Tucker’s pick-6 harkens to similar one in 1959
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 24, 2013
Prep football notebook …
In the strange but true category, the first and last touchdowns in West Rowan history were scored on pick-6s by guys named Tucker.
Larry Tucker’s 60-yard interception return TD against Mount Pleasant in Week 2 of the 1959 football season provided the first points in West history and keyed a 7-6 victory that was the first of the 310 wins the Falcons have recorded.
Safety Najee Tucker’s interception return against East Rowan on Friday capped a 34-17 win over the Mustangs.
DAILY DOUBLE: West coach Scott Young praised strong safety Zeke Blackwood for making a rare play against East’s option.
“Zeke took two guys on one play,” Young said. “He made the quarterback (Samuel Wyrick) pitch it, and then he tackled the pitch man (Jake Boltz). We haven’t had anyone make that play here since Chris Smith.”
Blackwood had two tackles for loss.
TOOKIE TIME: West defensive back Quameak Lewis is “Tookie” to his teammates and coaches for unexplained reasons.
He had a big play in the East game that led to Anthony Pharr’s interception return for a touchdown.
“Tookie tipped that ball and then he made the block on Seth Wyrick that got Pharr to the end zone,” defensive coordinator Lee Linville said.
FUMBLES: Lineman Darius Williamson recovered his county-best fourth fumble on Friday. Linebacker Nick Collins collected his third.
RED LETTER NIGHT: Tailback Daisean Reddick rebounded from a quiet game against Central Cabarrus to post 141 rushing yards against the Mustangs. Reddick broke runs of 49, 24 and 18 yards.
Chris Hassard, healthy after missing the Carson game, keyed West’s blocking.
OTTO-MATIC: Kacey Otto’s brief appearance at QB produced a 27-yard TD pass to Darius Gabriel.
“Happy for Otto, and Gabriel made a real tough run to get to the end zone,” Young said. “That play let us grab all the momentum back before halftime.”
While West scored 34 points against East, that figure was misleading. Interception returns accounted for 14 West points.
East’s defense actually held West below its season averages for both rushing and passing.
East had one sack of West QB Harrison Baucom and stopped Reddick in the backfield for losses six times.
Bryant Godsey provided a spark for East’s defense, just as he did against Carson.
“If he makes a mistake, he’s going to make it going 100 miles an hour,” East coach Danny Misenheimer said.
Godsey, Michael Collins, Bradley Newsome and Cody Hiatt had stops for loss. Robert Barringer and Marcus Warren recovered fumbles.
“The defense played well,” Misenheimer said. “But we didn’t play a complete game.”
BUSINESS AS USUAL: There was some extracurricular physical activity in the aftermath of the East-West game, but the programs moved on and played their rescheduled jayvee game on Monday.
NEW FOE: East (3-5, 2-4) steps outside the league to play Ledford, in the rural Davidson County community of Wallburg, on Friday. It’ll be the first meeting of the programs. Ledford is the school that produced NFL fullbacks Brad Hoover and Madison Hedgecock.
Jon Mark Petty caught two passes for 52 yards in Salisbury’s 25-21 win against Lexington.
Petty had a 17-yard TD catch from Riley Myers in the second quarter to put Salisbury up 18-7.
“We didn’t throw it that much, but the balls that we did catch seemed to be first downs or completely flipped field position,” Salisbury coach Ryan Crowder said.
SHOUTOUTS: Malik Wilson was credited with a solid game on the offensive line. Defensive back Dontae Gaston grabbed a clutch interception in the end zone.
RHODES WARRIOR: Tim Rhodes carried the ball 12 times for 99 yards and reached the end zone twice. Myers, Salisbury’s leading rusher with 323 yards this year, had 11 carries for 85 yard. Willie Clark scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Hornets (1-7, 1-1 CCC) on a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter.
JUMP AROUND: Salisbury clinched the game by forcing Lexington to jump offsides on fourth-and-3 from the Lexington 13-yard line with 1:03 left.
“We told them to go out there and make the calls like we would normally make but we’re not running a play,” Crowder said. “We went through everything just like it was a play. Riley [Myers] even went through an audible like we were really running one.”
RIVAL: Salisbury faces Thomasville on Friday at Ludwig Stadium with an eventful recent history. Salisbury won a wild one last year on a hook-and-ladder from Brian Bauk to Petty to Justin Ruffin with 4.1 seconds left. In 2011, the Bulldogs won on a 80-yard reception by Shaquan Johnson with 20 seconds left. The home team has won the last five meetings.
Obviously North Rowan’s high-powered offense, which put up 570 yards, got most of the attention in Friday’s 53-12 win at West Davidson.
Receivers Cameron Sifford (3 catches, 142 yards, two TDs) and Darrell Taylor (5 catches, 128 yards, 1 TD) had career games.
Sakil Harrison, usually North’s leading pass-catcher, chipped in with 77 yards.
DEFENSE: North’s defense owns zero shutouts, but it’s also allowed more than 16 points only once (the 39-33 win against Statesville).
Kasaun Coney intercepted a pass for the second straight week and returned it from the end zone to midfield, although a penalty negated most of the return.
Coach Joe Nixon praised defensive end Shane Parker, interior defensive lineman Wesley Jefferies and linebackers Dylan Riley and Jaquan Boyd for their work against the Green Dragons.
North’s defensive numbers are slightly better than in 2012 when the Cavaliers allowed 15.5 points per game.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mike Robinson blocked a PAT Friday, while Xavier Robinson recovered a pooch kickw for the Cavaliers (8-0, 2-0 CCC).
Tyrese Paul intercepted a tipped pass for his third interception of the season in the 35-8 loss to Concord. That ties him for the county lead.
MILESTONE: Carson fullback Tommy Dang went over 200 yards for the season against Concord.
PROGRESS: Concord limited Brandon Sloop to 52 yards on nine carries, while Austin McNeill passed for 64 yards.
Sloop is now 30 yards away from 3,000 for his career. Sloop passed former Salisbury star Justin Ruffin for 13th on the all-time county list on Friday.
McNeill needs 79 yards to break Zack Gragg’s school record of 3,480 passing yards.
ODD NUMBER: Carson has been outscored for the season 181-179, but the Cougars have still managed to carve out a 5-3 record.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Carson’s losses are to North Rowan, Concord and Central Cabarrus, teams with a combined 23-1 record.
The lone loss for that trio was Central’s high-scoring setback against Concord.
GOOD JOB: A nice punt by Heath Mitchem pinned Concord on the 2-yard line and led to the safety that put Carson ahead 2-0.
GOOD FIGHT: Carson coach Joe Pinyan felt his team did a lot of things right against Concord.
“Sloop and Tyler Reynolds ran the ball well in the second half,” he said. “Our defensive front (Ryan Bearden, Tonny Dang, Alex Lyles) did a very good job, and Myquon Stout played well at linebacker. We contained (Concord back) Rocky Reid most of the night. He just hit a couple of big plays on us.”
There wasn’t much good news from South’s 62-0 SPC loss to Central Cabarrus last Friday unless you’re a fan of Central defensive coordinator Daniel Crosby, a South graduate.
It was the most lopsided loss in school history, replacing the 66-7 loss to West Rowan in 2010.
The most points allowed by a South team is still 66 — that 2010 West game and the 66-31 loss to Central in 2012.
It’s hard to imagine, but South’s 1978 SPC championship team allowed 56 points — for the season. That school record over an 11-game season appears safe for a while.
NEW FOE: South (0-8, 0-6) plays at Hickory Ridge for the first time — in football, at least — on Friday.
STILL FIGHTING: Derrick Blackwell rushed for 44 yards Friday and has 577 for the season to rank among the county leaders. He’s managed those yards in seven outings. He missed the Northwest Cabarrus game.
A.L. Brown coach Mike Newsome had high praise for the Wonders’ defense after a 14-0 loss to Cornelius Hough.
Middle linebacker Kyrell Williamson, DB Kenon Jones and defensive lineman Kendall Holmes stood out for the Wonders.
“Our defense couldn’t have done any more, but we’ve got to help them out some on offense,” Newsome said. “We stopped Hough’s passing game and we really limited their running game.”
The Wonders (6-2, 3-1 MECKA) ran as many plays as Hough and held the high-powered Huskies to 220 yards of offense.
The biggest obstacles for the Wonders were two interceptions and facing a long field on every possession.
“Hough’s kicking game hurt us,” Newsome said. “They put their kickoffs in the end zone and their punter pinned us deep three times. Field position killed us.”
In a 15-10 loss to seventh-ranked West Forsyth, Davie (2-6, 0-3 CPC) turned in its best defensive effort. A key was moving Corvann Peebles and Alex Gobble from linebacker to defensive line.
“We went back to a defense we did in the past,” Davie coach Devore Holman said. “I think it makes our team better.”
Mike London, Ryan Bisesi, Marny Hendrick and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.