Area Athletes Update: Good day for former Hornets Knox, Morris

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Area athletes update …
John Knox broke Salisbury High school records for passing and total offense and directed the Hornets to a 2AA state championship, but he started all over in college as a member of the Division II University of Charleston Golden Eagles.
The quarterback, who also excelled in basketball and baseball, got used to wearing some red at Salisbury, but that didn’t make his redshirt year in 2011, a long way from home in West Virginia, pass by any faster.
“It was difficult,” Knox said. “Because I’d gotten used to playing and I had never not played before. But a redshirt year is what you make it. I used it to learn the plays and I also got bigger, stronger and faster.”
As a redshirt freshman, Knox is No. 2 on the depth chart behind junior Maurice Leak, a fellow North Carolinian who played at Parkwood.
But Leak has battled injuries so far.
Knox was the hero for Charleston (4-1) a couple of weeks ago in a 17-14 win against Concord. Among other things, he threw a school-record 99-yard TD pass.
“You can’t ask for nothing better than a 99-yard pass,” Knox said.
Knox had a rough time on Sept. 22 when he threw a pick-six in a 16-10 loss to Shepherd, but he redeemed himself Saturday.
“It was a bounce-back game for all of us,” Knox said after a 30-10 win against Fairmont State. “We got back to playing UC football.”
Knox passed for 172 yards and two scores and his 93 net rushing yards included a 71-yard scamper.
“It’s not like I’m running the option like I did in high school,” Knox said. “But in our offense, we have some designed runs for the quarterback.”
Knox stays in touch with friends and high-profile SHS classmates Romar Morris and Darien Rankin, who already are making an impact UNC’s program.
“Romar is blocking punts now,” Knox said with a laugh. “Sure, I talk to both of them after games.”
Knox realizes his own college career is going to play out far away from the bright lights of Chapel Hill, but he’s determined to make the most of every opportunity.
“Mo Leak could be back as our quarterback next week,” Knox said. “My job is to be prepared to play and to do whatever my team needs.”
• Morris blocked another punt and rushed 12 times for 74 yards as the Tar Heels routed Idaho 66-0. He broke one 31-yard run and had a 7-yard reception. Rankin made one tackle and intercepted a pass and returned it 12 yards. Damien Washington (A.L. Brown) had a 15-yard reception for the Heels. Travis Riley (A.L. Brown) had a carry for 2 yards, but he was hurt late in the game.
• Virginia’s K.P. Parks (West Rowan) pounded out 60 rushing yards in 19 carries in a penalty-plagued loss to Louisiana Tech.
• Jamill Lott (A.L. Brown) made four tackles as Appalachian State romped over Coastal Carolina.
• Chris Smith (West) had five tackles, one for loss, plus a QB hurry, but Arkansas was pounded 58-10 by Texas A&M.
• In Western Carolina’s 45-24 loss to Furman, Shaun Warren rushed four times for 10 yards for the Catamounts. Warren had a short pass reception and ran back three kickoffs for a total of 60 yards.
• Javon Hargrave (North Rowan) made four tackles for South Carolina State as the Bulldogs shut out Norfolk State 14-0.
Division II
Ike Whitaker (Salisbury) was the leading rusher for Lenoir-Rhyne with nine carries for 68 yards in a 52-10 thumping of North Greenville.
•Zach Long (Davie) contributed four tackles to L-R’s romp.
• Quentin Sifford (West) had a good day for West Liberty in a 17-14 loss to Glenville State. Sifford, a 6-foot-1,230-pound sophomore defensive end, had two tackles for loss, including a sack.
• One of the stories in UNC Pembroke’s 27-20 win against Catawba was UNCP QB Jonathan Efird (A.L. Brown), whose career has been a testimony to hanging in there.
Efird’s feats at Brown included a 325-yard passing game against Charlotte Catholic and a five-TD pass game against Parkwood. His last football season at Brown was 2007 and he was an East-West All-Star, but he started for the first time in college on Saturday.
His college career began as a walkon at Western Carolina, and he was out of football for a year before resurfacing at UNC Pembroke. He’s classified as a junior as far as football eligibility. He threw for 130 yards against Catawba. Three of his completions went to Ben DeCelle (East Rowan).
Cadarreus Mason (South Rowan) made a big play for UNCP when he forced a fumble with a hit on Catawba freshman Xavier Bond and stopped a drive.
Catawba QB B.J. Sherrill (West) had a monumental day in the loss. His 371 passing yards ranks seventh all-time in the program. He also threw two TD passes.
Trey Mashore (West) returned a punt 6 yards and made a special-teams tackle for Catawba. Joe Watson (Davie) caught two of Sherrill’s passes for 14 yards. Watson also returned a kickoff 17 yards.
Frankie Cardelle (Salisbury), who is also a goalkeeper for the soccer team, boomed four kickoffs for an average of 60.2 yards for the Indians.
Division III
Zack Grkman (Carson) broke up a pass and made four tackles in Averett’s 49-28 loss to Ferrum. True freshman linebacker T.J. Smith (Carson) made seven tackles for Averett, one for loss. Dontae Gilbert (Carson) had a pass breakup. Hobie Proctor (West) averaged 45 yards on three kickoffs. Daniel Rodriguuez (Carson) saw action on the offensive line for Averett.
• In a 42-21 loss to Washington & Lee, Guilford’s Adam Smith (Davie) caught four passes for 30 yards and returned a kickoff 24 yards.
• Emory & Henry’s Matt Turchin (West) kicked a 32-yard field goal and a PAT and handled kickoff duties in a 22-10 loss to Randolph-Macon. He is the Wasps’ senior kicker.