Gallagher column: Recovery time for West

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2011

Roaming the county, getting ready for tonight …
They’ve been hiding in the bushes for three years, waiting. Just waiting for the day that West Rowan’s long winning streak ended.
And when the Falcons’ 46-game, nation’s-best winning streak was halted last Friday in Mooresville, 21-14, the rattlesnakes lunged toward those message boards, Facebook and any other forum they could find, spewing venom, telling us how it was all over. For good.
Actually, the bottom line is, West lost to a very good 4A football team.
“We knew the day would come,” West coach Scott Young said. “I’m real proud of how my staff handled it. I’m real proud of my staff to get those 46 straight. Credit Mooresville for making plays when it counted.”
But after watching the film, Young also said, “We didn’t make plays when it counted. I think we lost it.”
Two plays in particular.
Mooresville tied the game at 14 on a fourth-and-22. Receiver Shawn Lester somehow came up with a ball that Young said West DB Daishion Reddick had in his hands. Lester took it away and sailed in for a score.
The film showed Young more.
“We had two kids to stop playing,” he said. “Both of them could’ve tackled him and prevented him from getting the first down.”
Young also pointed to the second play of the second half with his team up 14-0. Mooresville was being too aggressive on the hitch route, so he called a hitch-and-go.
“We have a receiver open by 10 yards and we miss him on the pass,” Young sighed. “That’s a play we win the football game.”

Young said there were about 10 plays that would’ve made the difference of winning or losing, “and we didn’t make any of ’em.”
What really seemed to irritate Young was the fact some of his stars didn’t show star quality and with Davie coming in on Friday, they better start.
“We’ve got too many good players resting on their laurels instead of going out making plays,” he said. “I hope they play better than they did Friday night.”
Young also praised the postgame reaction by Mooresville coach Hal Capps and the Blue Devils.
“The stands were going crazy. The P.A. announcer was going crazy. But their staff and players were a classy bunch,” complimented Young.

Want to know who had Young’s back after the streak ended? The other Rowan County coaches, despite the fact none of their schools have beaten him in a decade.
Joe Pinyan, whose defending 2AA champ Salisbury Hornets now own the county’s longest win streak at 10, was a little shocked, although he knew Mooresville was very fast on defense.
“I heard they lost and thought, ‘Dang, they’re human.’
Pinyan knew the negative remarks would come. He’s been there. He gets it about as much as Young. Think there’s any connection about them being two of the most successful coaches in the state?
Losers can’t stand winners. And when Pinyan’s team finally falls, he knows he’ll get tattooed by someone.
But come on.
“Forty-six in a row? You’re going to question a guy who wins 46 in a row? They do a great job,” Pinyan praised.
Carson coach Mark Woody was even more blunt.
“I’ll be honest with you. I get a little frustrated with everybody talking about it’s their time to go down,” Woody scoffed. “Those kids over there have won for three straight years. It’s something to be proud of.
“So big deal. It’s one loss. Coach Young has done a great job.”
“The fact is,” South coach Jason Rollins noted, “wins and lossses are going to come. At any point you can lose a ballgame. I hated seeing it. They brought so much to our county. You want to see success stories.”
North’s Tasker Fleming brought up a quote by Dean Smith who once said an early loss could be a good one.
“No loss is good,” Fleming said, “but I think you can recover from an early loss. I’m sure they found some things this week they needed to correct and they’ve done it. I don’t expect them to have a losing streak.”
Other teams are in the same boat. Butler’s 31-game streak ended. Albemarle’s 12-game streak is over.
“I can’t comment on the others,” Young said, “but ours deserved to be ended.”
Now, he hopes to start a new streak.

All games tonight are within the county borders. South has a daunting task against A.L. Brown, as does East against Concord. Salisbury heads about three miles to North Rowan. Carson plays host to Northwest Cabarrus, whose open date was the first week.
But all eyes will be on West Rowan, simply to see if the Falcons’ new streak is two straight losses or one straight win

On the air tonight. …
• Howard Platt and WSTP 1490 AM, along with WSAT 1280 AM, with Lance and Glen, will be calling Salisbury’s game at North Rowan.
• The “Commissioner of high school football, Carl Ford, along with Bob Parker, will be calling the South Rowan-A.L. Brown game in Landis on WRNA 1140 AM.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or