Prep football: Week 5 previews
By Mike London
West Rowan (4-0) at Statesville (3-1)
Series: West leads 12-5, including playoff wins in 2008 and 2011. Coach Scott Young is 12-1 against Statesville.
The last time the Greyhounds beat West was 23-14 in Mount Ulla in 2003.
History: The Falcons shared the 2004 NPC crown with A.L. Brown with one loss apiece, and West has won the last seven NPC titles outright. Since losing to A.L. Brown 14-7 in 2004, West has won 53 of 54 conference games, with the lone loss in that long stretch a 20-18 setback against West Iredell in 2007.
Besides winning 32 straight league games, the Falcons have won 30 straight NPC road games. Their last NPC road loss was in two overtimes in 2003 at A.L. Brown.
2011: West beat the Greyhounds 22-15 and 32-27 (second round of the 3A playoffs).
Last week: Fourth-ranked West won 29-21 at North Rowan, while 10th-ranked Statesville suffered a 37-35 loss at 4A North Davidson.
Next week: West takes on South Rowan, while the Greyhounds are at North Iredell.
Notes: On top of everything else, West is going after the 300th win in school history tonight. If the Falcons get it, it will be a memorable one. This conference opener is expected to decide the NPC championship.
West remains at the bottom of the county’s offensive stats, although tailbacks Desmond Jackson and Daisean Reddick were productive last week.
West leads the county in rushing defense, total defense (yards allowed) and scoring defense.
Statesville quarterback Carlis Parker (Virginia Tech commit) suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee last week and is expected to miss three weeks. But Tristan Mumford, who is headed to East Carolina, will be a capable replacement. Mumford played very well at quarterback against West last year.
Carson (1-3) at East Rowan (1-3)Series: Carson leads 3-2.
History: The series began in 2007, Carson’s second year. Carson has won the last two meetings. The most recent win by the Mustangs was an exciting 29-26 decision in 2009.
2011: Carson won a 20-7 defensive struggle in China Grove, although no one is predicting a defensive struggle this time.
Last week: Carson lost 27-21 against Robinson. East fell 49-27 to Hickory Ridge.
Next week: Carson tackles Salisbury, while East will go to West Iredell.
Notes: It’s an early homecoming for East and a much bigger NPC opener than the records imply. The winner takes a huge step toward qualifying for the playoffs, while the loser will have to dig out of an early hole.
Neither team is on a positive trend. East has lost three straight since a stunning upset of Salisbury. Some thought Carson would be 4-0 at this point, but its only win came against struggling Northwest Cabarrus.
Carson has been the county’s best balanced offensive team and is averaging 341 yards per contest. Carson has the county’s leading passer in Austin McNeill (802 yards, nine TDs) and leading receiver in K.J. Pressley (26 catches, 535 yards).
East counters with a strong ground game headed by Calvin Edwards and Madison Hedrick. Both rushed for 100-plus yards last week.
Neither team has been scintillating defensively, but East’s Donte Means and Carson’s D.J. Love have two picks each.
West Iredell (1-3) at South Rowan (0-4)
Series: South leads 6-4. Coach Jason Rollins is 1-4 against the Warriors.
History: West Iredell’s unusual win at South in the final seconds in 2008 is unlikely to ever be forgotten. South’s only win in recent seasons against the Warriors came in 2009 when South rolled 35-6 on the road in a contest that stretched two days because of a power failure.
South hasn’t beaten West Iredell at South since the late 1980s.
2011: It was 7-7 at halftime, but West Iredell threw for 416 yards and piled up 532 yards of offense in a 47-15 victory.
Last week: West Iredell lost 21-7 to Lake Norman, while South was trampled 64-9 by Salisbury.
Next week: West Iredell welcomes East Rowan, while South goes to West Rowan.
Notes: It’s the resistible force against the moveable object. West Iredell has scored just seven points in each of its three losses. South has allowed 60-plus points three times already.
South’s Josh Medlin is second in the county with 17 catches and 310 receiving yards. Nathan Lambert has thrown for 671 yards and six TDs. He’s also South’s leading rusher with 137 yards.
South Stanly (3-1) at North Rowan (2-2)
Series: North leads 2-1.
History: The teams had never met until North made its first appearance in 1A in 2009. North won that initial meeting 16-14 and shut out South Stanly 12-0 in 2010.
2011: South Stanly limited North to 50 yards and recovered four fumbles in a 34-0 romp.
Last week: South Stanly used a fullcourt press and matchup zone and hit a lot of 3-pointers to beat North Stanly 64-41. North Rowan lost 29-21 to West Rowan but dominated the second half.
Next week: South Stanly is at Chatham Central. North is home against East Montgomery.
Notes: There’s plenty of interest in this YVC opener with former North coach Tasker Fleming returning to Eagle Stadium at the helm of the Rebel Bulls to face new North coach Joe Nixon’s team. Both squads are talented.
South Stanly ran wild on the ground against North Stanly, with Devante Hamilton rushing for 179 yards. The good news for North is South Stanly allowed 253 passing yards last week, and North QB Alexis Archie is coming off a 222-yard performance.
North has split four emotional county games. South Stanly’s loss was to 3A Parkwood.
Jay M. Robinson (2-2) at A.L. Brown (3-1)
Series: Wonders lead 7-0
History: Robinson opened in 2001. The Bulldogs faced A.L. Brown for the first time in a 2004 playoff game that the Wonders won 21-7.
2011: Brown smashed the Bulldogs 48-0 behind 181 rushing yards by Kalif Phillips.
Last week: Robinson beat Carson 27-21, while the Wonders were smacked 41-14 by Porter Ridge.
Next week: Robinson hosts still unbeaten Concord, while the Wonders visit surprising Central Cabarrus,
Notes: The last time Brown lost back-to-back games was to Eastern Randolph and South Point early in the 2002 season, so a bounce-back outing is extremely likely.
Phillips (577 rushing yards) should have another big night as the Wonders begin their quest for a sixth straight SPC championship.
Davie (3-1) at Thomasville (0-4)
Series: Thomasville leads 14-4
History: Thomasville has won three of five meetings since the schools renewed an old rivalry in 2007.
2A Thomasville beat the 4A War Eagles in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
2011: Davie held off a late charge by the Bulldogs to win 22-17 in Mocksville.
Last week: Davie smoked Lexington 49-7, while Thomasville was losing 13-10 to Southeast Guilford.
Next week: Davie is home against Lenoir Hibriten in its final tuneup for the CPC. Thomasville tangles with High Point Central.
Notes: It’s not like Thomasville is bad. As always, the Bulldogs are taking on a tough early schedule, and they’ve come close to winning twice.
Thomasville forced six turnovers last week. Davie will rely on freshman running back Cade Carney (662 rushing yards).