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Gallagher column: Roaming the county

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
Over the course of the past three seasons, when West Rowan players slip on those blue helmets and blue jerseys, they’ve already got a two-touchdown lead.
When you’ve won three straight state titles, the name alone strikes fear in the hearts of most opponents.
Tonight, West Rowan (8-2, 5-0) goes for an outright North Piedmont Conference championship at West Iredell, a team that has proven it doesn’t fear the Falcons. Year in and year out, the Warriors give West its toughest league test.
There’s plenty of drama surrounding this one.
First, there’s West coach Scott Young, who suffered a heart attack earlier in the week. He hopes to be in Statesville tonight watching from the pressbox.
He knows what to expect from Mark Weycker’s bunch.
“They throw it everywhere — short, intermediate and deep,” Young said on Monday. Their quarterback throws it well. He runs just enough that you’ve got to account for him.”
The quarterback is Sayer Robinson. Young referred to No. 3 (C.J. Gibbs) and No. 5 (Kamron Summers) as special players. Last year, those three had West Iredell within 20-14 late in the game before some B.J. Sherrill heroics gave the Falcons a 34-14 win, adding to what would become a nation’s best 46-game winning streak.
Robinson, Gibbs and Summers are all seniors now and they are confident at 6-3, 4-1. A win will give them a share of the NPC title that only West Rowan has owned.
“We don’t want to share it with anyone,” Young said.
Weycker likes to spread you out and make it almost like a 7-on-7 game.
“(Robinson’s) going to start in the shotgun five, six yards deep,” Falcon defensive coordinator David Hunt explained. “He’ll drop three steps and cut it loose.”
No one has a better defensive line than West Rowan, but Hunt said for Greg Dixon, Maurice Warren, Trey Shepherd and company to do their job, the secondary has to perform. It has to blanket Gibbs and Summers a second or two longer to let the D-line get a good rush.
“We’ve got to cover early and cover well so he won’t throw the quick stuff,” Hunt said.

Why does West Iredell show no fear? They have plenty of Young’s former buddies on the staff. They know him.
Young began his coaching career at Davie, the same place where Weycker’s assistant Tim Shuford was an assistant. Joe Payne, another Warrior assistant, helped Young build West’s championship program. B.J. Johnson played at Davie.

The Falcons have plenty of motivation and most of it has to do with their beloved coach. Winning for Young is what’s on every player’s mind. Expect them to be focused. The school has asked Falcon Nation to wear Khakis and a navy sweatshirt in his honor.

In other games, Salisbury (East Davidson) and North Rowan (South Davidson) are at home.
South Rowan (Statesville) and Carson (North Iredell) are on the road.
Davie goes to North Davidson and A.L. Brown plays host to Concord in The Bell Game.
The Post covers five leagues and four titles are still up in the air with area teams: West Rowan in the NPC, Salisbury in the CCC, A.L. Brown in the SPC and Davie in the CPC.

On the air tonight …
• Hall of Famer Howard Platt and Wilson Cherry will call the North Rowan game on WSTP 1490 AM.
• Lance, Glenn, Johnny and the boys will call Salisbury’s contest on WSAT 1280 AM.
• Carl Ford, the “Commissioner” of high school football, and The Coach, Bob Parker, will carry South Rowan’s finale on WRNA 1140 AM.
• As always, WRKB 1460 AM will cover A.L. Brown.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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