West’s Young, Baucom keep grinding

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2014

Prep Football Notebook …
West Rowan is 4-1 and 2-0 in the SPC, but coach Scott Young is concerned about mounting injuries.
The Falcons finished Friday’s 21-13 against West Rowan with Hezekiah Banks, Shakir Simmons, Owen Harrison, Dearius Phillips and L.J. Robinson on the shelf.
Those are all key guys.
Banks and Phillips were preseason all-county types. Robinson was the hero of the South Rowan game with a blocked punt. Simmons has been the team’s top receiving threat.
• The hard-earned 21-13 victory against South Rowan was No. 168 at West Rowan for Young, who is now 15 wins behind S.W. Lancaster’s long-standing county record of 183.
Victories over Salisbury and South Rowan this season have lifted Young’s career record against Rowan County opponents to 58-7. Young is 15-2 against South Rowan. That’s the most wins he’s had against any school.
• Moving QB Harrison Baucom to tailback is no longer an experiment — it’s a success.
Even in a county in which Jareke Chambers (North Rowan) and Brandon Sloop (Carson) run the ball, Baucom is Rowan’s leading rusher and leading scorer.
Baucom has put up five straight 100-yard games and has 741 rushing yards. Besides scoring 10 TDs, he’s kicked 16 PATs and a field goal. He’s put himself in the Offensive Player of the Year race, but it’s a crowded field. Assuming everyone stays healthy, Chambers, Sloop, Carson’s Darren Isom and East Rowan’s Samuel and Seth Wyrick will all put up huge statistics.
• West Rowan’s SPC home game Friday against Carson is critical to the fortunes of both teams in a league in which Concord, Hickory Ridge and Central Cabarrus are looking strong.
Jason Rollins and his staff aren’t in the market for moral victories, but the competitive loss to West Rowan was more proof that the Raiders (2-3, 1-2) are a decent team despite struggles on offense and special teams.
After being destroyed 65-7, 44-12, 52-12 and 66-7 by the Falcons in the schools’ most recent meetings, having a legitimate chance to win against West Rowan was a relatively satisfying experience.
• South Rowan allowed 219 points in its first five games last season. Against the same opponents this season, the Raiders have allowed 141.
• While West Rowan’s Baucom, Carson’s Sloop and North Rowan’s Chambers have all had a 200-yard rushing game this season, South Rowan’s team has managed just 245 rushing yards in five games.
The Raiders, however, remain committed to getting the ground game going. Jamoyra Cousin got the ball 18 times against West Rowan and banged out 80 yards against a stingy run defense.
“He ran the ball very hard,” Rollins said.
Cousin, a sophomore who transferred from A.L. Brown, is a cousin of former A.L. Brown and current Charlotte 49ers star Kalif Phillips.
Like West Rowan, the Cavaliers (4-2) are fighting to stay afloat with injuries mounting. Coach Joe Nixon said the Cavaliers finished a 14-12 win against Forest Hills with seven key players sidelined.
Fortunately, the Cavaliers are in their open week, and they should have some of those missing seven dressed when they start Central Carolinas Conference action next week against Lexington.
The absence of Shareef Walker has hurt the passing game in recent weeks. Walker had 10 catches for 174 yards in his first two games, but he was injured at the start of the Statesville game in Week 3.
• Chambers scored both of North Rowan’s TDs against Forest Hills and now has 59 for his career.
• With the offense putting up fewer points than expected, North Rowan’s defense has stood taller in recent weeks. Trae Clark had several key tackles Friday, including a fourth-down stop. Other key stops were made by Terry Cathcart, Zion Debose, Jaleel Hitchens and Wesley Jefferies.
“Whenever we had to have a stop, we got it,” Nixon said.
• Kenyaun Coney leads North Rowan with 40 tackles. Omar Lipscomb, who was injured Friday, is right behind him with 39. Debose, an impressive sophomore, had two tackles for loss against Forest Hills and is up to nine TFLs for the season.
Samuel Wyrick broke the school record for touchdown passes in a career that had been held by C.M. Yates since 1970.
Wyrick has 51. In a 29-12 loss to Concord on Friday, Wyrick tied the record with No. 50, a TD pass to his brother Seth Wyrick. He broke Yates’ mark with a 40-yard scoring pass to Max Wall.
The county record is not out of reach for Wyrick, who owns a pair of five-TD games this season. Former West Rowan star B.J. Sherrill set the mark of 66 in 2010. Sherrill had one more than North Rowan’s Mario Sturdivant, whose career ended in 1999.
Wyrick had 16 TD tosses as a sophomore, 20 as a junior, and 15 so far this season.
Wyrick has thrown TDs to nine different receivers. It’s no surprise that Seth Wyrick has caught 19 of his brother’s TD passes. The other TD catches were made by Jordan Phillips (8), Wall (6), Naquis Caldwell (5), Noah Drye (3), Simson Soles (3), Tre Gillespie (3), Tyler L’Hommedieu (3) and Donte Means (1).
• Seth Wyrick is also impacting the record book. He now has 117 career catches, good for seventh place in Rowan County history. The school record of 136 was set by Johnny Yarbrough in 1970. The county record of 158 receptions is held by Lamont Savage (2002-05), who played at North Rowan and West Rowan.
• East Rowan got Wall involved in the passing game for the first time this season on Friday and he responded with seven catches for 82 yards.
Wall has been an outstanding all-around player. The sophomore has scored TDs rushing, receiving and special teams, and he’s forced two fumbles on defense.
A 31-15 loss to Mount Pleasant kept Joe Pinyan’s career wins total at 109. He’s sixth on the all-time county list. Roger Secreast is fifth with 115.
• Some things were business as usual for Carson against Mount Pleasant. Carson entered the game averaging a county-high 307.5 rushing yards per game and rushed for 308 against the Tigers. Sloop entered the game averaging 140 rushing yards per game and pounded out 143.
Still, Carson lost. The biggest problem was 292 rushing yards allowed — a season high for the Cougars. Carson (2-3, 1-1) also didn’t force a turnover and failed to make a big play in the passing game.
• Both Sloop and Isom have rushed for more than 100 yards in three straight games, giving Carson one of the great backfield duos in modern county history.

• Salisbury (1-4) is playing Thursday at home and hopes to be more competitive than it was in last season’s 44-0 loss at Southeast Guilford. Salisbury managed just 118 yards of offense in that one.
Salisbury will again play without receiver Will Steinman, who was outstanding in the Hornets’ first three games.
• Head coach Ryan Crowder had praise for DB/kick returner Donte Gaston and lineman Cameron McLendon.
• Linebacker J.C. Burton is by far the Hornets’ leading tackler with 67, including 34 solos. Six of those tackles have been for loss.

A.L. Brown’s team awards for the 33-12 win against North Mecklenburg to open Mecka play included dual winner Sandon McCoy, who earned both the Offensive Player of the Week and the Hitman of the Week accolades.
Running backs aren’t often Hitman winners, but the powerful McCoy trucked numerous Vikings and logged heavy minutes on Friday’s TV highlight shows. One of McCoy’s notable victims was former Wonder Gregory Joyner.
Christian Neal was the special teams award winner for a blocked punt, while safety Daveon Perry was named the top defensive player for a pick and a fumble-return TD.
Cameron Rodgers, a defensive end, was named the team’s Hawg of the Week.
• Pierre Mills, a 230-pound guard, graded out at an efficient 93 percent, an unheard of figure for offensive line coach Todd Hagler, a notoriously tough grader.
• Defensive line coach Travis Billings became seriously ill after Friday’s game and was taken to a hospital but is recovering.
• The Wonders lost a receivers coach when recent UNC Pembroke grad T.J. Johnson took a job in California.
• Among his other responsibilities, head coach Mike Newsome and his crew have started work on assembling next summer’s West squad for the East-West All-Star Game.
The War Eagles’ 58-31 loss to Reagan on Friday marked the most points given up by the War Eagles since a 64-0 loss to Salisbury in 1995.
Davie allowed 403 passing yards to Reagan QB Jake Easter, who has committed to Old Dominion.
• Davie QB Parker Correll rushed for 100 yards against Reagan and has topped 100 three times this season.
• Cade Carney is back, and he rushed for 123 yards.
Follow Mike London on Twitter at @mikelondonpost3.