Prep Football: West Rowan 42, Carson 0
By Mike London
CHINA GROVE – All Carson needs to do get even in its seven-year series with West Rowan is to score 267 unanswered points.
West won 42-0 in the NPC contest on Friday. It was the fourth time the Falcons have shut out the Cougars, and they’ve pounded Carson 309-42 in the all-time series.
West (8-2, 3-2) needed to beat Carson (3-7, 2-3) to secure third place and did so. It likely was West’s most complete performance in a league game.
“We’re still getting better,” West coach Scott Young said. “And as long as you keep improving, you’ve got a chance to keep playing.”
West’s defense logged its second straight shutout, and the Falcons have allowed more than 14 points only twice.
“The coaches set high goals for us each week and we’re meeting them,” linebacker Nick Collins said. “We’re getting shutouts because we’re defending the pass better,”
West rushed for 409 yards, and that figure would’ve been close to 600 had Daisean Reddick not lost three huge gallops- two to flags and one to a disputed ruling that he stepped out of bounds early on on a merry jaunt. He swears that even the toes of his pink shoes never touched the sideline chalk.
“Penalties were killing us,” West guard Brandon Hansen said. “But we kept our heads. We kept playing and just kept powering down the field.”
Reddick settled for 173 yards on 17 carries, so he was only West’s second-leading rusher. Desmond Jackson’s 14-carry, 226-yard, career night includes dashes of 45, 57 and 68 yards for TDs. Reddick also found the end zone three times.
“Our offensive line was very good and they were able to block (Myquon) Stout,” Reddick said. “That’s why we were able to break all those long runs.”
Carson coach Mark Woody said the film shows West making strides each week, and his team was overpowered on both sides of the ball.
“Scott is no dummy and West has gotten back to doing what it does so well,” Woody said. “That’s run the ball hard and play great defense. Their backs are good, and I was just tremendously impressed with their linebackers (Logan Stoodley and Bubba McLaughlin). Sometimes we couldn’t block either one. Sometimes we got one blocked, but the other one got us. They were running through blockers like college linebackers.”
West had five sacks of Carson QB Austin McNeill, including four in the first half when it still mattered. Stoodley had two of those, and McLaughlin, Teoz Mauney and Kiero Cuthbertson had one apiece.
West owns the county’s top defense. Carson managed 87 net yards on the ground only because Brandon Sloop fought like a pitbull for 82 on 24 carries, and because newcomer Tyler Reynolds broke one play for 28 yards in the fourth quarter.
Carson had West in a third-and-10 situation on its first offensive possession, but Jackson ran 14 yards for a first down, and Reddick scored his first TD moments later.
West faced second-and-13 on its second possession, but Jackson’s 57-yard run and Zack Russell’s conversion made it 14-0.
With Carson down 21-0 late in the half, McNeill hit K.J. Pressley with a pass, and Pressley eluded tacklers on a 61-yard ramble to the West 6. But McNeill was sacked by Mauney on second down, and West held.
“We held them out there, and I thought that was the biggest point in the game,” said Young, who secured career victory No. 156.
When Jackson broke a long TD run on the second snap of the second half it was over.
“West is very good and they’re really physical,” Carson DB Ben Gragg said. “A football game can turn in an instant. One score might’ve turned some momentum our way, but we never could get it.”