Prep Football: North Rowan 22, South Davidson 0
By Marny Hendrick
SPENCER — In many ways, it was football in its purest form. Two 1-A Yadkin Valley teams with identical records; rosters with less than 30 players and nothing at stake except 5th place and a little better play-off seed next week.
Throw in a cold misting rain and a bunch of turnovers and the scene at James Car Eagle Stadium was complete.
For the host North Rowan Cavaliers, however, it was also a great way to close out the regular season on Senior Night as they rolled by South Davidson 22-0. The 12 seniors on North’s roster played key roles on both sides of the ball as they improved to 4-7, 3-4 in the YVC. Pierre Givens got the starting nod under center for North because of he is a senior and he did such a good job he stayed there for the rest of the night. Givens threw a pair of second half TD passes to break open a tight game and directed the Cavalier option attack effectively.
“I credit my offensive line for making my job easier,” Givens said. “I just read the defense and ran the play. We feel real good after the win and hope to keep it going.”
Givens also stated he preferred being a receiver but was happy with his stint at quarterback. “…I had to step up tonight and help my team where ever they needed me.”
Seniors Xavier Robinson and Johnny Oglesby led an impressive North running attack with 91 and 83 yards respectively. The defense was equally impressive with not only a shutout but two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a pair of key stops on 4th down conversion attempts. Robinson at linebacker, tackle Will Robertson and linebacker Jake Becker led the effort. Becker set the tone with a fumble recovery on the very first play of the night. It was his 5th of the season, second best among 1A players in the state.
“Five turnovers tells the story, “noted Wildcat Coach Mike Crowell. “They played great defense and you can’t turn it over against a team like that.”
The turnovers did hurt South but so did North Rowan’s quick strike ability at the beginning of each half. Becker’s opening fumble recovery at the Wildcat 35 was followed two plays later by an 18 yards sweep around left end by Robinson. The extra point failed and the score settled in at 6-0 for the rest of the half.
The Wildcats tried an onsides kick to open the second half but North took over at the South 46. On the first play Givens hit Tyler Watlington with a pass over the middle at the 5 to complete double the score to 12-0. North followed that strike with a sustained 12 play 70 yard drive that ended with a clutch 4th down Givens scoring pass to Kenyatta Thomas from the 23. North capped the scoring in the early fourth period with another long drive that produced an 18 yard field goal by Parker Smith.
“I think as far as effort and enthusiasm it was a good game.” winning Coach Tasker Fleming stated. “Our seniors played hard, especially on defense.”
South Davidson managed only 101 yards total offense for the night led by Matt Bryant with 39 yards rushing. The Wildcats’ frustration on offense was best demonstrated by a first quarter drive that covered 62 yards, took 16 plays and ate up about nine minutes of clock. But the solid effort produced nothing as Robinson intercepted quarterback Will Collins’ pass at the the 5 yard line.
As for the Cavaliers, they have a little momentum heading into next weeks 1AA play-offs. Coach Flemming is even hoping for a shot at a home game. “I feel like we can compete with whoever we get, “he said. “ Then hopefully we can get on a roll.”
South Davidson also figures to be in the play-off brackets as well despite a 3-8 mark, 2-5 in the YVC. Crowell figures his team likely head west to the mountains which is fine with him as long as they are still playing.
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