Preview: Carson at Hickory Ridge

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Carson 1-1; Hickory Ridge 1-1
Series: Tied at 1-1
Last meeting: Carson outscored the Ragin’ Bulls 24-12 in 2010.
Hickory Ridge won 25-13 in 2009 in an unusual game that took two nights to complete because of weather issues.
Last week: Carson lost to NW Cabarrus 13-7; Hickory Ridge won 35-26 at home against Waxhaw Cuthbertson
Next week: Carson is home against Concord Jay M. Robinson; Hickory Ridge is at home against East Rowan
Game notes: Hickory Ridge opened with a 21-20 loss to Piedmont before bouncing back last week. Carson opened with a 16-6 win against North Rowan before losing at home last week.
The team that has jumped out early and dominated the running game has won this matchup the past two seasons. Hickory Ridge slashed for 377 yards on the ground to beat the Cougars two years ago. Carson held a 218-139 edge in rushing yardage when it beat the Ragin’ Bulls a year ago.
Carson’s defense, which includes big linemen Jeremiah Smith and Myquon Stout, has played at a high level the past two weeks and ranks second in the county stats to Salisbury with 9.5 points and 165 yards allowed per game.
Carson’s promising sophomore QB Austin McNeil has thrown four picks, but he’s also thrown for 198 yards. Junior K.J. Pressley has 131 receiving yards, and freshman running back Brandon Sloop (27 carries, 130 yards) was fantastic last week against Northwest.
While SPC teams have generally beaten up NPC squads so far, Carson looks like a slight favorite in this matchup, even on the road.