Common Sense: East Rowan blew it up
The first round was a great one for Rowan County. No. 5 North Rowan (2A), No. 8 Salisbury (2A) and No. 8 West Rowan (3A) were at home, and all three of them were winners. They had the better seed, so, according to the seeds, it was expected for them to leave with a win.
The wild card in the Rowan County 4-for-4 sweep of the first round was No. 15 East Rowan’s bordering-on-unbelievable upset of No. 2 Morganton Freedom in the 3A West. It was a 50-49 victory few people saw coming, Common Sense included. Common Sense had the Mustangs as 22-point underdogs in that matchup.
Crow is always delicious no matter when it’s eaten.
Coming off the regular-season finale loss to South Rowan in which East Rowan — playing at home — looked wholly unimpressive, it seemed like a good pick. It was not. The Mustangs came back from a 14-point deficit at halftime to return to Granite Quarry with a berth in the second round.
It was another chapter in the story of the 2014 Jekyll-and-Hyde Mustangs. They were blown out by Carson, handled by South Rowan and forgot to show up against Ledford. They also won a shootout with Cox Mill in September, were competitive against South Piedmont Conference champion Concord, and destroyed West Rowan’s sense of self.
They are on the road this week at No. 7 West Henderson. Who knows what will happen in Mountain Home?
Common Sense is sure the folks in Granite Quarry will be happy to tell everyone — Common Sense included — what’s going down Friday. But based on this season, anybody’s guess is as good as Common Sense’s guess was last week.
Despite being completely wrong about the Mustangs, it was a good week for Common Sense. The record was 5-1 last week, and Common Sense is 60-15 overall this season. Being right 80 percent of the time is pretty baller. Turn up.
Here are the picks for the second round of the state football playoffs.
3A West: No. 15 East Rowan at No. 7 West Henderson
Who the heck knows what will happen in this game? Up is down and night is day when the Mustangs take the field.
So, let’s flip a coin to make the pick. Heads it’s East Rowan. Tails it’s West Henderson. Just so you know, a coin was actually flipped three time. The results were tails, heads, heads.
Common Sense pick: East Rowan 42, West Henderson 41
3A West: No. 8 West Rowan at No. 1 Shelby Crest
Twelve teams combined to score just 59 points against the Chargers. Shelby Crest has six shutouts on its resume this season. West Rowan’s offense cannot afford to have an off day Friday.
Common Sense pick: Crest 35, West Rowan 13
2A West: No. 5 North Rowan at No. 4 Mount Pleasant
The Tigers go into this one on a 10-game winning streak. They’ve won by big margins, and they’ve won close battles. They held off East Rutherford by one point in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.
North Rowan is on an eight-game winning streak. Only once has the margin of victory been less than two touchdowns.
Mount Pleasant is battle tested. North Rowan is hitting its stride.
Common Sense pick: North Rowan 27, Mount Pleasant 24
2A West: No. 8 Salisbury at No. 1 Black Mountain Owen
A stern test awaits the No. 8 Hornets when they head over the Eastern Continental Divide to face the No. 1 War Horses.
Playing in the Western Highlands 1A/2A and with a non-conference schedule of 3A and 4A teams, the War Horses haven’t been held to less than 28 points in any of their 12 games. The Hornets broke that threshold six times, winning four of them.
Owen is too much for Salisbury. The Hornets’ season ends in the second round of the playoffs.
Common Sense pick: Owen 49, Salisbury 6