jon Crucitti visited West Point to watch Army.
– Head coach Scott Young traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., to see Georgia-Florida. The Gators are led by quarterback Tim Tebow.
“The neat thing about Tebow is he’s just a winner,” Young said. “That’s why I enjoy watching him so much. He broke Herschel Walker’s record for rushing touchdowns, so I saw some history.”
THIS WEEK: West goes for an undefeated regular season on Friday at North Iredell, the last-place team in the NPC.
“There’s some things North Iredell does on film that aren’t that bad,” Young said. “I’m impressed with their effort. I think they’re playing hard.”
Friday’s 14-6 CCC loss at Thomasville was a rarity for the Hornets. They are now 38-8 in league games (on the field) since Joe Pinyan became head coach in 2003.
HIGH PERCENTAGE: Tight end Riley Gallagher’s eighth catch of the season produced his fifth TD.
Gallagher pulled in a 54-yard pass from John Knox for a fourth-quarter score. He averages nearly 30 yards per catch.
TOUGH NIGHT: Romar Morris’ sprint toward a 1,000-yard season hit a speed bump on Friday with just 30 yards rushing against a tough Thomasville team.
Morris needs 76 yards tomorrow against East Davidson to reach the milestone in the regular season.
Leonard Atkins (1975), Phillip Oglesby (1985) and Dario Hamilton (2007) are the modern-era Hornets, who have done it in a regular season.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: Knox threw his first interception of the season on a screen Friday, but his three completions boosted his career total to 1,650 passing yards.
Knox, a junior, is on track to break the school record for passing yardage in 2010. 1980s star Jonathan Partee (2,477) and 1970s standout Johnny Stratton (2,180) are the only 2,000-yard passers in Salisbury history.
South’s 76-22 victory against Statesville on Friday broke the modern county record for scoring in a game, although Price and Boyden teams broke 90 in the leather-helmet days.
Price’s 1946 team, with Fletcher Jones and Steve Gilmore doing major damage, beat Asheboro Training School 92-0.
Boyden wrecked Spencer 95-0 in 1933.
South’s previous scoring record came in a 70-0 win against Mooresville (coached by Roger Secreast) to open the 1978 season.
More school records:
* Salisbury drubbed North Stanly 75-0 in 1995.
* East beat Troy 67-13 in 1959, East’s first season.
* North beat Central Davidson 59-6 in 1961.
* West beat East Rowan 69-0 in 2008 and topped Carson 69-14 in 2009.
* Carson beat Robinson 42-12 this season.
* A.L. Brown thumped Northwest Cabarrus 97-0 in 1998.
RUNNING IT UP? Well, not really.
South scored 55 of its points against Statesville before halftime.
South’s second-half scores included Mark McDaniel’s return of an onside kick for a TD and a defensive TD on a fumble return by Kyle Rolla.
Coach Jason Rollins did have regrets about one play, an unscripted ad-lib by QB Blake Houston that produced a 22-yard TD pass to Quan Glaspy late in the third quarter to make it 69-6.
“The play was for Blake to throw a 2-yard hitch to B.J. (Grant), which was basically no different than a running play,” coach Jason Rollins said. “But Blake saw Quan running wide open.”
Basic instinct. TD.
Other than that, South went out of its way to keep the score within reason. Freshmen got substantial time on the offensive line.
WILD WEEKEND: South assistant Daniel Crosby spent Monday’s practice impersonating East option QB Jamey Blalock.
Crosby had a good weekend on the racetrack in South Boston, Va.
He was part of the race team that won the pit crew challenge, and the team’s driver, Clay Rogers, won the pole, the race and the USA Racing Pro Cup series.
“That check for $1,000 was pretty nice,” Crosby said.
GOOD TO GO: Standout running D’Andre Harris (hamstring) and linebacker Cadarreus Mason (appendicitis) are cleared for action Friday against East.
In Friday’s 28-0 loss against West Montgomery, North Rowan was held to negative rushing yardage for the first time since its second game of the 2008 season against Carson.
NO PASSING ZONE: Despite last week’s numbers, North has enjoyed decent success on the ground during the last month or so. A key to making noise in the 1AA playoffs will be getting the passing game untracked to provide balance.
The numbers posted by five North passers to date speak for themselves ó 23-for-108 (21 percent) for 402 yards, with four TDs and 15 interceptions.
MILDCATS? North has a good chance to rebound against South Davidson tomorrow.
The Wildcats from Denton are 10-57 since 2004.
The War Eagles beat Reagan 33-2 for their first CPC win, but they are teetering on the brink of the playoffs. They need to beat North Davidson this week.
“I think if we win, we’re definitely in,” Davie coach Doug Illing said. “Last year, there were some four-win teams that didn’t get in. So there’s no guarantee right now.”
Junior tailback Travis Riley, who scored four TDs, said the Wonders didn’t get rattled facing a 14-0 halftime deficit on the road against Northwest Cabarrus.
“All the juniors and seniors and some of the sophomores got playoff experience last year going through a lot of hard games,” he said. “So even though we’re young, we’ve got a lot of players that have been around for a while so that helped.”
Riley had 193 rushing yards in the second half, as Brown rallied to win 35-21. The Wonders still haven’t lost to the Trojans since 1976.
The game had similarities to the Wonders’ comeback win at Thomasville. Brown won 34-28 in that one after trailing 28-14 at halftime.
Bret Strelow, Mike London, Ronnie Gallagher and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.