Prep Football: The Notebook, Week 1
From staff reports
North Rowan coach Joe Nixon has a weapon in sophomore Jareke Chambers, so expect him to get the ball in every possible way.
In a 19-14 victory over Carson on Friday, Chambers scored three touchdowns on the ground and rushed for 85 yards. But he also surprised many with his pass-catching ability. He hauled in five tosses for 53 yards.
“We like to get Jareke in space,” Nixon said “That’s a 1-on-1 matchup he can win. He’s a pretty fast guy.”
Pretty fast, as in a 4.4 40.
For good measure, Chambers also returned kicks.
“Jareke had a heck of a game,” Nixon said. “We need him to keep carrying the load for us.”
CHEMISTRY: Nixon has practically a new coaching staff. How did they do during the first game together?
“As the first time out there, they coached really hard,” Nixon said. “The next time we’ll do better. Overall, I’m pleased with the staff and how they coached.”
TOP CAVS: Nixon pointed to several players who had good games, including Eugene Coney, a converted defensive back, now at linebacker.
Andre Cowan and Jalen Sanders caught Nixon’s eye.
“They ran the ball well when they got in there,” he said. “Denzel Price, our fullback, blocked well.”
D’Quan Miller was praised by Nixon for his play on the defensive line.
KICK-START: North hasn’t been what you’d call a school that breeds kickers. So how about the first game with Nixon? The Cavs hit one extra point and missed another. They went for two after their third score.
“The kicking game is still an adventure,” Nixon said.
FLAGGED: Nixon wasn’t happy with 17 penalties for 159 yards.
“We watched the film and most of them were deserved,” Nixon said. “If we cut out the penalties, we can be a pretty good football team.”
GOOD START: North Rowan won its opening game for the first time since 2006 when it got off on the right foot with a 41-6 pasting of Albemarle.
Nixon is the first North head coach since Roger Secreast in 1988 to win his debut. Secreast’s Cavaliers beat West Rowan 20-15.
TRADITION: At next week’s home opener against East Rowan, North will honor the school’s 1982 team that went unbeaten in the 3A NPC, posted a perfect regular season record and finished 11-1.
Larry Thomason coached that powerful squad.
North will honor its 1985 and 1992 teams later this season.
Last season East didn’t score until the third game of the year. The Mustangs were outscored 109-0 in their opening two games last season but that seemed a distant memory after a monumental win.
HAMMER TIME: East assistant coach Bryan Aycoth was seen carrying a red and white sledgehammer off the field after the game. Virginia Tech has its lunch pails — East has the hammer signifying a blue-collar team.
“That’s the hammer we’ve slung all summer,” Misenheimer said. “The mentality behind that is every time we step on the field we go to work.”
OPENING WIN: Friday marked the first season-opening win for East since a 21-20 triumph against North Rowan in 2010. That was former coach Chad Tedder’s first game. North, East’s Week 3 opponent, beat East 24-6 last year.
Linebacker Logan Stoodley has had many standout games at West Rowan.
After checking the film, West coaches agreed Stoodley had one of his best ever in Friday’s 21-14 win against Mooresville. Stoodley made big hits at the line of scrimmage and he also batted down two passes.
“He was all over the place and he was real physical,” West coach Scott Young said.
West’s defense, as a group, played exceptionally well for an opener.
“Basically, those guys pitched a shutout until the last 25 seconds against a quality program,” Young said. “Yes, there were mistakes, but this was a good starting point.”
GOOD JOB: West coaches also lauded linebacker Bubba McLaughlin, offensive linemen Chris Hassard and Brandon Hansen and receiver Brandon Ijames.
“Broderick Avery on special teams was another shining spot,” Young said. “Once he gets some experience, he’s really going to help us.”
DOWN THE ROAD: West anticipates having junior tailback Daisean Reddick available for the North Rowan game on Sept. 7.
STILL PHYSICAL: West’s lines are as imposing as physical as ever.
“They just out-sized us and overmatched us,” Mooresville coach Hal Capps said.
POUND ON THE GROUND: Desmond Jackson rushed for a career-high 105 yards on Friday, the second 100-yard game of his career.
He had 100 yards on 22 carries against Statesville in 2011.
West will look to Jackson for a big game this week against Davie. He had a career-best three TDs against the War Eagles last season.
FEET OF CLAY: Former West receiver Clay Browning is now a graduate assistant at Purdue.
THE DEAN: Assistant Ralph Ellis is back for his 31st season on the West staff.
Despite Friday’s loss to East, Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan liked the fight his team showed in rallying. The Hornets had four chances to throw to the end zone in the final minute.
“When it’s 20-8 you could have quit and said we haven’t played well all night,” Pinyan said. “There were mistakes that you have in the first game. You take the fight they showed at the end and you build on that. That shows they have heart and determination.”
OUT OF SYNC: Max Allen had to play defense in the first half with some players sitting out. Allen, who had 294 yards rushing the last time he played at Ludwig Stadium, didn’t carry the ball until the second half.
“Our fullback started on defense and that puts our offense a little bit out of sync,” Pinyan said. “A couple guys had to sit out because they weren’t here on time. We’ve got to learn to do the right things if we’re going to be a good football team.”
TWO POINTS: One of the wackier two-point conversions ever happened after Salisbury’s first touchdown.
Holder Brian Bauk picked up a bad snap on the extra point try and scrambled to his right. Bauk fired to the back corner of the end zone where the ball was tipped and eventually landed in the arms of Justin Ruffin for an 8-0 Salisbury lead.
BAUK UPDATE: Bauk ran for 128 yards in opener and went 70 yards on a third-quarter touchdown. He had three games of 100 yards or more last season.
The bad news first.
South allowed more points on Friday in a 66-31 to Central Cabarrus than it has in some entire seasons. South’s school record for fewest points allowed is the 56 points surrendered by the 1978 team in 11 games.
Central’s offensive explosion equaled the South record for most points allowed in a single night. South also gave up 66 when it lost 66-7 to West Rowan in 2010 in the most lopsided setback in school history.
Friday’s game was the second-highest scoring night in school history with the teams combining for 97 points. South blasted Statesville 76-22 in 2009 as the teams combined for 98.
RECORD WATCH: Senior Nathan Lambert passed for 240 yards on Friday and climbed from 27th to 22nd on the county’s all-time passing list. He’s passed for 2,359 yards. Lambert moved ahead of North’s T.J. Allen and Randy Hutchins, East’s Barry McCall and Jason Barger, and Salisbury’s Johnny Stratton on Friday.
Lambert ranks third in school history behind Kevin Sides (2,737) and Blake Houston (2,973).
Lambert’s two TD passes against Central gave him 18 for his career.
Senior K.J. Pressley had seven catches for 64 yards in Friday’s 19-14 loss to North Rowan.
Pressley has 77 receptions for his career and is tied with former East Rowan standout Nick Heard for 16th on the county’s all-time list.
Lathan Charleston (North, 81) and B.J. Grant (South, 84) are the next two Pressley can surpass.
The county leader for career receptions is Lamont Savage, who had 158 catches for North and West from 2002-05.
The record for receptions in a single season is held by West’s Jon Crucitti, who had 79 in 2009.
The record for receptions in one game is the amazing 19 by Ken “The End” Beck for North in a 1966 game against Davie County.
A.L. Brown cranked out 369 rushing yards in Thursday’s 44-0 win at Shelby that was played a day early due to the American Legion World Series.
Credit “Hawg of the Week” Kyle Cauble with some outstanding blocking.
DEBUT: Senior back Ricky Sherrill, making his debut for the Wonders, rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown and was named the team’s offensive performer for the Shelby game.
Sherrill rushed for 635 yards as a sophomore at South Rowan in 2010 and had 324 rushing yards in three games for South in 2011 before transferring to Brown.
AWARDS: Erik Amaya was named the special teams player of the week. Amaya kicked a 40-yard field goal and five PATs.
Kendall “Cement” Holmes registered the big hit of the week on a quarterback sack.
Linebacker Gabe Lucero, a former running back, was named the team’s top defensive performer for the week. He had an interception and a fumble recovery.
Gabe just moved over from offense this year,” outside linebackers coach Orlando Gray said. “He’s learning fast and he’s a very smart player.”
THE VETERAN: Video man Terry Berryman has been affiliated with the program 43 years.
NEXT: The Wonders are home Friday against South Rowan. They haven’t lost to the Raiders in Kannapolis since 1994.
Freshman Cade Carney made the most scintillating varsity debut in Davie history on Friday when he rushed for 234 yards in a 31-14 win at Greensboro Page.
Page won 4AA in 2011.
QUESTION MARK: Stephon Smoot, Davie’s workhorse running back last season, missed the opener with a knee injury of uncertain severity, but there’s a chance he could play Friday against West Rowan.
If Smoot can go, Davie coach Doug Illing will have all sorts of backfield options because Carney has some experience at quarterback.
DEFENSE: Down 14-7 at halftime, Davie shut out Page in the second half.
Jamal Lackey and sophomore Tre Redmond made fumble recoveries to spark the defense.