CONCORD — If West Rowan was looking for trouble, it came to the right place Friday night.
For the first time in 11 years the Falcons lost for the second straight week, falling 28-16 at Central Cabarrus.
“This was like the perfect storm of a lot of bad things,” coach Scott Young explained after West (4-3, 2-2 SPC) fumbled away its chance to crash Central’s homecoming celebration. “It was awful. We looked unprepared. We looked under-coached. We faced a defense that surrendered 62 points last week and scored only 14 on them. Is that good?”
It’s never a good sign when your punter is your best offensive weapon. But Harrison Baucom’s 43.8 average on six punts was a highlight for the suddenly struggling Falcons.
“The defense had a good night,” said Baucom, who doubles as West’s quarterback and passed for only 58 yards. “Goodness gracious, you couldn’t ask for a better performance. The offense, on the other hand, just has to get better.”
West managed 174 yards total offense against a Central (6-1, 3-1) team that yielded nine touchdowns to league-leading Concord a week ago. The Falcons lost three fumbles and Daisean Reddick, the senior scatback who averaged 9.2 yards-per-carry over the season’s first six games, was limited to 43 yards on 22 carries.
“I was catching cramps in my side all night,” said Reddick, who nonetheless scored his ninth touchdown on a second-quarter burst. “I was drinking pickle juice on the sideline and they were still coming on. And pickle juice is nasty.”
West’s defense was far more effective, despite a rocky start. Central quarterback Hasaan Klugh — a recent Shrine Bowl selection — spiraled two touchdown passes in the opening quarter as the hosts jumped to a 14-0 lead. By halftime he had thrown for 153 yards and three TD’s.
“Our quarterback had to move around a lot more than he wanted to,” said winning coach Donnie Kiefer. “They had so much heat up front. Their guys were a lot bigger and kept getting a lot of push. We’re a lot of things, but one thing we’re not is big.”
West’s biggest push came from junior Darius Williamson, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive lineman. He made two fumble recoveries and helped shackle Central running back Kenny Purvis. “The key was to keep him contained and force him inside,” Williamson said after Purvis gained a season-low 72 yards. “He’s more dangerous if he can get outside.”
After falling behind 21-0 in the second period, West inched as close as 21-16 when Baucom capped a short-field drive with a 4-yard touchdown leap with 8:46 remaining.
“That’s a situation you live for,” he said. “Still I made some mistakes. There were overthrows and dropped balls and mistakes. That’s just how it goes.”
OAKLAND, Calif. — With the season on the line once more in Oakland, Justin Verlander pitched another Game 5 gem.... read more