Prep Football Notebook: Stellar season for South’s Lambert
Prep football notebook …
Junior Brennan Lambert kicked three field goals, with a long of 43, and made 19 of 20 PAT attempts this season.
Equally valuable was Lambert’s ability to kick off deep. He had 22 touchbacks on 30 kickoffs. To put that number in perspective, opponents have recorded one touchback against the Raiders in the last three seasons. Guys who can put the ball in the end zone aren’t easy to find.
After some early-season mishaps, Lambert also took over as the long snapper on South Rowan’s punts, while South Rowan punter Marshall Long served as the long-snapper on Lambert’s PAT attempts. South Rowan didn’t have any PATs blocked this season.
A receiver, Lambert caught a touchdown pass and scored all 13 of South Rowan’s points in a 36-13 loss to Carson.
• South Rowan didn’t make the playoffs for the fifth straight season, but on a positive note, the Raiders closed with a stunning 28-14 win against East Rowan. The Raiders’ 3-8 mark was their best since 2009.
While Carson (4-7) didn’t make the playoffs, senior halfback Darrren Isom’s 28 touchdowns were the most ever scored by a Cougar in a regular season. Shaun Warren scored 27 in the 2010 regular season and then added four more in the 3A playoffs for a school single-season record of 31.
Isom scored all three of the Cougars’ TDs in a 56-20 season-ending loss to Cox Mill. Isom finished the season with nine consecutive 100-yard outings and 1,413 rushing yards.
The senior’s final career numbers for three varsity seasons: 382 carries for 2,540 yards. Isom scored 47 career TDs, including 11 on pass receptions.
• Senior halfback Brandon Sloop finished his four-year varsity career with 917 carries for 4,824 yards and 41 rushing touchdowns . At this point, Sloop is No. 3 on the county’s all-time rushing list behind West Rowan’s K.P. Parks and Carson’s Shaun Warren, although North Rowan senior Jareke Chambers isn’t done and still could pass Sloop.
Sloop was hurting (knee) before the Cox Mill game, limped after almost every carry, buts till had a great blocking game and kept fighting to the end.
“If 25 percent is all you’ve got, then you give that 25 percent,” Sloop said.
• Carson rushed for 3,602 yards and scored 348 points, numbers that aren’t ordinarily associated with a 4-7 team.
“We had two of the best backs I’ve ever had,” Carson coach Joe Pinyan said. “We had a lot of good players and we had a lot of good coaches, but it was just one of those years when the breaks didn’t go our way. Except for Mount Pleasant and Cox Mill, we could’ve won every game. We could’ve been 9-2.”
Three of Carson’s four wins were county games — they handled East Rowan, South Rowan and Salisbury — but the game that cost the Cougars a playoff berth was the overtime setback at West Rowan. The Cougars dominated that game but lost on the scoreboard.
Chambers finished the regular season as Rowan County’s rushing leader. After a slow start due to an ankle injury opening night, he chased down a strong field. West Rowan’s Harrison Baucom and Carson’s Sloop and Isom all led the county rushing race at different points in the season. Chambers has 1,452 rushing yards for the season and 4,640 for his career. It’s basically been a three-year varsity career, as he had 41 rushing yards in brief varsity duty as a freshman.
Chambers has scored a school-record 69 TDs.
• Trae Clark had a pick-six against the Hornets in a 47-7 romp that clinched another CCC championship for the Cavaliers. Clark has scored six career TDs and has scored on offense (1), defense (3) and special teams (2).
The versatile Clark was often used as a kicker the previous two seasons and has 42 career PATs to his credit.
• Andra Cowan went over 1,000 rushing yards for his career against the Hornets. He has 596 yards and seven TDs this season.
• North Rowan has won 13 straight conference games, 10 in the CCC and its last three in the YVC in 2012.
• North Rowan received a No. 5 seed in the 2A state playoffs. That seed guarantees only one home game, but the road shouldn’t be a major problem. North Rowan has dropped seven games in the last three seasons, but only two of those losses were on the road.
• North Rowan (9-2) opens the playoffs against Mountain Heritage. That’s the school that produced Catawba’s senior center and o-line leader Taylor Fender.
Salisbury (5-6) finished second in the CCC and is in the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years. The Hornets open at home against Surry Central. Surry Central also traveled this way last season when it was blown out 42-0 at North Rowan in the first round.
• Salisbury improved from 2-9 to 5-6 mostly because the offense got better. The defense allowed only two fewer points than last season, but the offense produced 96 more points.
Salisbury’s passing numbers are actually down from a year ago . That makes sense because you generally throw more when you’re behind. Salisbury’s rushing numbers are up substantially from a year ago. Fullback Willie Clark (857 rushing yards) and halfback Antwond Glenn (837) still have a shot at 1,000-yard seasons. Clark led the 2013 Hornets in rushing with 471 yards.
• Darius Jackson recovered his third fumble of the season.
The Falcons are in the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season and the 14th time in head coach Scott Young’s 17 seasons. The Falcons missed the playoffs in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
West Rowan will host North Buncombe on Friday.
Young (171-53) will be coaching the Falcons for the 225th time. This will be his 38th playoff game. The Falcons are 27-10 in playoff games under Young.
West Rowan had won nine straight first-round games in a row prior to 2013 when the Falcons lost on the road at Belmont South Point.
The Falcons (7-4) tied for third in the SPC by beating Hickory Ridge 35-28 in the regular-season finale and improved on last season’s fourth-place finish.
• Harrison Baucom was held to 40 rushing yards on Friday and reinjured a groin. He still went over 1,000 yards for the season. The Falcons have had a 1,000-yard rusher 16 straight seasons.
• Young praised the play of sophomore L.J. Robinson (10 tackles) and junior QB Kacey Otto for their work in the Hickory Ridge game. Otto didn’t have big passing numbers, but he had one of his better rushing games with 57 yards and two TDs.
“Otto ran the ball hard,” Young said. “He got tough yards and he converted a fourth-and-2 on a bootleg call that was just huge for us.”
The Mustangs went 5-6 despite scoring 29 more points than they allowed.
• South Rowan held Seth Wyrick to four catches, but he still broke county records for receptions (72) and receiving yards (1,061) in a regular season. Wyrick also broke the county record for career receptions (159).
East Rowan QB Samuel Wyrick had one of his quietest games against the Raiders, who have a good defensive secondary, but he finished the regular season with 2,311 passing yards and 31 TD passes.
Wyrick’s passing yards ranks fourth all-time in the county for a regular season. North Rowan’s Daniel Griffith threw for a regular-season record 2,412 yards in 2006. North Rowan’s Mitch Ellis still owns the second and third most prolific passing stats for a regular season.
Wyrick broke the county record for career touchdown passes with 67.
Wyrick’s 31 TD passes in 11 games this season shattered the county mark for TD passes in a regular season. Wyrick had three five-TD games. The previous mark of 25 was set by North Rowan’s Mario Sturdivant in 1997.
Wyrick tied the county’s season mark for TD passes, counting playoff games. West Rowan’s B.J. Sherrill threw 31 TD passes in a 16-game season in 2010, with 11 of his scoring aerials coming during the playoff run to a 3A state title.
Wyrick will have a chance to throw a few more TDs when the Mustangs go on the road to unbeaten Morganton Freedom on Friday.
• Connor Kyles and Shiheem Saunders became the seventh and eighth receivers to catch a TD pass from Wyrick this season in the South Rowan game. It was the second TD of the season for Saunders who had a fumble recovery for a TD against Northwest Cabarrus.
• Wesley Porter had his third interception for the Mustangs.
Sandon McCoy has pounded for 413 rushing yards in his last three games and has rushed for 1,113 yards on 185 carries. He had his season high of 161 yards against Concord. His second-best outing was 149 yards in Friday’s 52-7 rout of Hopewell, a team that beat the Wonders in 2013.
• The Wonders are getting healthier. Receiver Casey Walker had his first touchdown catch since early September against Hopewell.
• The Wonders (6-5) have six players with six or more touchdowns, led by Jayln Cagle’s 11, but they’ve got a tough first-round assignment at Pfafftown Reagan, the CPC champ.
Davie (6-5) put up 4,500 yards of offense and 400 points but still finished fifth in the tough CPC.
Now Davie has to figure out a way to slow down Charlotte Catholic’s smashmouth running attack in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
• Junior running back Cade Carney had a rushing TD and a receiving TD in Friday’s 45-24 loss to Mount Tabor.
Carney is a 200-pounder with 4.5 speed and has been offered by East Carolina. Georgia Tech, N.C. State, North Carolina and Wake Forest. He’s being recruited as an “athlete” and could move to safety in college.
Mike London: 704-797-4259; twitter.com/mikelondonpost3
MOUNT ULLA — When West Rowan head coach Scott Young arrived in Mount Ulla for the 1998 season, he was greeted... read more