Gallagher column: Roaming the county getting ready for tonight
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
South Rowan had just lost to Salisbury 64-9, the third time the Raiders had given up 60 points, so what did head coach Jason Rollins do?
“We pushed them harder than we had the last couple of weeks,” he said.
No letup in Landis because Rollins had seen positives. Most thought he had gone to la-la land after an 0-4 start. Positives in such big losses?
But coaches believe in players. And as a coach once told me, if the kids believe in you, they’ll win for you.
How else can you explain a 40-20 victory against West Iredell last week that wasn’t that close? It was 40-7 before the Warriors scored two late touchdowns.
“They’re buying in,” Rollins said. “They know that what we’re calling works. What we’re doing defensively works.”
It couldn’t have come at a better time. It was the North Piedmont Conference opener and South Rowan is suddenly in first place, along with Statesville and East Rowan.
“It was one of those feelings where you knew it could happen,” Rollins said. “The kids had it in them, it just had to come into play. We got the monkey off our back.”
Tonight, South has a foe a bit more formidable than West Iredell: West Rowan (4-1), whose NPC winning streak ended at 32 with a loss to Statesville last week.
West coach Scott Young has seen film on two South games: Salisbury and West Iredell.
“You see one film where they’re getting beat by Salisbury and another where they’re beating West Iredell soundly,” Young said. “It’s almost like a tale of two teams.”
Rollins has long said he watches how Young runs his program.
“You want to model after the best of the best,” he said. “I’ve always considered what they’ve done top-notch.”
Rollins knows his game at West is crucial to both teams.
“They know they need a win and we know we need a win to stay at the top of the conference,” he said. “Scott’s going to do his thing. He’ll have them ready.”
But South will be ready to showcase its new-look Raiders, too – the first-place Raiders.
•When I asked the reporter from last week’s South game for a Friday Night Hero, he quickly said Terry Brown.
Terry Brown? What number is he?
Actually, Brown is a reverend and No. 1 in the hearts of Raider fans afer his pre-game prayer last week. He finished with “But Lord, we sure could use a win.”
That’s a quote of the year.•Sharing first with South is East Rowan which goes to West Iredell tonight. The Mustangs are as high as South after breaking a three-game losing streak last week. And looking very impressive doing it. Receiver Jordan Phillips may be the most underrated player in the county. He has made some big, big plays.
•Also hitting the field is Salisbury, which had a bye week, at Carson. The Cougars have their own three-game losing streak they need to break. That will be a difficult task against Joe Pinyan’s talented Hornets.
East Montgomery comes to Spencer to face the surging North Rowan Cavaliers. A.L. Brown goes to vastly improved Central Cabarrus and Davie should make its record 5-1 against Hibriten.
•It was nice turning on the TV Saturday and watching our own “Zoomin’ Human” Romar Morris of Salisbury, run roughshod through Louisville’s defense for North Carolina, and K.P. Parks of West rambling 22 yards on his first two carries for Virginia against Georgia Tech. And seeing West’s redshirt freshman Domonique Noble make a tackle for Tech. However, it wasn’t nice watching West’s Chris Smith and the Arkansas defense get mugged by Alabama.
•On the air tonight …
• WSTP 1490 AM will broadcast the West-South clash with Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry.
• WSAT 1280 AM will broadcast Salisbury and Carson with Johnny, Mark, Glenn, Jeff and the boys.
• Make room, Howard. You’ve got company. WRNA 1140 AM, with the “Commissioner” of high school football Carl Ford, broadcasts all South games.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.
•Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.