Friday Night Hero: North Rowan’s Terry Allen
By Bret Strelow
SPENCER ó North Rowan junior Terry Allen scored his first varsity touchdown a month ago.
The second score generated more satisfaction.
Allen, a two-way standout for the playoff-bound Cavaliers, intercepted two passes in the regular-season finale.
He rushed for a 31-yard TD against North Moore in October and reacquainted himself with the end zone thanks to a 43-yard interception return in the fourth quarter of a 41-8 win against South Davidson on Friday.
“It’s way more fun scoring a touchdown on defense,” Allen said. “When you’re playing defense, you’re just expected to tackle somebody. On offense, you’re expected to score.
“When you get one on defense, you’re like, ‘I just took it from them and took it to the end zone.’ It’s fun.”
Often a backfield contributor on offense, Allen switched from outside linebacker to strong safety for the second half against South Davidson. He made two picks in the final 10 minutes of a victory that enabled North to clinch third place in the VVC.
A jayvee callup when North traveled to Brevard for a postseason opener in 2007, Allen is now an impact player who will help lead the Cavs (5-6) into their 1AA matchup at Murphy (7-4).
“Defensively he’s played as aggressively as we could ask him to play,” North coach Tasker Fleming said. “We were happy to see some results Friday.”
North led by six at halftime against South Davidson, which surrendered 27 unanswered points after the break.
A 70-yard touchdown run by Dondre Gaither gave the Cavs a 34-8 advantage with 10:03 remaining, and Allen intercepted a throw on the first play of the next series. His return down the left sideline capped the scoring.
“I saw the ball coming, I caught it and I saw the end zone,” Allen said, “From there, it was home sweet home. Like, ‘Wow, you made it.’ ”
Allen was involved in what defensive coordinator Rodney Goodine called a “once-in-a-lifetime-type play” three minutes later.
A fourth-down pass deflected off defensive back Pierre Givens’ helmet, and Allen treated the situation like a tip drill. He came down with an improbable pick at North’s 43-yard line.
The halftime switch from linebacker to safety was made with run support in mind, but Allen thrived in all areas.
“We just needed someone who’s aggressive and wasn’t going to back down,” Goodine said. “Terry’s a pretty good pass defender. I was telling him it’s the same technique-wise in terms of pass coverage. The only difference is he’s off the ball a little more. On runs he comes from the outside in and makes plays.”
The playoff game with Murphy will feature two ground-oriented teams.
Vince Shropshire, Cameron Mallett, Malik Jones, Darrius Jackson and Allen (130 yards on 26 carries) have handled the ball-carrying duties for North, and Goodine counts on most of those names to stop opposing backs.
“I’m very excited we’re going into the playoffs, very excited our season turned around from 0-4 to 5-2,” Allen said. “We are ready.”
Associated Press DAVIDSON ó Davidson coach Bob McKillop, upset with his team’s defense, halted practice and brought his players together.... read more