Common Sense: Raiders’ strength lies with defense
South Rowan has showed it can win ball games. Those wins though are going to come on the strength of the Raiders’ defense.
That unit is the best in the Rowan County right now. The Raiders allow only 43.3 rushing yards and 116.3 passing yards per game. Twice this year they have held opposing teams to 21 points or less, both of those wins.
Northwest Cabarrus had tormented South Rowan, especially when the game was the Trojans’ home. It was so bad, South Rowan head coach Jason Rollins called it “the valley of death.”
Those demons appeared to be exorcised last week when the Raiders’ defense held their opponents to minus-66 yards rushing. It’s unknown if that’s a record, but that doesn’t diminish the accomplishment.
Leading the way was South Rowan linebacker Burke Fulcher. Fulcher recorded 10 tackles, two solo sacks, three shared sacks, two more tackles for loss and a safety.
Common Sense put its faith in the Raiders last week, and the Raiders came through with the win.
Common Sense went 3-1 in a light week. The lone loss being Carson’s loss to Central Cabarrus. The overall record improved to 12-6 overall.
Now, let’s get to the picks.
Concord at South Rowan
The Raiders’ defense is going to get tested again when the Spiders and running back Rocky Reid come to Landis. Reid, a verbal commit to Tennessee, is a monster tailback. Behind him, the Spiders are undefeated in 2014.
Though they may not be as dominant as people think. Concord earned a hard-fought victory over A.L. Brown in the season opener. Since then, it’s picked up two lackluster victories over Mount Pleasant and Hickory Ridge. This may not be the same Concord people saw in 2013.
Common Sense pick: Concord 24, South Rowan 10.
East Rowan at Carson
East Rowan is coming off an up-and-down game with Cox Mill. The Mustangs were down a lot, then they were up a lot. Then the game came down to the wire. The Mustangs were the winners in this one.
Cox Mill has a history of crazy endings. Just look the Chargers’ win last year over West Rowan.
Carson figures to be more steady. Opponents know they are going to get a steady dose of Brandon Sloop and Darren Isom and plenty of running between the tackles.
That can wear on an opponent more than the roller coaster that is a shootout.
Common Sense pick: Carson 28, East Rowan 21
Providence Grove at North Rowan
North Rowan hasn’t performed the way Common Sense expected it to coming into this year. The Cavaliers have lost two in a row. The Cavaliers had Davie County on the ropes last week only to allow the War Eagles to fight back in the fourth quarter and get the win.
Another close game may not go in the Cavaliers’ favor. Providence Grove has three games decided by three points or less, with wins in two of those.
North Rowan, however, should be motivated after two losses.
Common Sense pick: North Rowan 34, Providence Grove 14
South Iredell at Salisbury
Last year’s game was a blowout. The running clock started at the beginning of the second quarter.
South Iredell’s offense had its struggles in Week 1 of this season with South Rowan. Though the Vikings are coming off back-to-back games in which they scored 31 or more points.
The Hornets put up just seven points in back-to-back losses to West Rowan and Lake Norman. The latter game was called at halftime because of lightning.
Common Sense pick: South Iredell 35, Salisbury 7
West Rowan at Northwest Cabarrus
The Falcons are coming off a bye. West Rowan’s offense clicked in wins at Davie County and at home over Salisbury. If West Rowan’s defense can play at the same level as its counterpart, this game should not be a problem.
Common Sense pick: West Rowan 31, Northwest Cabarrus 13
Davie at Thomasville
Davie County is riding its come-from-behind win over North Rowan. Thomasville has scored eight total points this season. Davie should roll.
Common Sense pick: Davie County 42, Thomasville 0