Prep Football Notebook: Week 2
From staff reports
Clint Comadoll was the defensive player of the game for Salisbury. The junior linebacker was active in the backfield on several plays and made a sack on the final play of the first half. Comadoll, also the punter, saved the Hornets from disaster from recovering a snap over his head and punting it from deep in Salisbury territory to midfield. North Rowan dropped the punt and Brian Bauk recovered it at the Salisbury 46. Bauk picked it up and ran all the way to the end zone until the officials huddled and determined the ball dead after the recovery. High school rules indicate the ball can’t be advanced if the defense recovers a muffed punt. The Hornets got their score four plays later when Justin Ruffin scored a touchdown to make it 13-0 to cap a wild sequence.
“He probably made the play of the game on the punt that was snapped over his head,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “That play saved our talis. A lot of kickers would panic back there.”•RUFFIN TIME: Justin Ruffin is the county’s leading rusher after two games with 184 yards. Ruffin has two more yards than Carson’s Brandon Sloop on 20 less carries. Sloop has 42 rushes with Ruffin having 22. Ruffin is also tied for the county lead in touchdowns with four.•OFFENSIVE LINE: Pinyan pointed to center Malik Wilson’s play on the offensive line.
“He blocked well for us,” Pinyan said. “He did a great job of handling their nose guard.”•DAILEY DEFENSE: Braylon Dailey, who saw time at running back in the Hornets’ first game, moved from running back to defensive back. Dailey filled in for the injured Antwuan Payne. Pinyan said he’s hoping Payne, who’s out with shoulder problem, is back Friday night.•NUMBER 90: Pinyan enjoyed his 90th win as a head coach against North Rowan. All 90 have come at Salisbury.
“I’m old enough, I need as many wins as I can get,” Pinyan said.WEST ROWANAll West Rowan heard before playing Davie County Friday was freshman Cade Carney and how he tore up Greensboro Page for 234 yards rushing the previous week.
Against Davie, the diaper dandy managed just 60 yards on 24 carries in a 14-7 defeat to the Falcons.
“I told anybody who would listen we’d be good on defense,” West coach Scott Young said. “These guys are backing me up.”•MR. ED: It was perfect timing as far as Young was concerned.
Ed Bowles, who coached Young at East Rowan, and was an assistant for Young for 10 years, was inducted into the Davie County Hall of Fame on Friday.
“What are the chances he goes in the same night we play them,” Young said. “That’s awesome. We dedicated the ball and the win to him.”•SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE: Whether it was Eric Cowan or Trey Cuthbertson, West has always had a weapon at punt returner. This year, it’s Tyler Kennedy, who ran one back 43 yards for a score against Davie.
“That’s because we work on the kicking game every day,” Young said.
And just for the record, Kennedy ran one back in the opener against Mooresville but it was called back due to a penalty.•GOTTA GET BETTER: And then, there’s the offense that had only 61 yards of total offense and didn’t score.
“Up front, we’ve got four of the top six returners, including the tight end and offensive lineman who played in Kenan Stadium (in the 3A state title game) last year,” Young said. “We need them to play like they did in Kenan Stadium.”
Young called the offense “a perfect storm of not being very good right now. We’ll get better.”•FALCON STARS: Defense ruled in Friday’s win and Young pointed to many stars, including Matthew Choi, Zeke Blackwood, Najee Tucker and Teoz Mauney.
Mauney is playing with a cast on his arm. He broke small bones in his wrist.CARSONBrandon Sloop ran 30 times for 150 yards in Carson’s 28-13 win over Northwest Cabarrus on Friday.
“That’s who we are,” Carson coach Mark Woody said.
It was quite a turnaround from the first week, when Sloop ran only 12 times for 23 yards.
“I’m kicking myself for not giving it to him more last week,” Woody said.•NEW COUGAR: Woody actually gave Darren Isom more carries in the opener than Sloop. Against Northwest, Isom had 13 tries for 82 yards and a score.
Who is Isom?
The sophomore came over from Southeast Middle and quickly made a name for himself.
“He doesn’t look anything like he was over there,” Woody said. “He has filled out and grown to 210 pounds. He’s probably the fastest kid in school.”•ANOTHER FIRST: In five tries, this was Carson’s first win over Northwest.•DEE-FENSE: Woody wondered how his 294-pound lineman C.J. Cain would do after switching to the defensive front. After two games, Cain has improved.
“He was a little green in the North Rowan game,” Woody said. “But he batted down a pass and recovered a fumble Friday.”
Jake Martin recovered a fumble and Myquon Stout had two sacks.
“They’re still trying to figure out this new (3-4) defense,” Woody said. “But they’re having fun running around.”•SHOULDER TO LEAN ON: Junior center Henry Brown missed last week’s game due to a shoulder injury. Woody moved Devon Peacock back to center against Northwest and said he now has two options at the position.
Alex Lyles has moved from defense to the offensive line and Woody said he played well Friday.•FLAG DAY: K.J. Pressley, who has a county-leading 11 receptions had a touchdown catch against Northwest called back by a penalty.
North Rowan plans to honor three of its greatest teams at home games this season.
The 1982 and 1985 squads that enjoyed undefeated regular seasons will be recognized as well as the 1992 3A state runner-up.
It’s the 1982 team’s turn to be lionized during Friday’s home opener against East Rowan. That Larry Thomason-coached team not only ran the table in the regular season, it beat A.L. Brown in the first round of the playoffs.•TRACK RECORD: North has won 333 games in its football history and has beaten East more often than any other opponent.
North owns a 36-16-1 mark against the Mustangs.
West Rowan ranks second on the list of victims. North is 28-21-2 against the Falcons.•GROWING PAINS: So far, North’s defense has been ahead of its offense.
North leads the county in pass defense, after limiting Carson and allowing Salisbury only eight passing yards.•SUPER SOPHS: North sophomore Jareke Chambers is sixth in the county in rushing with 74.5 yards per game.
Soph QB Alexis Archie is fourth in passing with 197 yards and hasn’t thrown an interception.
LOOKING BACK: Looking back at the 19-7 loss to Salisbury, North Rowan coach Joe Nixon was pleased with his team’s effort, although was dissapointed with not being able to cash in its early opportunites.
“Our defense made a few mistakes, but overall I thought we played great,” Nixon said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone.”•GETTING DEFENSIVE: North’s defense only allowed two offensive touchdowns and got an early spark when it recovered a Salisbury fumble on the Hornets’ first play from scrimmage. Defensive back Mike Robinson forced a fumble that Kenyaun Coney recovered. Nixon appaulded the play of linebacker Eugene Coney.EAST ROWANWhen’s the last time a pair of East Rowan guys were 1-2 on the county receiving chart?
Maybe Nick Heard and Randy Poole in the 1990s.
But after two games, Seth Wyrick leads the county in receiving yards with 152, while Jordan Phillips is second with 142.•HARD TIMES: East’s struggles against Concord have been well-documented, and the Mustangs’ 42-20 loss to the Spiders on Friday was respectable in the lopsided context of the series.
East is now 3-35-1 against the Spiders, with coaches W.A. Cline, Ron Horton and Brian Hinson logging one win each.•WEAKNESS: East has performed well offensively, with the only statistical shortcoming so far coming in rushing defense. The Mustangs have allowed 277.0 yards per game on the ground.•CAL CAN: Calvin Edwards has run the ball like another Cal (Hayes) did for the Mustangs a decade ago. Edwards has 178 rushing yards in two games and is averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
Edwards already has matched his rushing TDs total for all last season (3). He finished the 2011 season with 370 rushing yards.SOUTH ROWANAfter a 62-6 loss to A.L. Brown on Friday, South Rowan is off to the worst defensive start in school history.
South has yielded a staggering total of 1,086 yards and 128 points after allowing back-to-back 60-plus nights for the first time ever.
“I do believe we improved a lot from Week 1 to Week 2,” South coach Jason Rollins said. “I think everyone realizes what kind of football team Kannapolis has. What people don’t realize yet is how good Central is. We’ve played two really great teams.”•THROW IT AROUND: South QB Nathan Lambert has put the ball in the air 60 times in two games. He leads the county in passing yards (378) and also has run the ball hard. Even with the liability of several sacks, he has managed 78 net rushing yards.
Lambert ranks 21st on the county’s all-time passing list with 2,497 yards. The next person for him to pass on the county list is a fellow Raider – Kevin Sides, who threw for 2,737 yards in the 1990s.•NEW WEEK: Neutral observers believe South has a chance not only to compete but to win Friday at Northwest Cabarrus, and just being in a game would be a welcome step forward for the Raiders and their fans. They were down 46-6 against Central at halftime and trailed the Wonders 42-0 at the break.
South is 20-9 lifetime against Northwest. The only teams South has beaten more often are East Rowan (32) and West Rowan (21).•PICK: Sophomore Burke Fulcher logged South’s first interception of the season. South also recovered a pair of A.L. Brown muffs on punts.
South didn’t come up with a turnover in the Central game.A.L. BROWNIn Brown’s easy win against South Rowan, former Raider Ricky Sherrill was plowing for serious yards against former teammates.
He broke a 37-yard run and banged out 91 yards in nine carries.
“Ricky didn’t get any extra-excited and was able to keep things on an even keel,” A.L. Brown coach Mike Newsome said. “He did a good job of treating it just like any other game and he played very well.”•KALIF UPDATE: A.L. Brown has a host of good players, but Kalif Phillips is really special. He was Offensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week for the South game.
Offensively, he had 86 receiving yards and 78 rushing yards and put the ball in the end zone four times on a short night. The sensational running back also blocked two of South’s nine punts.
“Sometimes Kalif sees a hole where I didn’t see any hole at all,” guard Zeb Ritchie said.
“Sometimes you watch him run the ball and you just say, ‘Wow.’ He’s an amazing player and he’s also a great guy who’s good to hang around with.”•HIT MEN: Kendall “Cement Block” Holmes again was the “Hawg of the Week” for his disruptive work in South’s backfield. DB Johnny Delahoussaey earned “Hit Man of the Week” accolades. Besides scoring an offensive TD, Jamill Lott picked off a pass and was named Defensive Player of the Week.•PINK SLIP: Electrifying Robert Pinkston scored two TDs and caught a pass from Keenan Medley to set up another one.
Pinkston offered some praise for the Wonders’ reserves.
“It’s not an easy job to back up a bunch of college prospects,” he said. “They kept it going tonight, and as a team we did great.”