Prep Football Notebook: Week 9
From staff reports
Calvin Edwards rushed for 200 yards in just 10 carries in a 47-14 win against South Rowan and has 1,050 rushing yards for the season.
It was only the 10th 200-rushing game in East history. Cal Hayes Jr. (four times) and Thomas Lowe (twice) accounted for six of the 10. James Forney, Jerry Sifford and David Dowd enjoyed one apiece.
Edwards is the first Mustang to top 1,000 yards in a season since Lowe in 2007 and he’s bidding to become East’s first county rushing leader since 1998 when Thomas Hendrickson won the title.
It’s been a remarkable junior year for Edwards, who had 370 yards as a varsity sophomore in 2011.
Edwards had minus-2 rushing yards against Statevile in 14 attempts last year. He’ll be looking to do better when the Mustangs travel to Greyhound Hollow on Friday in a game that will decide the NPC championship.•HILL THE THRILL: East junior Austin Hill is having a great season and has shined in East’s county games.
Hill made four more tackles for loss against South, including one of the Mustangs’ two sacks.
“He’s having a tremendous year,” East coach Danny Misenheimer said.
South coach Jason Rollins praised East linebacker Tyler L’Hommedieu as the county’s top defensive player during a pregame radio interview, and L’Hommedieu turned in another solid outing. He had two tackles for loss, including a shared sack, and he also deflected a pass.
Robert Barringer made his presence felt twice with hits in the South backfield, T.J. Jefferson recovered an errant shotgun snap. Dalton Bost and Dalton Moose had interceptions.•STOP THE RUN: East shut down South’s running game right from the start.
South faced a third-and-3 situation on its 25 on its first possession. Jefferson and L’Hommedieu buried a run by Anthony Hester for a loss of 2 yards and forced a punt.
South was held to 30 rushing yards on the night. Take away Drew Glenn’s 30-yard dash with a faked punt, and the Raiders basically got nothing on the ground.•NOT PERFECT: While East’s pass defense numbers were inflated by a 78-yard South TD late in the game, Misenheimer was concerned with how often South was able to hit its top receiver Josh Medlin. South had 237 passing yards, the second-highest total East has allowed this year. East yielded 240 aerial yards in a loss to Hickory Ridge.
“We gave up way too many passing yards,” Misenheimer said. “We’ve got to do better in that area against Statesville.”
West pitched its first shutout of the sesaon in a 42-0 win against North Iredell.
“You want to give the defense a shoutout,” Young said. “We were pleased with that overall effort.”
Young credited defenders Teoz Mooney, Najee Tucker and Logan Stoodley as having good games.•OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: It was one of West’s biggest offensive outputs with 422 yards of offense. The Falcons had a season-high 315 rushing yards.•TURNOVERS: Young wasn’t shy about being irked by the four turnovers the Falcons committed Friday, a no-no for teams used to deep playoff runs.
“You don’t want to be a Debbie Downer after a 42-0 homecoming victory,” Young said. “But at the same time if we have four turnovers in a playoff game, we’re putting up our stuff for good.”•THROWING IT AROUND: Quarterback Tyler Stamp threw for 107 yards.
We know that there will be a time and a place where we’ll have to throw and win,” Young said. “It’s important to work on it in game situations.”
Salisbury had played one less game than everyone else in the county at this point, which skews the Hornets’ stats somewhat.
Still, Justin Ruffin (826), Brian Bauk (632) and Max Allen (560) went over 2,000 rushing yards as a trio for the season in Friday’s 37-25 win against Lexington.
A fourth impressive rusher, fullback Keion Adams, actually led the Hornets with 93 yards against Lexington. It’s the first time the fullback/linebacker has been the leading rusher.•NEARING MILESTONE: Ruffin, who averages 10-plus yards per carry, should reach 2,000 career rushing yards early in Friday’s game with Thomasville.
He’s had an outstanding career with 230 carries for 1,985 yards and his 39 career TDs include nine scores on receptions and one on a kickoff return.•COUNTY LEADER: Cornerback Rasean Bledsoe recovered his third fumble on Friday and is tied for the county lead.•LAW OF AVERAGES: Sometimes the numbers don’t lie. Salisbury came into the Lexington game averaging exactly 37 points per game and produced an “average” offensive outing.
Tailback Jareke Chambers had to step in for Alexis Archie at quarterback in North Rowan’s 35-6 win over Chatham Central.
He acted like a tailback, running for 140 yards on 16 carries. He only passed three times.
“He’s a whole lot better of a runner than a thrower,” Cavalieers coach Joe Nixon chuckled.
Archie was banged up in the Albemarle game a week earlier and Nixon rested him. He should be back this week when North plays host to West Montgomery.•PRICE IS RIGHT: All of the running backs did well as North racked up 366 yards on the ground. That includes fullback Denzel Price, who needed just five carries to run for 106 yards. Fifty-seven yards came on one fourth-quarter jaunt.
“He played tailback some,” Nixon said. “He does a good job when he gets the ball.”•5-FOR-5: The biggest news was that Trae Clark was perfect on five PATs. Kicking has rarely been a strong suit of North. But how did Clark, a sophomore, get the job?
“He told me he could kick and I said, ‘Let’s see,'” Nixon recalled. “He’s a straight on kickball-style kicker. And they were solid kicks.”•DEFENSE: Nixon praised the usual Cavalier defenders like Xavier Robinson, but he was really impressed with nose guard Matt Tucker.
“He had a good, solid game,” Nixon said of the 5-11, 195-pounder. “He’s a big, physical kid. His motor is running all the time.”
Cougars coach Mark Woody said the tight end is open a lot in high school football, but it’s just a matter of getting the quarterback to throw it to him. In Carson’s 36-28 win at West Iredell, Austin McNeill found Greg Tonnesen and good things happened. Tonnesen had three catches for 50 yards.
“Greg had a couple of really big plays,” Woody said. “One of his catches was on a tipped ball that went for the first down.”•FIELD GENERAL: Carson proved McNeill doesn’t need a 300-yard passing game to be effective. He was 7-for-9 for 115 yards on Friday and Woody said it was one of his best games.
“That’s the kind of game I want,” Woody said. “Everybody talks about 300-yard games, but that’s not good for us. Austin led the game.”•CLUTCH PLAYS: Two big things happened when West Iredell cut the lead to 29-28 with eight minutes left.
First, the two-point conversion was stopped thanks to Kaz Ivanov and Tonny Dang, among others.
Second, Carson took a drive downfield to sew up the game on a Brandon Sloop score.
“Our offensive line really took over,” Woody said, pointing to Devon Peacock, Trei Cunningham, Cody Rodriguez and C.J. Cain.•DANGEROUS DANGS: Carson’s Dangs, Tommy and Tonny, are both juniors, and while they’re brothers, but they aren’t twins.
Tonny is the bigger and older of the two.
Friday was a good night for the Dangs.
Tommy, a fullback, scored his first TD of the season on a short plunge.
Tonny, a defensive end, had a fourth-quarter sack for a loss of 8 yards in addition to helping stop that key two-point conversion.
Baseball standout Tyler Fuller scored his first touchdown of the season for the Raiders, grabbing a short pass from Aaron Kennerly and turning it into a 78-yard TD down the South sideline with 2:54 left in the game.
“That was all Tyler,” Kennerly said. “I threw it 1 yard and he runs it 70-something.”•GOOD START: Kennerly has impressed everyone so far as South’s quarterback.
He’s played pieces of three games and two full ones, and he’s already thrown for 706 yards and nine touchdowns.
In a 47-14 loss to East Rowan, Kennerly completed 16 passess for 237 yards. That total was just 5 yards short of the school record of 242 that Charles Sherrill produced against Northwest Cabarrus in 1997.
Still, Kennerly wasn’t satisfied.
“We just had too many turnovers,” he said. “East has a good, smart defense, and you can’t beat them turning the ball over three times. They run back the opening kickoff and we give them three touchdowns off turnovers and that’s 24 points right there.”•MEDLIN UPDATE: Standout tight end Josh Medlin hasn’t missed a beat with the change in QBs from injured Nathan Lambert to Kennerly. Remarkably, he has caught a touchdown pass in seven straight games. He has eight receiving TDs (he had two against West Iredell) and is tied with Carson’s K.J. Pressley for the county lead in that department.•DEFENSE: South’s defense has struggled and is allowing 40-plus points a game, but defensive end Devin Mason and linebacker Christian Neal performed well on Friday. Linebacker Lucas Kincaid made a play to stop East’s first possession. Linebacker Ryan Bringle made his second fumble recovery of the season.•REST: South is playing another 10-game season and is off Friday. The Raiders will finish at home against Statesville on Oct. 26.
A.L. Brown’s 63-42 loss to Hickory Ridge means the Wonders puts a streak of conference championships in jeopardy. Starting in 2007, Brown has at least shared the SPC title every season. Of course, it’s not out of the question for Concord to beat Hickory Ridge and for the Wonders to beat Concord and share another crown. Hickory Ridge also plays a dangerous Central Cabarrus team to close the regular season.•BAD NEWS: The 63 points allowed by the Wonders appear to be a school record. The Wonders lost 56-17 to South Point in 2002, but no one appears to have ever topped 60 on them.•GOOD NEWS: Shrine Bowler Kalif Phillips returned to duty after missing two full weeks with a toe injury and was tremendous, with 214 rushing yards and 94 receiving yards. A great blocker as well as receiver and runner, some in the Wonder camp believe he’s the program’s finest player since Nick Maddox in the 1990s.
Also, Andrew Ramirez threw for 154 yards in his first start as quarterback. He’s the guy the rest of the way with Keenan Medley injured.
Davie’s 24-7 CPC victory against Mount Tabor was a curse-breaker. Mount Tabor has long been the thorn for Davie in the CPC and had beaten the War Eagles eight out of nine and 15 out of 18.•DAZZLING DEFENDER: Lineman Jamal Lackey is the dominant defender for Davie’s suffocating defense that has yet to allow more than 14 points in a game. Lackey has a team-high 89 tackles, 14 for loss. Kyle Bullins is second in tackles for loss with six.•HELPING OUT: Davie’s Doug Illing is on this year’s Shrine Bowl coaching staff.
Salisbury’s Ruffin, East running back Madison Hedrick and West tight end Jack Gallagher have been voted by their student bodies as their school’s Homecoming kings this fall.
North Rowan’s homecoming is Friday.•Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Ryan Bisesi and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.
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