Prep Football: North Rowan 60, North Moore 0
By Mike London
SPENCER — North Rowan sophomore defensive lineman Cecil McCauley hurled a hapless North Moore ballcarrier to the ground like a rag doll on the final snap of a 60-0 YVC romp at Eagle Stadium.
“When you get a form tackle on the last play of the night, you feel pretty good,” NR coach Tasker Fleming said. “For four quarters tonight, we had the sort of focus that we’ve needed.”
The Cavaliers put it all together and picked up their first league win against a North Moore squad that didn’t appear overmatched physically but was overwhelmed in every phase by a NR team hungry for its first victory since Sept. 2.
North Rowan (2-5, 1-2) has exceptional football tradition and was playing its 590th game. This was the first time the Cavaliers, who led 34-0 at the break, have ever scored 60 points. They managed that feat despite a running clock in the second half. NR ran just 10 plays after halftime.
The previous school record for points came in a 59-6 win against Central Davidson in 1961. Friday’s win also was the most lopsided romp in school history, eclipsing a pair of 57-0 blowouts — against North Iredell in 1971 and against Mooresville in 1976.
Xavier Robinson and Trey Clark both topped 100 rushing yards for the Cavaliers behind strong blocking upfront by Wesley Honeycutt, Bobby Ingram and Justin Ogg.
“Everyone did their job tonight with no complaining,” said Robinson, who broke a 77-yard dash to make it 48-0 in the third quarter. “We did what we had to do. Our offensive line was very good. I have to give a shout-out for the blocking of our receivers too.”
North mostly played power football out of the I-formation, but when it went to the air, it did so effectively. T.J. Allen tossed TD passes to Jalen Cook and Tyler Watlington. Allen’s 25-yard pass to Cook put the Cavaliers on the board barely three minutes into the game and momentum never swung the other way.
McCauley spearheaded a defensive charge that limited North Moore (0-6, 0-3), playing its third YVC road game in a row, to just 46 yards.
“I didn’t always do what I was supposed to last year because I was inexperienced,” an upbeat McCauley said. “But I get it now. I want to play like I get it.”
Mike Robinson, no relation to Xavier, had two early interceptions, including a pick-6 on which he bulldozed through a half-dozen NM tacklers.
“Our coaches told us their QB favored one side of the field and when he looked that way he was going to throw it,” the sophomore explained. “I just read his eyes both times and got the picks.”
Denzel Price also picked off a pass. McCauley recovered a fumble to wreck North Moore’s only serious scoring chance after penalties had pushed the ball inside the Cavs’ 20 in the third quarter.
“We wanted to hit them and keep them down and just keep hitting them,” McCauley said. “We didn’t focus on them being a not-so-good team. We focused on playing well and pulling some momentum together for our next game.”
Xavier Robinson blocked a punt that set up a TD. D’Quan Miller twice mashed Mustangs in the backfield. Brandon Rabon and Will Robertson had tackles for losses. Parker Smith set up a touchdown with a 40-yard punt return and booted a half-dozen PATs. Justin Mock was a special-teams terror.
In other words, just about everyone on the roster — and some who weren’t — did something positive.
“We had a great week of practice,” Mike Robinson said. “The way you practice is how you play. That’s why we won dominant.”
North Moore hasn’t been in a game yet and was ranked No. 402 in the state for a reason. Still, North Rowan acquitted itself well, turning in a solid game with no turnovers.
“It’s hard to compare North Moore with some of the teams we’ve had to face,” Fleming said. “But I was happy that young guys responded to opportunities tonight. The effort was what we’re looking for.”