There were two teams in the entire 2A bracket that had shutouts last week. They’re meeting in Spencer tonight as Owen visits Eagle Stadium to take on North Rowan. If all goes as expected, the Warhorses won’t enjoy their stay.
We’re approaching the holiday season but the Cavaliers’ defense has been a bit bullish. Milk has curdled, bread has molded and fruits and vegetables have gone rotten since the last time a team reached the end zone on North. With a win tonight, all that stuff will matter because they’ll be practicing on Thanksgiving for the first time in almost two decades. The Cavaliers haven’t surrendered a point in 14 quarters dating all the way back to the East Davidson win. That was four weeks ago. Since then, the Cavs have shutout Thomasville and Salisbury to cap the regular season and Surry Central last week in the first round of the playoffs. Last week’s victory gave 33-year old coach Joe Nixon his 20th career win in just two seasons.
“The shutouts are nice,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “But it’s more important that our defense is playing well. We’re still making mistakes.”
Coming into the playoffs some folks questioned North’s big-game inexperience. The Cavaliers dropped several games last year they feel they let slip away. The West Montgomery playoff loss stung the most as the Warriors rallied from a 14-0 deficit and benefitted from five North fumbles. The Cavs scheduled 4A Davie County and 3A Statesville early in the season to simulate the playoff-feel. They won both games in come-from-behind fashion.
“We tried to schedule big games early in the year to see our kids in that environment,” Nixon said. “Our guys are excited to play.”
Last week, North drubbed Surry Central 42-0 and Owen survived Mt. Pleasant in a 13-0 triumph. If North wins, it will be the first time it’s ever won 13 games in a season. The Cavs would practice on Thanksgiving, an honor for any program.
“When we set our goals at the beginning at the season, one of them was to still be playing on Thanksgiving,” Nixon said. “It’s special for our team and community. It’s a big step for our program.”
The winner will play the Shelby-North Wilkes winner.
As we did last week, The Post will provide double-coverage with Mike London on the game story and David Shaw providing his distinct brand of color.
WSAT and WSTP are on the call tonight atop the press box at Eagle Stadium.
Ryan Bisesi can be reached at 704-797-4258 or firstname.lastname@example.org