Prep Football: The Notebook, Week 13
From staff reports
Prep football notebook …
West Rowan secured its 11th victory of the season with a 32-27 win against Statesville in the second round of the 3A playoffs, and 11s were wild all night long in a game played by 11-man squads on the calendar date of 11-11-11.
The overall regional seeds of the teams — West is No. 3, while Statesville was No. 8, added up to 11, so maybe that shouldn’t have been a surprise.
As expected, West had its hands full with Statesville’s No. 11, quarterback Tristan Mumford, an 11th-grader. Mumford gave the Greyhounds a quick 14-0 lead with an 11-yard run and an 11-yard pass — hey, we’re not making this stuff up.
When Zay Laster scored the deciding TD for West with 25 seconds left, there was Statesville’s Mumford on the ground, draped around his ankles, while officials raised their arms skyward, forming a reasonable facsimile of an 11.
Finally, the guys who made the key plays in the last minute for the Falcons were Laster (No. 4) and Terrence Polk (No. 7), who recovered a fumble on West’s kickoff following Laster’s touchdown. Even sportswriters can tell you what 4 and 7 add up to.
We won’t even mention that West coach Scott Young picked up the 146th win of his career. You’ve already figured out what you get when you add 1, 4 and 6.
Over the years, West has lost 11 times to Concord, this week’s opponent, but hopefully that doesn’t mean anything at all.
HURTING: Any team that’s played 13 games is banged up, and the Falcons are extra banged up.
“Lots of linemen, some real important linemen, have been limited as far as practice reps,” head coach Scott Young said. “We’ve been fortunate that they’ve still been able to perform on Fridays.”
Walking wounded include defensive lineman Greg Dixon and offensive linemen Dionte Reddick. Chris Hassard and Mike Norman.
Dixon, who’s often been West’s most dominant defender, turned in another stellar effort Friday despite a balky knee that he tweaked in the Mount Pleasant game.
“He was able to put some pretty good pressure on Mumford,” Young said.
POLKSWAGEN: Polk, a linebacker, was praised by coaches for his effort against Statesville. His sack of Mumford was one of the better licks the Falcons put on the Greyhounds’ talented QB.
“He came back from a pretty bad game against Mount Pleasant to play outstanding against Statesville,” Young said.
DINKIN UPDATE: Tailback Dinkin Miller’s 185 rushing yards on Friday gave him 2,103 for the season and he scored his 20th TD.
Miller is enjoying the sixth-best rushing season in Rowan history. Still ahead of him are three seasons by West’s K.P. Parks and one each by West’s Wade Moore and Carson’s Shaun Warren.
With 4,133 career rushing yards, Miller is close to overtaking Moore for third on the county’s all-time list.
Moore piled up 4,256, always an easy number for West running backs coach Jeff Chapman to remember. Chapman, an avid baseball fan, still recalls that Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time leader in hits, retired with 4,256 base hits.
Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan felt the Hornets’ last touchdown with 54 seconds left in a 28-6 game was justified Friday night.
Starmount turned it over on downs with 2:07 left at its own 12-yard line. There was too much time left for the Hornets to take three knees, so kept it on the ground and scored three plays later on a 1-yard carry by Dominique Dismuke.
“When you give it to us down there, we can take a knee, but what is that going to accomplish,” Pinyan said. “We didn’t run the ball outside. If you’re going to give it to us here, you’re going to stop us here.”n
FOURSHADOWING?: With the second-round win, the Hornets’ quest for four 1,000-yard rushers stayed alive.
Max Allen stands with 986 and Brian Bauk has 914. Dismuke (1,110) carries a small lead over Justin Ruffin (1,106) after 13 games for the team lead.
Dismuke carries a team-best 19 touchdowns.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Players of the week for Salisbury were Brian Bauk (offense), Sam Humble (defense) and Max Allen (special teams).
Bauk coordinated a fumble-free effort, Humble had his second-straight standout game on the defensive line and Allen made some damaging hits on kickoffs and punts.
REVENGE: The low point of Salisbury’s season came in a 34-27 loss to Thomasville on Oct. 21. It’s fitting that their third-round matchup sets them back up with their heated CCC rivals.
The last three meetings between the two have been memorable affairs. Salisbury won 10-7 in the regular season last year and Thomasville took a 14-7 decision in 2009.
“I ain’t one to talk a lot, but Friday’s coming,” Salisbury linebacker Kavari Hillie said.
Dante Pinkston (punt return TD) was an easy choice for this week’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
Pinkston is listed as “Robert” on some Wonders’ rosters, and A.L. Brown coach Mike Newsome apologized for that.
“I was new here and trying to learn a hundred kids’ names all at once,” he said.
MORE AWARDS: Also playing key roles in the Wonders’ 41-20 playoff win against Weddington were Defensive Player of the Week Shakil Gore, an end, and “Hawg of the Week” Gerald Holt, a defensive interior lineman. They helped hold Weddington to 13 rushing yards, the second-lowest total of the season surrendered by the Wonders. Brown held Central Cabarrus to 6 yards.
The flip side of that is the Wonders allowed 276 passing yards on Friday, a season high. Cornerback J.P. Lott notched Hitman of the Week honors.
Damien Washington, who shouldered his biggest workload since returning from an injured knee, responded with 23 carries for 139 yards and was the Offensive Player of the Week.
RESPECT: Last week, Brown coaches tabbed first-round playoff foe Ledford’s De Greene as the best power runner they’d faced all year, and they praised Weddington QB Drew Podrebarac this week as one of the best they’ve faced.
FAMILIAR FOE: The Wonders travel to Charlotte Catholic tomorrow, the program that ended Brown’s seasons in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.
Behind Jamill Lott (two rushing TDs, two passing TDs), the Wonders beat Catholic 28-27 in a third-rounder in Charlotte in 2008 for their only breakthrough in the series. Morgan McDaniel kicked the decisive PAT.
Mike London and Ryan Bisesi contributed to the notebook.