Prep football previews …
Concord (8-0, 6-0 SPC) at West Rowan (5-3, 3-2 SPC)
Back in 1998, Scott Young coached his first game at West Rowan and the opposition was provided by a Salisbury team coached by Glen Padgett.
West won an ugly 14-7 struggle between two weak teams that would combine for four wins and 18 losses. But Young and Padgett both have moved up in the world.
That Salisbury game was Young’s first win. He now has 163, second all-time in Rowan County.
Padgett won only once in his lone season at Salisbury, but things got better for him at Northwest Cabarrus, North Meck and now Concord.
This game will be Padgett’s 200th as a head coach. His record is 119-80.
Ranked sixth in 3A, Concord is a powerful team. Padgett’s offense is fueled by back Rocky Reid, who runs with speed and power and can go 90 yards in a heartbeat. Reid has rushed 211 times for 1,962 yards and has scored 23 touchdowns.
Concord throws it enough to keep defenses honest and has put the ball in the end zone 11 times through the air.
West will throw everything it has into stopping the run. That’s who the Falcons are and that’s what they do. They’ll slow down Reid and they may even stop him with their two outstanding safeties, but Concord will have the opportunity to hit some big pass plays.
Concord’s defense isn’t fantastic, but it’s very good, especially linebackers Jerry Burk and Logan Sedergren. West won’t be able to run the ball as efficiently as it usually does, so Harrison Baucom has to have a big game throwing the ball for West to have a chance.
West and Concord clash for the first time as conference foes since 2000, but they’ve met three straight years in the 3A playoffs. West won in 2010 and 2011. Concord won 55-30 at home last year.
Young is 3-3 against Concord. West is 4-12 against the Spiders.
NW Cabarrus (5-3, 2-3 SPC) at Carson (5-3, 3-2 SPC)
Northwest started strong but back-to-back losses to East Rowan and Hickory Ridge have knocked the Trojans into a tie for fifth in the SPC and the Trojans still have Concord and Central Cabarrus in their future.
Concord stopped Carson’s three-game winning streak last week, but the Cougars are ready to start another one.
Carson has lost only to powerhouses — Concord, Central and North Rowan.
Carson QB Austin McNeill needs 79 passing yards to break Zack Gragg’s school record. Carson junior Brandon Sloop needs 30 rushing yards for 3,000 for his career.
Northwest’s best players go both ways, and that should be an advantage for the Cougars in the second half.
Northwest leads the all-time series 4-1. Carson’s win was 28-13 last season. Sloop rushed 30 times for 159 yards in that one.
East Davidson (6-2, 1-1 CCC) at North Rowan (8-0, 6-0 CCC)
North has matched last season’s victory total and will surpass it tonight unless something amazing happens. North coach Joe Nixon has been impressed by his young team’s focus. If the Cavaliers are excited about playing tonight, they’ll be hard to beat at home.
North’s Alexis Archie threw for 361 yards last week, one of the top games in county history.
North also rushed for more than 200 yards a week ago. Jareke Chambers is the county’s leading rusher with 1,122 yards and averages 7.5 yards per carry.
Linebacker Xavier Robinson leads a defense that has been the county’s best.
North has held four straight opponents under 100 rushing yards, so East Davidson is expected to throw early and often.
East Davidson’s Austin Wallace passed for 310 yards in the Golden Eagles’ 33-32 CCC win against Salisbury, but he was stymied by Thomasville last week.
Thomasville (3-5, 2-0 CCC at Salisbury (1-7, 1-1 CCC)
Both teams were overscheduled early, but the Bulldogs, as they always seem to do, are winning their games against 2A opponents. Salisbury also is improving.
Thomasville beat East Davidson more easily than expected last week, getting 143 rushing yards from Demoris Payne and pitching a shutout on defense.
Salisbury QB Riley Myers missed one game with injury, but he’s thrown for 740 yards and rushed for 323.
Clint Comadoll leads Salisbury’s defense, which has improved its numbers since early-season disasters.
Historically, it’s been an incredible series. In the 33 meetings since 1930, Thomasville holds a 17-15-1 advantage. The schools split their postseason meetings in 1973, 1974, 1995 and 2011.
South Rowan (0-8, 0-6 SPC) at Hickory Ridge (3-5, 2-3 SPC)
South, which opened in 1961, has never lost them all, but time is running short for the Raiders to break through this year.
South is scoring 13 points a game while allowing almost 47, so no rocket science is required to figure out why South is winless.
South may have had a reasonable chance against Hickory Ridge early in the season, but injuries have hurt the Raiders and Hickory Ridge is a different team now than it was in September. The Ragin’ Bulls have battered East Rowan and Northwest Cabarrus the past two weeks.
This is the first meeting of the schools.
East Rowan (3-5) at Ledford (4-4)
Ledford is coached by Chris Adams, who coached some good Ledford baseball teams against North Rowan and Salisbury back when Ledford was a 2A CCC team. On paper, it’s an even game, so it probably comes down to which team is more excited to be playing a non-conference game this late in the season.
East’s Samuel Wyrick is the county’s leading passer with 1,261 yards. Twin brother Seth is the county’s leading receiver with 774 yards and nine TDs.
This is the first meeting of the programs.
A.L. Brown (6-2, 3-1 MECKA) at Mallard Creek (8-0, 4-0 MECKA)
The Wonders acquitted themselves well defensively against Hough last week, but they face an even tougher task tonight against a team that is a consensus No. 1 in the state. Note that gametime is 7 p.m.
Davie (2-6, 0-3 CPC) at Parkland (0-9, 0-4 CPC)
Davie’s three-game losing streak will be history. CPC newcomer Parkland has been outscored 213-6 the last four weeks.