Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2013

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan linebacker Dock Corpening sounded dazzled and dazed, just like everyone else wearing red.
“I was covering a receiver, and I look up to my right, and there goes Rocky Reid down the sideline,” Corpening said. “That’s one heck of a running back, probably a 2,000-yard rusher. Once he gets to that second level, once he’s got a step on you … well, that’s a wrap. You’re not going to catch him.”
The 89-yard jaunt by Reid, Concord’s great running back, came early when both teams were just getting settled in. A good East punt had pinned the Spiders back at their 5, but two plays later, Reid, with the help of several solid blocks, turned a football game into a track meet that he was going to win.
“I don’t really even know what happened,” East coach Danny Misenheimer said. “Our kids were little flat coming out, and then — bang! It got pretty out of hand pretty quick.”
Reid would roll for 290 yards and four TDs in a 55-28 Concord victory, and in the wake of his first blinding score, East got a 15-yard personal foul that was assessed on the kickoff. That made it an easy call for Concord coach Glen Padgett to try an onsides kick. His guys executed and recovered at the East 33.
Reid was still catching his breath, so Terry Cassell took the next handoff. He steamed left, didn’t encounter any linebackers, and took it to the house for the first of his three TDs.
“We ran exactly the same play that Reid ran, a scheme that we run against an odd front, and we blocked well,” Padgett said.
Concord (5-0, 3-0 SPC) had scored two touchdowns in 10 seconds, and East (2-3, 1-2), as badly as it wanted payback for last season’s bitter playoff loss, was on the wrong side of a momentum snowball.
“It wasn’t any one thing — just a lot of little things that broke down.” Misenheimer said. “It wasn’t a talent issue or a heart issue. We just got a little starry-eyed, and we stopped believing in ourselves for a while.”
It got worse before it got better. Concord QB Keenan Black hit wide-open tight end Jerry Burk with a 10-yard toss to make it 21-0 early in the second quarter.
That forced East into desperation mode, and a minute later the Mustangs were going for it on fourth-and-1 at their 32. Jamarion Smith made the stop for the Spiders short of the sticks.
Reid scored on the next snap to make it 28-0.
When East gave Concord a short field with a short punt, it quickly became 35-0, with 5:22 still to play before halftime, and it looked like the Spiders might set records.
“We know we’re capable of doing things better than we did tonight,” East QB Samuel Wyrick said. “We know we can run the ball and we know we can play good defense. Concord just came out really hot and those guys did a great job.”
East scored before halftime on a short run by Jake Boltz. That finally changed momentum some.
Wyrick had a big second half, throwing long TD passes to Noah Drye, Donte Means and Max Wall to make things respectable. Wyrick had 216 of his 224 passing yards after halftime.
Wyrick’s long connection to Means came on a nothing-to-lose, fourth-and-3 play from the East 24 late in the third quarter, and Salvador Sanchez’s PAT lifted the Mustangs within 35-21.
“I didn’t throw a good ball, but Donte helped me out with a great play,” Wyrick said.
East fans started thinking miracle comeback as Means raced toward the end zone, but Reid had seen enough. His 30-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter sealed it for the Spiders.
“We didn’t practice well last week, but we had a lot of focus and good practices all this week because we knew how hungry East was going to be for this game,” Padgett said. “Your play like you practice, and we played an excellent game and beat an excellent team. East is good. They’ll make some noise.”