Preview: Concord at A.L. Brown

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Concord 8-2, 5-1 SPC; A.L. Brown 9-1, 6-0 SPC
Series: Concord leads the “Bell” series 39-37-4. Brown’s won two of three playoff meetings.
Last meeting: Wonders won 28-21 at Bailey Stadium in 2010 behind 153 rushing yards by Travis Riley.
Last week: Concord might have got caught looking ahead and was shocked 26-24 by Hickory Ridge. The Wonders demolished NW Cabarrus 44-7 in a game that was expected to be more challenging.
Next week: Playoffs for both. Tonight’s winner gets the SPC’s top seed. The Wonders and Spiders generally part ways for the playoffs, with the Wonders heading to the 3AA bracket and Concord to 3A.
Game notes: Some luster — but only a little — disappeared with Concord’s loss on Friday. This is still for the conference championship as well as 365 days worth of bragging rights.
It’s also excitable coach Mike Newsome’sfirst Concord game. Newsome can get fired up about cleaning up the locker room, so he’s going to be a little extra hyper.
The Wonders are a heavier favorite than they were a week ago, but the Spiders have defied long odds in this series before — see 2009.
On paper, Brown is one of the best in 3A and has been equally dominant on both sides of the ball. Brown is scoring nearly 45 points per game, while allowing 11.5, and the defensive stats are improving. Brown has shut out four SPC opponents, and Northwest’s score came very late.
Concord QB B.J. Beecher tossed three TD passes last week and will challenge the Wonders’ secondary.
Brown will expect a big pass rush from Tim Gallon and will count on Phillip Halstenburg to open holes for the dynamic duo of junior Kalif Phillips (23 TDs) and Shrine Bowler Damien Washington.