CONCORD — East Rowan led through four quarters and shut down the Northwest Cabarrus run game to score an important win on the road Friday night.
The 42-14 victory over the Trojans came after an opening quarter in which neither team scored, and the Mustangs lost the first of two fumbles.
East got the ball back at the end of the quarter, putting the first points on the board just eight seconds into the second period.
After that, they never looked back. East scored two touchdowns each quarter for the rest of the game, and held Northwest Cabarrus to under 100 yards rushing on 41 carries.
East Rowan Coach Danny Misenheimer called it “a much-needed (win) for our guys.”
Misenheimer said his team “had a rough week of practice” following last week’s loss at Hickory Ridge, “but came together tonight.”
Junior quarterback Samuel Wyrick completed 10 of 19 for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
“We knew we had to get a win here,” Wyrick said.
An interception midway through the third quarter, on a long, high pass downfield, was the biggest blemish on his night.
“Got to stop forcing throws,” Wyrick said, asked what he’d change to be ready for next week’s match at home against West Rowan. “If they’re not there, don’t force ‘em, don’t try to do anything special.”
Misenheimer said the Mustangs were able to shut down Northwest Cabarrus’ run game after reviewing film last week. “We had pressure on them all night,” he said.
In the final quarter, Northwest Cabarrus quarterback Brandon White was sacked twice, and the team had only 52 yards total offense.
Penalties were a big factor for both teams. Altogether, the refs threw the flag 16 times, including a nearly five-minute stoppage in the first quarter while the officials conferred about offsetting penalties.
“We knew it was happening, we tried to talk to officials,” Misenheimer said of the Mustangs’ six penalties for 55 yards.
Northwest Cabarrus was flagged 10 times for 100 yards.
The game stopped again for 15 minutes in the fourth quarter as medics treated a Northwest Cabarrus cheerleader injured on the sidelines during a stunt.
East Rowan advances to 3-4 overall, 2-3 in the conference.
Northwest Cabarrus took just their second loss of the year, dropping to 5-2 and 2-2 in the conference.
Both coach and quarterback were looking ahead to next week’s home game against West Rowan.
“You know they’re going to be ready to play after last year,” Misenheimer said – a loss to the Mustangs that ended the Falcons’ longtime winning streak.
“Everything we did tonight worked,” Wyrick said. “We’re going to stick to the game plan.”
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