Preo Football Notebook: Week 12
From staff reports
K.P. Parks ran for 261 yards against North Iredell, leaving him 452 yards from becoming the career leader in North Carolina history.
He could’ve had much more, but he ran the ball only once in the second half after West led 49-0 at halftime of a 55-6 final.
“We don’t ever rub people’s nose in it,” coach Scott Young said. “We knew he wasn’t going to get much action in the second half.”
In fact, there was a running clock after halftime.
Going into Friday’s playoff game at home against Morganton Freedom, Parks has 9,790 yards.
BIG SCORER: West Rowan offensive lineman Rodney Cline scored the first touchdown of his career in the win against North Iredell.
He pounced on a fumble in the end zone, and happy teammates pounced on him.
There were only three people who were unhappy: Coleman Phifer, Young and Jeff Chapman.
Phifer is the fullback who fumbled when he extended the ball trying to stretch it over the goal line. Young is the head coach who doesn’t want mistakes from his 11-0 team. And Chapman is the running backs coach.
Other than that, Falcon Nation was delirious.
“Everybody was happy for Rodney,” Young said. “I’m not happy we fumbled in the end zone.
ANOTHER MILESTONE: Young had another goal in mind Friday: get Jon Crucitti eight catches.
Crucitti grabbed eight B.J. Sherrill throws for 123 yards, giving him 56 receptions on the season to break the school record of 55 set by Lamont Savage in 2005.
Crucitti’s total tied North’s Brandon Ford for the highest regular-season total in county history. North’s Tony Walker caught 63 balls in the 2002 regular season.
Crucitti did it in 10 games because he was forced to sit out the opener. He hadn’t gotten the required practice days in due to the Rowan County American Legion baseball team’s march to the World Series.
“Seeing how he lost a game, we paid extra attention to that,” Young said.
GETTING IN: With the lopsided score, all of the Falcons got playing time.
Josh Poe was flying around making tackles. John Dunlap, a junior safety, recovered a fumble. Tim Jancic and Justin Teeter played well on the line.
CONSISTENT: Bertin Suarez hit seven more extra points. The freshman soccer player has been everything Young could have wished for.
“He deserves a lot of credit,” Young said. “We gave him a simple plan ó touchdowns should equal seven points.”
Ninth-seeded North Rowan (5-6) will head to Murphy, positioned in the southwestern corner of the state near the Georgia and Tennessee borders, to face the eighth-seeded Bulldogs (7-4) in a 1AA playoff game.
North will be making its third trip to the N.C. mountains in the last five years: It lost 43-6 at Brevard in 2005 and fell 22-19 at the same site in 2007. Terry Allen was a jayvee callup on the 2007 team that traveled to Brevard, which is 74 miles closer to Spencer than Murphy.
“It’s probably going to be cold, but we’ll be good,” Allen said. “You just have to toughen up.”
A 245-mile bus ride separates the Cavs from their postseason opener, but the weather forecast for Murphy is favorable. The temperature could reach 70 degrees there Friday, with an overnight low of 43.
The Friday forecast for Spencer calls for a high of 60 and low of 47.
Fans making the trip will merge off of Interstate 40 toward U.S. 74 on exit 27, which comes seven miles before the start of a massive I-40 detour caused by a rockslide in the western part of the state.
ACTION JACKSON: Junior cornerback Darryl Jackson, who had a successful summer on the combine and camp circuit, made his first interception of the season in a 41-8 win against South Davidson. He returned the pick 50 yards for a touchdown.
Defensive coordinator Rodney Goodine stressed the need for Jackson to ignore outside distractions.
“If he listens to us, he’ll be fine,” Goodine said. “He proved it Friday.
“Darryl played his technique and probably had his best game so far.”
Goodine said the defensive line played better than it did in a loss to West Montgomery, and he praised fellow defensive backs such as Kornell Cook, Pierre Givens and Robert Vadi.
Givens is not normally in the DB rotation, and Cook intercepted a pass early in the third quarter.
RUNNING WILD: Cook’s interception was followed an 80-yard touchdown run by Cameron Mallett, who finished with 115 yards on six carries.
Team-leader Vince Shropshire (563 yards), Mallett (497) and Malik Jones (343) rank 10th, 11th and 12th on the county rushing list.
Mallett, a two-way player who also had a 100-yard game against East Montgomery, averages 6.8 yards per carry.
“If our numbers were just a little bit better, Cameron would be the type of tailback who could get 25 to 30 touches a night,” North coach Tasker Fleming said. “With six or seven touches, he’s been around the 90- or 100-yard mark most of the conference season.”
South finished the regular season 9-2, its most victories since 1983 when it won a school-record 11 games, including three in the Division II playoffs.
South’s made clear improvement in each of coach Jason Rollins’ four years at the helm.
“We knew after we lost to West Rowan (on Sept. 25), we were playing for a No. 2 finish because we knew no one else was going to beat West,” Rollins said. “I’ll have to give our kids some credit because they’ve kept winning ballgames, and we did finish second. When you finish second to the No. 1 team in the state, that means you’re up there pretty high.”
TOUGH DRAW: Despite its strong regular season, South didn’t get the best of draws for the playoffs.
As is the case with Salisbury, South’s reward is a first-round game that should go down to the wire.
R-S Central is a No. 10 seed, but it was No. 1 in its league most of the season.
“They’re big, they’re fast and they’re a very good football team, but that’s OK,” Rollins said. “We know we’ll be challenged, but our guys like to be challenged. We’ve had to fight all year.”
The challenges will only get bigger. If South survives its playoff opener, a repeat visit to West Rowan looms in the second round.
HEALING: Running back D’Andre Harris (hamstring) saw limited action in South’s 27-20 win against East Rowan that decided second place, but he should be a factor Friday.
“D’Andre didn’t get hurt against East, but we took him out of there early mostly as a precautionary measure for the playoffs,” South offensive line coach Jarrod Smith said. “One of our goals this season was for D’Andre and Thomas (Lowe) to both get 1,000 yards, and without the injury it would have happened. The last few weeks, Thomas has stepped up and gotten the yards for both of them.”
South’s also gotten a lift from do-everything Quan Glaspy, who is getting carries on offense now in addition to being a starting DB and excelling on special teams.
EXTRA BLOCKERS: South quarterback Blake Houston went over 1,000 yards passing Friday and has rushed for 592 yards.
“Those rushing yards a lot of times are because our receivers are blocking downfield like crazy,” Houston said.
B.J. Grant, Dylan Walker and Trey House are usually the wideouts. House had his first TD catch of the season Friday.
It’s been a big year for Rileys ó A.L. Brown running back Travis Riley (31 TDs), plus East wideout Riley Weber and Salisbury tight end Riley Gallagher. The latter two seem to score a TD on every reception.
Weber made his 11th catch of the season against South and recorded his sixth touchdown.
He was inches away from his 12th catch and seven TD, but Grant recovered to make an interception for South.
“That was just a great athlete making a great play,” East coach Brian Hinson said.
Riley Weber is the younger brother of Taylor Weber, a former East athlete best remembered for scoring 14.5 points a game for the basketball team in 2001.
The Post gave Taylor credit for making Friday’s TD catch ó Taylor had to be thrilled with that turn of events ó but his younger sibling will get credit in the stats.
TURNING THE TABLES: South’s made a living on special teams this season, but East won that phase pretty big Friday.
East didn’t kick off deep in the first half because South speedsters Glaspy, Grant and Mark McDaniel are thinking touchdown every time they touch it.
Instead, the Mustangs kicked off to the South 30 and made instant tackles as soon as the ball was caught. Mason Elliott opened the game with a resounding hit on a kickoff fielded by South’s Cody Simpson.
In the second half, South moved its chief return threats up to the 30-yard line. East responded by kicking deep.
TOUGH LOSS: When coaches are on the short end of a game they honestly believe they should have won, they are devastated.
East coaches had the same dazed look after Friday’s setback against South that Carson coaches wore after a 29-26 home loss to East in which the Cougars outgained the Mustangs by 200-plus yards.
Turnovers, of course, are always the great equalizer.
“South has more speed, more athletes than we do, but we thought we’d have an edge on the lines and our kids upfront played with great effort,” Hinson said. “Credit South for making us do things we haven’t done all year. We’ve had games with no penalties and we’ve had games where we didn’t turn it over, and this time we lost the turnover battle dramatically.”
East had four turnovers, while South had none. East also had nearly 100 yards in penalties, including some critical 15-yarders.
When Salisbury’s 49-7 win against East Davidson was complete, coach Joe Pinyan joked, “I don’t know how to call pass plays.”
The wishbone went to the air as John Knox threw for three touchdowns and 209 yards.
Quarterbacks coach Chip Pickard stood on the sideline, cold but proud. Knox proved he’s just not a running quarterback. He’s an all-around talent.
“John’s a very good thrower,” Pickard said. “People might not give him credit because we don’t pass the ball. He doesn’t get the chance to throw it 30 times a game. But if you look at his stats, he has 14 touchdowns to one interception. That’s always a plus.”
1,000-YARD GOAL: Pinyan knew Romar Morris was under 1,000 yards when the night began. When it was over, Morris had run a season-high 20 times.
He raced for 148 yards and four touchdowns.
Morris joins West’s Parks, Carson’s Shaun Warren and South’s Thomas Lowe as 1,000-yard rushers.
“Coaches asked Romar how many yards he had, and he said, ‘I could have 2 the rest of the year as long as we win five more,’ ” Pinyan said. “He’s not concerned with records. We had to keep an eye out for him.”
Pinyan said it was brought to his attention that Morris was getting close to the magic number.
“I said, ‘Shucks, let’s get it over with,’ ” Pinyan said.
There was no doubt when the Zoomin’ Human went 44 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
OOPS: Pinyan laughed when he said he wasn’t concerned with records. This was the second game this season Morris has scored four times, tying the school record.
“We’re not doing a good job,” Pinyan said with a grin. “We let him score one more and he breaks the record.”
O-LINE: Ronald Phillips shared the offensive award for the East Davidson game. He is one of several seniors starting on the offensive line.
“There’s still a lot of inexperience up there,” Pinyan said. “Except for Ronald, there are guys starting for the first time. Ronald’s the guy who has been steady. Coach (Daniel) Yow has done a good job bringing them along.”
CHAMPS AGAIN: Salisbury’s jayvees went 5-0 in the CCC, including a tight win against Thomasville.
“(Legendary coach) Pete Stout told me that was one of the best games he saw all year, varsity or jayvee,” Pinyan said.
Salisbury has won 18 straight CCC games at the jayvee level.
Standouts this season included backfield performers Braylon Dailey, Brian Bauk, Nolan Meyerhoeffer and Keion Adams and defensive demons Kiero Cuthbertson, Travis Byrd, Sam Humble and Jared Hardin.
Carson coach Mark Woody liked the fact his Cougars had an open date during the last week of the regular season. Bumps and bruises were taken care of, and the kids got some days off.
Warren, a workhorse with 284 carries and 1,807 rushing yards, probably benefited more than anyone from the week off.
“He looked awfully fast at practice on Monday,” Woody said.
Now, it’s off to Ledford for the first round of the 3A playoffs.
Woody can get some advice from Salisbury’s Pinyan. The Hornets were in the 2A CCC with Ledford until realignment sent the Panthers to 3A.
This is a history-making season for Carson, now in its fourth year of existence. The team had its first winning season at 6-5. It made the playoffs for the first time.
GO EAST: Carson was placed in the East. How did Woody react?
“I don’t care,” he said.
People read it and still can’t believe it.
Davie finished 4-7 overall and missed the 4A playoffs after blowing a 30-16 lead and falling 31-30 to North Davidson.
“You hate to see the senior class go out that way,” coach Doug Illing said.
Four CPC games were lost by a total of 20 points. There was the 3-0 loss to Alexander Central. There was a three-point loss to unbeaten West Rowan.
According to the respected Ken Massey power ratings, Davie played the 10th- toughest schedule in the state and finished the regular season as the state’s 73rd-best team, counting all classifications. Massey ranks Davie ahead of Salisbury, North Davidson and Thomasville and right behind A.L. Brown.
More painful notes:
n Davie missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
n It’s the first losing season since 2000.
n This was only the second time in school history that Davie had a losing season despite outscoring its foes.
WATSON WATCH: Junior receiver Joe Watson already has a slew of school records, and he’ll just add to the numbers next season.
His 1,523 receiving yards are already 431 ahead of Kenny Rivers. His 76 career catches are four ahead of Jonathan Mayfield. His 18 touchdown catches are six ahead of Rivers and Josh Elder.
The complex Ken Massey power ratings system ó he’s no relation to Wonders coach Ron Massey ó installed Brown as a 28-point favorite against Concord, with a projected final score of 41-13.
He got the 13 for Concord right, but the Wonders only scored 10 in one of the biggest upsets in series history.
Concord, which started 0-6 and looked hopeless in a 30-0 loss to East Rowan, won its fifth in a row since elevating freshman quarterback B.J. Beecher to varsity.
The stunning loss didn’t take away the Wonders’ SPC championship, but it changed their playoff landscape.
Massey’s Wonders had their eyes on a No. 1 seed and the possibility of four home games. Now they’re staring at their annual matchup with Charlotte Catholic in the second round.
In order to survive the 3AA West bracket as the No. 3 seed, Brown might have to win at both No. 2 Gastonia Forestview and No. 1 Northern Guilford
The positive of the loss to Concord is the Wonders enter the playoffs with reduced pressure and expectations. They’ve made long playoff runs before when it was unexpected.
Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Bret Strelow and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.
Associated Press DAVIDSON ó Davidson coach Bob McKillop, upset with his team’s defense, halted practice and brought his players together.... read more