Prep Football: West Rowan 26, Reidsville 10
By Ryan Bisesi
REIDSVILLE — The difference between a 2A power and a 3A power could be found at Reidsville Community Stadium Friday night.
Two squads totaling six state championships and 101 consecutive victories in the past four years, dueled with West Rowan beating Reidsville 26-10.
The Falcons started their first three drives on the Reidsville side of the field and capitalized, jumping out to a 17-3 lead at halftime.
“They’re too good of a football team to put on a short field,” Reidsville coach Doug Robinson said.
West backed up its reputation with an all-around efficient display and kept the Rams at arms’ length after Dinkin Miller scored the game’s first touchdown. The Rams managed just 50 yards rushing with the West defense strolling into the backfield for much of the night.
“To beat a great team like Reidsville with a great coaching staff and great tradition, I’m like ‘Hey, we did what we needed to do,’ ” West coach Scott Young said.
Reidsville found out starting quarterback Dominique Shoffner wouldn’t play Thursday as running back Tyler Jones took snaps in the Rams’ spread formation.
Although Jones threw for 142 yards, the lack of preparation time was costly, as were the three interceptions.
“We found out at 4:30 yesterday that our quarterback wasn’t going to be available,” Robinson said. “That’s tough to hear the day before the game.”
“I feel for him, but at the same time, that’s our job,” Young said.
No matter, the West defensive line feasted on the newfound QB, holding him to minus-5 yards on 13 carries.
Reidsville’s Akeem Dennis broke off a 30-yard run on the Rams’ first drive to put his team in the red zone. Mitchell Cobb capped the drive with a 25-yard field goal for the game’s first points.
West (6-2) went three-and-out on its first possession, but got great field position on its following drive. Zay Laster converted a key 3rd-and-eight with a 24-yard run and Miller punched it in two plays later to make it 7-3 and give West the lead for keeps.
Later, Zeke Blackwood’s interception gave the Falcons the ball at the Ram 39. Laster fired a 25-yard completion to Jarvis Morgan on 3rd-and-17, leading to a 25-yard field goal from Hobie Proctor for a 10-3 edge with 8:51 left in the first half.
Tre Cuthbertson got his second punt return for a touchdown late in the first half on a 73-yard run down the sideline with 1:18 left.
“It was a whole bunch of good blocking,” Cuthbertson said. “I saw a nice, open lane for me to run and I just took advantage of it.”
Another game, another 100-yard night for Miller, who eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the season. The senior’s 22-carry, 188-yard exhibition ended with a loud 61-yard touchdown run that put a bow on the game.
“He’s been working real hard because he wants another state title ring,” said Cuthbertson of the county’s leading rusher.
Morgan, who had four touchdowns catches last week against East Rowan, finished with three catches for 41 yards. Laster had a quiet night with five completions on eight attempts and 54 yards.
A missed chance to expand the lead came in the third quarter when a botched snap on a 24-yard field goal attempt resulted in a Reidsville interception on Tyler Stamp’s desperation pass. West fumbled the ball six times, yet only lost possession twice.
The Rams cut it to 17-10 after its most cohesive drive of the night, a five-play, 83-yard march that ended with Jones’ 37-yard touchdown pass to Mike Smith with 8:25 left. West, who had its 46-game win streak end after letting a comfortable halftime lead slip away against Mooresville, learned from the season’s first game and got the momentum back fast. The Falcons took the ball to their own 48 on the kickoff and Miller ran it 41 yards inside the 10. Proctor kicked another chip shot to make it a two-score game with 5:55 remaining.
“Great effort on that one play,” Young said. “What a great game.”
Reidsville (5-3) got the ball back and couldn’t mount anything other than 15 yards on a pass interference penalty. Demetrius Davidson had the Falcons’ third pick of the night on 2nd-and-15. Harvey Landy grabbed an interception on the final play of the first half.
“We knew they were a good football team and they beat us up front,” Robinson said. “My hats off to them.”
NOTE: Young praised the Falcon Nation for showing up in droves despite the long ride. “The band was even here before we got here,” he said.