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Football preview: West Rowan vs. Freedom

nTime: 7:30 p.m.
nBracket: 3A West
nSeeds: No. 15 Morganton Freedom Patriots vs. No. 2 West Rowan Falcons
nRecords: Freedom 5-6; West Rowan 11-0
nMassey ratings: (No. 193) Freedom vs. (No. 8) West Rowan
nHead coaches: Freedom: Mike Helms (66-66, including 46-31 at Northwest Cabarrus); West: Scott Young (12th year, 114-37)
n Freedom offense: 20.5 ppg
n Freedom defense: 20.5 ppg
n West offense: 42.5 ppg
n West defense: 8.8 ppg
n Freedom vs. winning teams: 0-5n West vs. winning teams: 5-0
n West at home: 5-0
n Freedom on the road: 4-1
n Who beat Freedom? Hibriten (11-0), Shelby (10-1), East Burke (8-3), R-S Central (8-3), Hickory (6-5), Burns (5-6)
nSeries: First meeting
nNext week: Winner takes on the South Rowan-R-S Central winner
nGame notes: Freedom won its final three games against the bottom of the 2A/3A South Mountain Valley to get into the playoffs.
Freedom was a 4A school for many years prior to this season and has a great athletic tradition, especially in basketball, but the opening of nearby Patton reduced its numbers.
Helms knows West from his coaching days at Northwest and is familiar with playing in Mount Ulla. Patrick Parks is the Patriots’ top rusher. The QB is also a Mike Helms. The coach’s son is a sophomore.West, the defending champ in 3A, has won 25 in a row. K.P. Parks has rushed for 2,689 yards and scored 40 TDs. Parks needs 210 yards for 10,000 in his career. B.J. Sherrill has thrown for 1,576 yards. Jon Crucitti has 56 catches for 945 yards. Nose Eli Goodson anchors a ferocious defense. ó Mike London

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