By Mike London
K.P. Parks’ record-smashing rushing rampage almost disguised the fact that 2009 was actually the Year of the Quarterback in Rowan County.
Five signal-callers are on this year’s all-county team, although there wasn’t a team in the county that took the field looking to throw it around. Everyone was run-first and pass-second, but the passers were efficient.
West’s B.J. Sherrill and South’s Blake Houston were asked to be smart game-managers and throwers when opponents loaded the box.
Salisbury’s John Knox and East’s Jamey Blalock were asked to direct deceptive option offenses and make prudent decisions.
Carson’s Zack Gragg was the only pocket passer in the bunch, an old-fashioned dropback guy with negative rushing yardage but a cannon arm.
B.J. Sherrill, Jr., West, QB
Playing 16 games never hurts the stats, and Sherrill (6 feet, 210 pounds) threw for a school-record 2,192 yards for the 3A champs.
He completed 65 percent of his passes and threw for 20 TDs. He has 4,416 yards of total offense for his career.Blake Houston, Sr., South, QB
Houston (5-10, 170) threw for 1,125 yards, rushed for 639 and broke South’s career total offense record with 4,188 yards. He accounted for 19 TDs this season.
John Knox, Jr., Salisbury, QB
Knox (5-11, 175) passed for 1,076 yards and rushed for 751 to break his school’s season mark for total offense.
Knox threw only 107 times, but he had 17 passing TDs and ran for eight more.
Jamey Blalock, Jr., East, QB
Blalock (6-1, 165) set rushing records for East QBs with 836 yards. He also threw for 824 and accounted for 18 TDs.
Zack Gragg, Jr., Carson, QB
Gragg (5-9, 185) didn’t play in the opener, but he took over in Game 2 and wound up breaking school records for completions in a game (13), passing yards in a game (199) and passing yards in a season (1,456).K.P. Parks, Sr., West, RB
Parks (5-7, 190) set county records for rushing (10,895 yards) and scoring (956 points) that may last forever.
NPC Offensive Player of the Year. Rowan County Offensive Player of the Year for the third time. Shrine Bowl Offensive MVP.Shaun Warren, Jr., Carson, RB
Warren (5-9, 170) just missed what would have been only the fifth 2,000-yard rushing season in modern county history.
His 1,977 yards shattered the school mark, and he scored 20 TDs. Warren piled up 523 yards in back-to-back games against Statesville and East Rowan.Thomas Lowe, Sr., South, RB
Lowe (5-8, 205) basically played just two varsity seasons, but he stands fifth all-time in the county in rushing with 3,471 yards.
He rushed for 1,292 yards and 17 TDs as a senior and closed his career with five straight 100-yard games.Romar Morris, Jr., Salisbury, RBA sprinter, Morris (5-10, 170) rushed for 1,330 yards, had 298 receiving yards and scored 21 touchdowns.
Eight of his TDs were bolts of 40-plus yards. He had three long TDs against Lexington.Jon Crucitti, Sr., West, WR
Crucitti (6-0, 185) set county records with 79 catches for 1,262 yards and broke school records for career receptions and receiving yards. The NPC Special Teams Player of the Year also punted, held on kicks, returned punts and rushed for 199 yards.
Cody Clanton, Jr., Carson, WR
Clanton (6-2, 175) had a county-best 12 TD catches and broke school records with 47 receptions and 1,096 receiving yards. Yardage total ranked fourth in county history.
Timmy Pangburn, Sr., West, OLPangburn (6-1, 305) was a left guard and long snapper who provided all-out effort and intensity all the time. He led a unit that paved the way for 4,868 rushing yards.
Davon Quarles, Jr., West, OL
A two-year starter on championship teams, the 5-10, 235-pound right tackle was the most consistent offensive lineman for West from opening night to championship afternoon.
Charles Holloway, Jr., West, OLThe 6-1, 250-pound right guard made a critical fumble recovery near the Asheville goal line that may have been a season-saver.
Greysen Gordy, Sr., East, OLThe 6-1, 240-pound right guard made the block on the TD that pushed the Mustangs into the second round of the playoffs.
Steve Erwin, Sr., South, OL
The 5-10, 210-pound center was the emotional leader of a unit that produced 200-plus rushing yards in 10 of its 12 games.