Prep Football Notebook: Hornets, Cavaliers go to the air
Prep football notebook…
Salisbury quarterback Riley Myers competed 15 of 20 passes in Friday’s 14-10 first-round playoff win against Surry Central.
The Hornets (6-6) were held under 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this season and the second game in a row, but they were able to move the ball through the air. Myers threw for 215 yards, his biggest passing game since he was 13-for-19 for 250 yards against Carson opening night.
Twenty passing attempts and 15 completed passes are something highly unusual at Salisbury, a run-run-run program usually looking at the forward pass with suspicion. In Joe Pinyan’s 10 seasons, the Hornets never had a game with 15 completions or 20 passing attempts. When the Hornets won the 2AA state championship in 2010, their season high for passing attempts was 12, and they threw only five times while routing Elizabeth City Northeastern 30-0 in the state championship game. One of the more amazing stats of all-time is that Salisbury QB John Knox set the school passing-yardage record of 3,020 from 2007-10 while averaging less than seven passing attempts per game.
Myers also produced two big passing games as a junior — 17 completions and 253 passing yards in one-point loss against East Davidson and nine completions for 218 yards in a win against Lexington.
Myers fell just short of 1,000 passing yards last season with 994. He has 1,030 this season.
• Will Steinman had a career game Friday with 10 catches for 145 yards, one of the biggest games ever by a Salisbury receiver. Steinman has been a big-play man for the Hornets and has five TD receptions and 448 receiving yards, but this was the first time he’d made more than two catches in a game. Steinman could become the first Hornet to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards in 2015.
• Salisbury’s passing-game records are modest relative to some of the Rowan County schools, and Salisbury receiver Ryan Jones, who had 33 catches last season and has added 30 this year has broken the school record for career receptions with 63.
The school’s single-season record is held by Craig Cesario, who had 42 catches in 1989.
• DB Darius Jackson scored his second defensive TD and was credited with his fourth fumble recovery. He’s helped the Hornets hold their last four opponents under 100 passing yards.
• Jordan Oglesby had 10 tackles against Surry Central. Marquies Gaither forced a fumble and also was credited with the recovery.
Jalen Sanders is best known for basketball, but the junior safety had a tremendous outing in the Cavaliers’ 20-6 first-round 2A playoff win against Mountain Heritage.
Sanders made 12 tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble, and he also helped out the offense by catching his first touchdown pass of the season.
• North Rowan quarterback Alexis Archie had one of his best passing games, with 15-for-22 for 210 yards. It was Archie’s second 200-yard night of the season. He threw for 217 yards in a Week 4 loss to Davie County.
In three years as the Cavaliers’ starting QB, Archie has completed 52 percent of his passes for 4,322 yards and 46 touchdowns. He’s stayed healthy this season and has produced career highs in completions (97), passing yards (1,627) and TD passes (17).
Archie always has been a punishing runner and has scored 21 career rushing touchdowns.
• North Rowan (10-2) has produced a lot of good teams, but this is the first time the Cavaliers have racked up double-figure wins in back-to-back seasons.
• Jareke Chambers adds to his school record each time he scores a touchdown. He got his 20th of the season and 70th of his career on a 42-yard run to seal the win against Mountain Heritage.
• Sakil Harrison caught the 18th TD pass of his career on Friday. Harrison is closing in on 100 career catches. He has 98.
• Linebacker Kenyaun Coney is North Rowan’s leading tackler with 86, including 52 solos.
• Andra Cowan has even 1,100 rushing yards for his career, with 633 coming this season.
• North Rowan had to punt three times on Friday, but Dylan Auten averaged well over 40 yards.
Senior DB Kevin Galliard had two interceptions in the Falcons’ cold, but relatively easy 40-7 win against North Buncombe in the first round of the 3A playoffs. Galliard is now the county leader with five picks. Quameak Lewis, who has played well all season, had the tip on one of Galliard’s interceptions.
• North Buncombe probably set a stadium record at West Rowan with 55 pass attempts, but the Falcons’ defense was up to the task, allowing only 137 yards through the air.
• After three consecutive losses late in the regular season, the Falcons (8-4) looked done, but they’ve bounced back to play well at home in two straight games. Sophomores Kortez Weeks, Jovon Quarles and L.J. Robinson have been at the forefront of that late surge. That bodes well for West Rowan’s future, as does a jayvee team that lost only one game in the SPC and shared the title with Carson.
• West Rowan’s first two attempts to kick PATs Friday failed miserably, but they stayed with it, and Harrison Baucom’s final four attempts were successful. Baucom has piled up 126 points this season and is second in the county behind Carson’s Darren Isom. Baucom got his 14th TD Friday on a short run.He also has 36 PATs and two field goals.
• After its lopsided win against North Buncombe, the Falcons have outscored their opponents 348-326 for the season. West Rowan’s points-allowed numbers improved Friday, but the Falcons still are allowing the most points per game (29) they’ve surrendered since 1998.
East Rowan has posted the two wildest wins in school history this season.
The most points the Mustangs had ever allowed in a victory prior to the 2014 season was a 43-42 overtime win against Northwest Cabarrus in 2001.
East Rowan topped that when it beat Cox Mill 46-43 in Week 3 of this season. Then East Rowan pushed the bar a little higher with Friday’s 50-49 win at Morganton Freedom in the first round of the 3A playoffs.
East Rowan fell a point shy of being involved in the program’s first 100-point game. The Mustangs were on the losing side in a 98-point game in 2012 when they fell to Statesville 59-39.
• Just when you thought there were no more records for the Wyricks to break, they got to some that looked unattainable.
Seth Wyrick’s huge outing against Freedom (9 catches, 250 yards, 4 TDs) was the biggest receiving night in county history and also gave him two more county records. He now has 1,311 receiving yards this season, topping the county mark of 1,275 set by Carson’s Cody Clanton in 2010.
Wyrick has 81 catches this season, breaking the county record of 79 set by West Rowan’s Jon Crucitti in 2009. Crucitti had 23 of his catches during the Falcons’ playoff run to a 3A state championship.
Wyrick already owned the county record for most career receptions and extended it to 168.
Wyrick has 16 touchdown catches this season, one short of the single-season school and county record set by East Rowan’s Nick Heard in 1996. Wyrick has scored 17 TDs this year, but one came on a blocked punt.
Wyrick also has moved within reach of the one of the county’s greatest records, a mark that has stood alone, unapproachable, for more than four decades, the 2,862 career receiving yards compiled by the Mustangs’ Johnny Yarbrough from 1968-70. Wyrick has 2,637 career receiving yards, so he’s 225 away.
• QB Samuel Wyrick wasn’t exactly quiet on Friday. His five passing touchdowns (the fourth time he’s done that as a senior) gave him a county-record 36 for the season and extended his career county record to 72.
Wyrick also rushed for two touchdowns and threw three 2-point conversion passes and was honored by the NCHSAA as the state’s co-athlete of the week.
Wyrick has thrown for 5,890 yards in his career and has rushed for 961 yards. He’s scored 20 rushing TDs.
• Known mostly for his defense, Shiheem Saunders snagged a TD pass for the second straight week and also caught a 2-point conversion pass.
• Wesley Porter came up with the Freedom fumble on East Rowan’s final kickoff to seal victory.
• Tay Davis intercepted a Freedom pass late in the first half.
• Tight end Simon Soles has 16 catches in East’s Rowan’s last three games.
• The Mustangs won despite allowing 464 rushing yards. Freedom’s B.J. Emmons rushed for a Burke County record 431 yards and six TDs.
The Wonders closed the books at 6-6 with a 50-42 loss at Pfafftown Reagan.
The six teams that beat the Wonders will all be playing in the second round of the playoffs on Friday.
• Three of the Wonders’ standouts — running backs Sandon McCoy and Jayln Cagle and quarterback Damon Johnson — are juniors.
Senior quarterback Parker Correll put up tremendous numbers with 2,337 passing yards and 896 rushing yards. He accounted for 31 TDs for a 6-6 team that closed the season with a 37-22 loss at Charlotte Catholic.
Mike London: 704-797-4259; twitter.com/mikelondonpost3