Common Sense: No title contenders this year

Published 11:10 pm Thursday, November 13, 2014

The playoffs are here. It’s total coachspeak to say this, but everyone’s record is 0-0.

Stringing together five wins is all teams have to do to claim the prize everyone started working toward back in August. It sounds so simple. It never is, though. These are the five of the toughest wins most teams will get each year.

Teams from the area have a rich history when it comes to this time of year. West Rowan won three championships from 2008-10, and Salisbury brought home the trophy in 2010. A.L. Brown, over the years, consistently made deep runs in the playoffs.

This season, though, it does not look like any team from the area will add hardware to the trophy case. The highest seeded team in any classification is North Rowan at No. 5 in the 2A West.

A case could be made for the Cavaliers to have a good run at a title. They have a strong defense, which looked even more impressive against a weak Central Carolina Conference. North Rowan allows only 239.2 yards and 15.5 points per game.

They have Shrine Bowl running back Jareke Chambers. He’s a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.

Still, it’s hard for Common Sense to see them going past Round 3.

This is not to say the Cavaliers, or any other team for that matter, won’t win a title or Common Sense doesn’t want them to advance. It simply means the teams from the area, at least in the eyes of Common Sense, look like they won’t make a run to a state title.

It was a down week for Common Sense in the regular-season finale. Common Sense went 3-3 to end the regular season. On the verge of the playoffs, the overall record stands at 55-14.

Let’s roll.

2A West: No. 12 Mountain Heritage at No. 5 North Rowan

Mountain Heritage has a heck of a freshman quarterback in Trey Robinson. The kid had four games with 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing and had 24 total touchdowns. He accounted for 464 total yards against West Henderson. Stopping him is the key to success.

Common Sense pick: North Rowan 35, Mountain Heritage 27

2A West: No. 9 Surry Central at No. 8 Salisbury

This one could be a low-scoring affair. Both teams average less than 25 points per game.

The Hornets need to avoid shooting themselves in the foot, like they did earlier this year, in order to win.

Common Sense pick: Salisbury 21, Surry Central 14

3A West: No. 9 North Buncombe at No. 8 West Rowan

Downward momentum going into the playoffs is never a good thing, and both teams are stuck with it. The Falcons and Black Hawks combined for just two wins in the final four weeks of the regular season.

North Buncombe’s losses are to the top three teams in the Mountain Athletic 3A/4A. West Rowan’s were to the league champion and two middle-of-the-road teams.

This is the shrugging shoulders emoticon of football games to pick.

Common Sense pick: West Rowan 20, North Buncombe 14

3A West: No. 15 East Rowan at No. 2 Morganton Freedom

The Mustangs go on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The Northwestern 3A/4A is not a great football conference, but the Patriots dominated the league. The Mustangs’ season likely comes to a close Friday.

Common Sense pick: Freedom 42, East Rowan 20

4A West: No. 15 A.L. Brown at No. 2 Pfafftown Reagan

One of the few things the Wonders have going for them is they are battle tested. With teams like Mallard Creek and Vance, the Mecka is one of the toughest 4A conferences in the state. The Wonders need to draw from that to go against the Raiders, which won a league that has West Forsyth and North Davidson.

Common Sense pick: Reagan 35, A.L. Brown 14

4A West: No. 14 Davie County at No. 3 Charlotte Catholic

The Cougars are a machine. Only twice during their seven-game winning streak have they failed to beat a team by at least 17 points.

The War Eagles can score a lot, but the defense just isn’t there at times.

Common Sense pick: Charlotte Catholic 49, Davie County 17