Prep Football: Concord 58, East Rowan 0
By Marny Hendrick
GRANITE QUARRY ó Two weeks into a new football season and the East Rowan Mustangs are still searching for a way to get on the scoreboard.
This week it was the powerful Concord Spiders behind their 1-2 punch of quarterback B.J. Beecher and tailback Denzel Phillips providing the agony in a lopsided 58-0 victory on Friday night.
Despite a large and supportive home crowd at the Mustangsí stadium on consecutive Fridays, East has been outscored 109-0 in losses to Salisbury and now Concord.
Beecher, a 6-foot-7 junior gunslinger shredded East for 187 yards and 4 TD passes while senior runner Phillips ran through and around the defense for 182 yards and three scores. Significantly, most of the damage by the Spidersí offense came in the first two quarters as they bolted out to a 41-0 lead. Equally as significant was the defensive effort by the Spiders as they held the East option offense to 53 net yards, while not allowing a serious scoring threat.
ěThere were a lot of positive things for us tonight on offense,î Concord head coach Glen Padgett stated. ěWe played real well both running and passing the ball. And anytime you get a shutout from your defense you have to be pleased.î
There were a number of bright spots for coach Chad Tedderís Mustangs (0-2) despite the lopsided loss: the option play of junior quarterback Jordan Phillips; strong inside running by fullback Corey Darrah (8 carries, 20 yards); some explosive returns on kick-offs by speedster Calvin Edwards including a 47 yarder; and the frenzied defensive effort of cornerback Wesley LeRoy.
ěDespite the score tonight, I really feel we made great strides over last weekî, Tedder said afterwards. ěWe were better tonight against a very talented team. We are a young team, but I am proud of my guys for the effort.î
Injuries were also a concern for the Tedder last night, especially when he lost his senior defensive leader Leroy at halftime to heat and dehydration issues. Big offensive lineman T.J. Jefferson also went out in the first half with a shoulder injury.
ěWe have got to get well and stay positive heading into the North game next week.î Tedder noted. The North Cavaliers come to Mustang country next Friday night in a key county battle.
As for Concord (2-0) and its potent offense, East Rowan was challenged to try and stop a multi-faceted and deep team. It proved to be a tall order as the Spiders used their running game first and then their passing efficiency to rack up a 28-0 first quarter lead. Tailback Phillips ripped off TD runs of 41 and 33 yards about two minutes apart to start the rout. Beecher then connected with Jon Neal and Alex Asbury on TD passes to close out the period.
A 54-yard sprint around left end by Phillips and another TD pass from Beecher to Asbury essentially sealed the deal by halftime at 41-0.
Concord added a Beecher TD pass to big tight end Terrance (T.J.) Knox, plus a 35-yard punt return by Rion Gibson to up the score to 55-0 after three periods. Kicker Robert Salsich closed it out with a 25-yard field goal in the fourth to go with his seven PATs.
ěI like my team and our effort,î Tedder stated. ěBut Concord just had too many weapons and too many ways to hurt us tonight.î