Coney enjoying North’s ascent
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2013
SPENCER — North Rowan’s record in the standings reads 3-0 but the path the Cavaliers have taken includes a few back roads to get there.
The sixth-ranked team in the state in the 2A classification, North is acclimating well to high expectations, best illustrated in a come-from-behind 39-33 victory at Statesville last week. The Cavaliers fell two touchdowns behind early but rallied to stay unbeaten headed into this week’s showdown with 4A Davie County.
Quarterback Alexis Archie went down in Week 2 against Carson with an arm injury that will cost him several games. However, the Cavaliers haven’t wilted without their returning junior quarterback. While other teams have their offenses crippled from such a loss, Kasaun Coney, a returning all-county player who scored three special teams touchdowns and intercepted six passes last season, has been a pivotal part of the Cavaliers’ uprising. The Cavs ran for 294 yards in Friday’s win, 100 of which came from Coney, a familiar cog in the green and gold machine. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Mr. Everything for the Cavs says things are the best they’ve been in a while at Eagle Stadium in coach Joe Nixon’s second year.
“We’re feeling real good about ourselves ,” said Coney before practice Tuesday. “We’ve had some success and it’s come from hard work.”
North has dodged a couple bullets to become an efficient offense, scoring 33, 34 and 39 points in the first three games.
Adversity came to North again in the form of a 14-0 first-half deficit against the Greyhounds and the Cavs never led until the final seven seconds when quarterback Jareke Chambers scored his fourth touchdown of the night.
“Kasuan had a big night running the ball,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “He works hard and is a great kid.”
With Chambers behind center, Coney has stepped in at tailback and North hasn’t missed a beat.
“I’m not anxious to get a lot of carries, but if I get in, I give it my all,” Coney said.
Teammate Raekwon Wynruit is Coney’s brother and Kenyon Coney is a cousin, keeping the “family” spirit that North adopted as a team slogan last year.
Coney reached 100 yards on 17 carries, and went for a 55-yard run to set North up in the red zone.
“I remember Coach Nixon telling me afterwords, ‘You gotta score on those type of runs,’ ” Coney said.
North trailed 14-0 after one quarter but rallied to within 20-13 at halftime. Chambers scored in the waning seconds of the first half to pull the Cavs within a score. Coney scored on a 12-yard run in the second quarter to put North on the board.
“For Jareke to come from halfback to quarterback and done what’s he’s done is real good,” Coney said.
Coney was invaluable in Friday’s game, playing every defensive snap in the secondary and being in on all the special teams plays. The Cavs will need a similar effort Friday against Davie County. North hasn’t played Davie since 1984 and hasn’t played a 4A school since South Rowan in 2005.
“I believe if we go out there and play like we know we can, we’ll win,” Coney said.