Previews: Cavaliers and then mostly chaos
Week 12 previews …
Salisbury (2-8, 2-2 CCC) at North Rowan (10-0, 4-0 CCC)
Top-ranked North seeks its first-ever 11-0 regular season and an outright league championship. Salisbury, a pretty good team the last month, seeks one of the upsets of the century.
North tops the county offensive stats with 39.2 points per game and leads the county defensive stats with 12.3 points allowed per game.
North back Jareke Chambers has 1,444 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns and has been the county’s dominant offensive player.
North linebacker Xavier Robinson, DB Kasaun Coney and end Cecil McCauley have been among the county’s top handful of defensive players.
Running back Tim Rhodes (435 yards) was the catalyst for Salisbury fighting back from an 0-7 start, but the Hornets face a tall order tonight.
North will be seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in the 2A West bracket if it wins tonight. Salisbury isn’t projected to make the playoffs if it loses tonight.
Salisbury leads the all-time series 27-19-2.
North was granted a forfeit win in 2008, but the Cavaliers haven’t won on the field against the Hornets since 2003.
East Rowan (3-7, 2-5 SPC) at South Rowan (0-10, 0-7 SPC)
South will honor veterans tonight at Donnell Stadium.
It’s been a difficult year for the Raiders, who will go 0-11 for the first time if they don’t pull off a major upset.
South is at the bottom of the county stats in scoring offense (13.5 points a game) and scoring defense (47.9), and that’s a tough combination to overcome.
East has the county’s top passer in junior Samuel Wyrick (1,582 passing yards, 16 TDs). Wyrick needs 7 yards to break the East passing record for a season set by C.M. Yates in 1970.
Seth Wyrick (62 catches, 851 yards, 10 TDs) and Noah Drye (23 catches, 499 yards) rank 1-2 in the county in receiving yards.
It’s been a disappointing year for East in the wake of last season’s success, but East is projected to make the playoffs by the experts if it wins tonight. If East does make the 3A bracket, it would be as a low seed facing a probable first-round matchup with Concord, South Point or Freedom.
South leads the all-time series 32-16, but South’s last win against East was in 2009.
South coach Jason Rollins is 3-4 against the Mustangs.
West Rowan (5-5, 3-4 SPC) at Hickory Ridge (4-6, 3-4 SPC)
The big question here is how well will the Falcons respond from last week’s shocking loss to Cox Mill on one of the more bizarre late-game plays in the county history.
Hickory Ridge presents the same problems for West that Cox Mill did last week. This is a wide-open, hurry-up offensive team that’s going to throw the ball, and in Nick Mullen (No. 4), the Bulls have a player with extreme speed.
West may be able to smash-mouth Hickory Ridge in the trenches as Carson did last week, and with Daisean Reddick (842 rushing yards, 11 TDs), the Falcons can attack the Bulls with more speed than the Cougars had.
Projections have both teams in the playoffs, albeit as low seeds.
Hickory Ridge will be in 3AA. West will be in 3A.
This is the first football meeting of the schools.
Carson (6-4, 4-3 SPC) at Cox Mill (4-6, 3-4 SPC)
Another tough one for the Cougars, who don’t seem to play any easy ones.
Both teams are coming off hard-fought, draining, emotional SPC wins.
Brandon Sloop (967 rushing yards this season, 3,303 rushing yards career) leads the Cougars’ offense. The junior has bulled for 173 and 160 yards the last two weeks.
Carson senior QB Austin McNeill has 3,437 passing yards in his career. Zack Gragg’s school record is 3,480.
Shrine Bowl linebacker Myquon Stout leads a Carson defense that ranks second in the county in yards allowed and rushing yards allowed.
Carson’s pass-rushers and pass-defenders will be tested by Cox Mill QB Hunter Longmire, who threw for 256 yards in the upset of West Rowan.
This will be the first football meeting of the schools.
Carson will have a place in the 3A bracket and Cox Mill figures to be in the 3AA bracket, but this game will have a lot of bearing on how they’re seeded.
Hopewell (5-5, 4-2 MECKA) at A.L. Brown (7-3, 4-2 MECKA)
Hopewell coach Matthew Jenkins previously served as Concord’s defensive coordinator, so while the programs aren’t familiar with each other, Jenkins has a good idea of what coach Mike Newsome and the Wonders like to do.
Damon Johnson will again be the QB for Brown, with Andrew Ramirez sidelined by a broken little finger on his throwing hand. Johnson threw four TD passes last week on his way to offensive player of the week honors.
Brown’s kicking game made strides last week with special teams player of the week Nate Williams booting a field goal and nine PATs.
Kendall Holmes, Hitman of the Week Christian Neal and Defensive Player of the Week Kyrell Williamson will lead a defense that will be tested by Hopewell’s speed. Hopewell has two players faster than any of the Wonders.
Hopewell has won four straight to set up this battle for third place.
Even if they win, the Wonders might not be seeded higher than 11th in the 16-team 4A West bracket. Hopewell also figures to be in the 4A West bracket.
Mount Tabor (7-3, 3-2 CPC) at Davie (4-6, 2-3 CPC)
Davie is a bubble team for the 4A West bracket and appears to need an upset win tonight to get in the playoffs.
The good news for Davie is that running back Cade Carney (954 rushing yards in eight games) and receiver Seth Dunn (seven TDs) are expected to be back in the lineup.
Carney has been fighting ankle injuries. Dunn had a concussion.
Davie is 0-5 the last two years in games decided by a TD or less.
Mount Tabor leads the all-time series 16-10.