Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013
GRANITE QUARRY — Seth Wyrick remembers it vividly.
The East Rowan wide receiver was the recipient of a 82-yard touchdown pass from brother Sam that welcomed East Rowan back into contention last year against Salisbury. The Mustangs wowed everybody by knocking off a 2A power in their first game off a one-win season. The Wyrick brothers, in their first varsity game, helped pull the stunner of opening night and put East over the top.
So Friday’s 32-0 romp against Salisbury wasn’t as surprising.
Wyrick was back killing the Hornets’ buzz on the first play of the game, a halfback pass from Max Wall that was well executed and gave East the lead for good. Salisbury drove to the red zone on the first drive of the game, but East recovered a fumble and capitalized on an 86-yard reception by the junior receiver.
“It was sort of like deja vu for me,” Wyrick said. “I kept remembering what that play did for our season last year.”
Wyrick, who has a county-best 232 yards receiving after two games, caught two touchdown passes Friday to give him four for the season, tops for Rowan receivers. Wyrick is 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than last year after time in the weight room and a few protein shakes. That’s in line with East’s theme of progress. Last season was a memorable 8-5 that included a run to the third round of the playoffs and a win against West Rowan.
But that was last year.
“We’re trying to forget last year,” Wyrick said. “It’s great, but our goal is to get that ring.”
Wyrick already has more than half of his receiving total from 2012, when he had 402. The Mustangs recovered from a 33-16 loss to North Rowan in Week 1 by recovering five Salisbury fumbles.
East doesn’t throw it a ton, so being able to block is crucial for receivers in coach Danny Misenheimer’s veer offense. That means less finesse and more elbow grease.
“You just really sell the block and make sure the defender goes down and you’re wide open basically,” Wyrick said. “We take pride in our blocking.”
Wall threw a perfect strike to Wyrick, who was wide open along the sideline.
“He was the quarterback in middle school, so we knew he had a good arm,” Wyrick said. “We used that to our advantage.”
Later in the game, he scored on a screen pass from 11 yards out, to give him four TDs after scoring five times the entire season last year.
He’s stepped up his work ethic,” Misenheimer said. “He’s doing much better with blocking this year. You can tell he’s buying into the system.”
The Mustangs are off this week and will try to see some of Cox Mill in action Friday night. East’s first Southern Piedmont Conference game is at Cox Mill next Friday.
“It’ll be weird Friday night not playing,” Wyrick said. “We just have to have the mindset going into Cox Mill to get the win.”