• 52°

Friday Night Hero: Salisbury’s DJ Alexander had five sacks vs. South Rowan

By Mike London

mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Mistakes piled up, as they always do on opening night, but Salisbury managed to beat South Rowan, 35-20, at Ludwig Stadium.
“We made wrong reads, we had bad footwork, and sometimes guys went the wrong way,” Salisbury coach Ryan Crowder said. “But when you get 12 sacks, that disguises a lot that you did wrong.”
Producing five of those sacks was linebacker DJ Alexander. The “DJ” is short for Donnell Jr.
“I just did what I was supposed to do, did what the coaches told me to do,” Alexander said. “It just happened. South has a fast quarterback (Heath Barringer), and our No.1 job was not to let him break contain. There were times I blitzed and didn’t get blocked at all, and he was in the pocket waiting for me.”
South tried to block Alexander, but he may not have noticed. He is large enough at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds to brush aside running backs. Salisbury’s program lists Alexander at 6-3, 215, but those dimensions are no longer accurate. He’s blown up physically entering his senior year.
“Just a lot of time in the weight room and sit-ups and push-ups, when I couldn’t get to the weight room,” Alexander said. “I didn’t do a lot of sitting around this summer.”
Alexander probably is better known for basketball. He’s been a good varsity player for the Hornets since he was a freshman, relying on strength to get points inside and using his mobility and soft touch to score outside. He averaged 13.6 points per game, while making second team all-county as a junior and he’s scored 790 career points.
Still, when he dreams, he dreams about tackling people.
“I love football the most,” said Alexander, a three-year varsity starter “I don’t think I realized how much I loved football until we lost in the playoffs last season. I hated there wasn’t another football game to get ready for and I couldn’t wait for my senior season.”
His senior year started with a bang, but it also began with unusual circumstances. Alexander was on the sideline when Friday’s game started.
“He’d gotten dinged a bit in a scrimmage, so he was limited in practice last week,” Crowder explained. “But by Thursday, he was moving around pretty good. Then, on game night, he was getting antsy to get in there.”
The parade of sacks followed.
Crowder was impressed, but he wasn’t amazed.
“It’s one of those with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility things,” Crowder said. “With the size DJ has and the ability DJ has, these are the kind of games we expect him to have. For us to succeed, our best players have to play big.”

Comments

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza