Walker, Wonders beat down Raiders
KANNAPOLIS — South Rowan entered 1-0 and A.L. Brown was 0-1, a strange scenario that had not occurred since the 2003 season.
The Wonders big-played the Raiders, got three touchdowns from Casey Walker and restored some order to the prep football universe with a 51-7 victory on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Now they’re both 1-1.
“They’re a tough team, but we played our hearts out,” Raiders linebacker Burke Fulcher said. “We started losing players, but we still played with everything we had.”
While the Wonders have outscored the Raiders 262-38 in rolling up big scores in the last five meetings, it would be inaccurate to say this one was business as usual.
Raiders coach Jason Rollins says it’s a “new day” for his program, and maybe it is. The Raiders stood toe-to-toe at the line of scrimmage with the Wonders for a long time.
“We took them lightly, to be honest, and didn’t play with enough emotion in the first half,” Walker said. “But give South credit for playing better than I’ve ever seen them play. We pulled away, but only because we came out in the second half and played Wonder football.”
South Rowan scored first, capitalizing on a mistake. The Raiders led 7-0 after 10 minutes and it was still even at 7-7 after 20 minutes.
Even with Raiders quarterback Aaron Kennerly injured (collarbone), it should’ve been 14-7 Wonders at halftime.
Instead it was 21-7 at the break, and it was in the final minute of the first half that the game got away from the Raiders. A punt block put the Wonders in position to score quickly, and coach Mike Newsome dug deep into his playbook for trickery — a double pass for a touchdown.
“We’ve been executing that play great in practice and (receiver) Dyquan St. Louis has thrown the ball perfectly time after time,” Newsome said. “The problem is when something’s working perfectly in practice, you expect something to go wrong in the game.”
Nothing went wrong. Quarterback Damon Johnson tossed the ball to St. Louis on the right hash, and Walker was wide open in the end zone.
“I’ve never been that open before in my life,” Walker said. “I was afraid I’d drop it.”
“That touchdown before half was shocking,” Fulcher said. “Devastating.”
Punts were a major struggle for the Raiders. They had issues snapping, protecting and covering punts.
There was a bad snap for a Wonder touchdown, two blocks, one long runback and a punt that went 8 yards.
South Rowan couldn’t move the ball in the second half, and the Wonders hit big pass plays.
“South played a good game — much improved,” Newsome said. “But in the second half, we played more like we’re capable of.”
was after the Raiders beat the Wonders
A.L. Brown 51, South Rowan 7
First downs 7 10
Rushing yardage 28 143
Passing yardage 15 152
Passing (C-A-I) 3-11-1 6-10-0
Punting 6-20.7 2-39.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties 5-34 8-59
S. Rowan 7 0 0 0 — 7
A.L. Brown 7 14 23 7 — 51
SR — Helms 19 run (Lambert kick), 9:38, 1st
ALB — Perry 4 run (Williams kick), 2:25, 1st
ALB — Walker 17 run (Williams kick), 3:37, 2nd
ALB — Walker 32 pass from St. Louis (Williams kick), 0:46, 2nd
ALB — St. Louis 42 pass from Johnson (Williams kick), 9:25, 3rd
ALB — Williams FG 30, 5:48, 3rd
ALB — Weaks recovery in end zone after snap on punt (pass failed), 4:35, 3rd
ALB — Walker 38 pass from Johnson (Williams kick), 0:58, 3rd
ALB — Lyles 16 run (Ruiz kick), 9:40, 4th
Rushing — South: Cousin 18-31; Helms 1-19; Stanback 4-10; Kennerly 4-6; Bost 5-3; Frizzell 1-0; Tr. Littlejohn 1-(minus 2); Lambert 1-(minus-2); Barringer 2-(minus-10); Team 1-(minus 28). AL Brown: Walker 4-70; Washington 3-26; Cagle 5-22; McCoy 6-22; Lyles 3-19; Butler 2-1; Johnson 5-(minus 3); Fowler 1-(minus 4); Team 1-(minus 10).
Passing — South: Barringer 2-10-0, 15; Kennerly 0-1-1, 0. AL Brown: Johnson 4-8-0, 124; St. Louis 1-1-0, 32; Endicott 1-1-(minus 4).
Pass receiving — South: Stewart 1-8; Tra. Littlejohn 1-7. AL Brown: Walker 3-66; St. Louis 1-42; Perry 1-37; Ritchie 1-7.