South Rowan at East Rowan
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: South 8-2, 4-1 NPC; East 8-2, 4-1 NPC
Series: South leads 31-13
Last meeting: South rolled 31-7 in 2008
Last time East beat the Raiders: East won 43-29 in 2007
Streak: South has won eight of the last nine meetings
Last week: South set records in a 76-22 wipeout of Statesville; East won at North Iredell 21-9
Next week: Playoffs for both
East at home: 3-2
South on the road: 2-2
Game notes: South is the more impressive team statistically on both sides of the ball, but East has matched South’s stellar season when it comes to wins and losses.
This is for second place in the NPC and a first-round home game in the playoffs. The only league loss for both teams was to West Rowan.
The high-powered Raiders are favored. They blasted Carson, North Iredell, West Iredell and Statesville. East beat those four teams, but every game was tight in the fourth quarter.
It’s an edge for East that South is traveling to Granite Quarry. South has played significantly better at home. The Raiders are averaging nearly 50 points a game at Donnell Stadium and 21 on the road.
South has outscored foes 379-160 partly because it’s racked up five TDs on special teams and three on defense. Mark McDaniel has returned a punt and two kickoffs for TDs.
East has to follow its usual winning formula ó control the ball, use the clock, limit mistakes and win the turnover battle. Junior QB Jamey Blalock (1,222 yards total offense) has enjoyed a breakout season, and he triggers East’s offense.
South running back Thomas Lowe (1,025 rushing yards) once starred for East. That adds to the emotion on both sides. ó Mike London