Prep Football: Previews for Week 2
By Mike London
Week 2 Previews:
Salisbury (1-0) at East Rowan (0-1)
The guy with the toughest job all week was Salisbury head coach Ryan Crowder, because he didn’t know which East Rowan offense he’d be facing.
East quarterback Tate Houpe hurt his shoulder in last week’s 24-20 loss to North Rowan. If Houpe is able to play tonight, then Salisbury will have to defend a spread offense with an accurate quarterback firing to a strong receiving corps led by Naquis Caldwell and Steven Hardin.
But the alternative may be even scarier. If Houpe doesn’t play, the Mustangs will go “Wildcat,” with running back Max Wall taking the snaps. Watching film of Wall gave Crowder a few gray hairs.
“He’s fast, he’s left-handed and he’s wearing No. 7,” Crowder said. “It looked like North was chasing Michael Vick around.”
The dual-threat quarterback, a runner who doesn’t need anyone to hand the ball off to him, changes the math and football is often about math.
“It changes the number of people you have to account for,” Crowder said. “When a runner like Wall takes a snap, it’s like you’re playing 11 against 12.”
So that will be something to watch for when the Hornets take on the Mustangs. Can Salisbury’s defense, which registered 12 sacks in a 35-20 win against South Rowan, deal with East’s offense.
While Salisbury leads the all-time series 28-13, the Mustangs have won the last three meetings and pummeled the Hornets, 54-28, in 2014.
Carson (0-0) at North Rowan (1-0)
The all-time series is 4-4, although North has won the last three meetings, including a 42-28 victory last year. Carson’s most recent victory was 16-6, in 2011.
North ran the ball effectively in a 24-20 win against East Rowan on opening night, with Xavier Haley piling up 149 rushing yards. Jake Pritchard led the defense with two sacks and a forced fumble.
Carson is making its 2015 debut. Sophomore QB Owen White has received rave reviews in scrimmages.
Ryan Bearden returns to anchor the Carson defense.
Davie (0-1) at West Rowan (0-1)
West has run back a kickoff or punt for a touchdown in each of its last four meetings with the War Eagles. Juwan Houston had a kickoff return for a TD as the Falcons outscored Davie 48-36 in 2014.
Davie’s passing combination of QB Chris Reynolds and returning receiver Ben Ellis will provide a challenge for West’s defense. Ellis caught an 84-yard TD pass in the opening minute against West last season and put up 253 receiving yards.
Ellis produced 200 receiving yards opening night as Davie lost to Greensboro Page 53-22.
Davie still leads the all-time series 26-16-2, although West, boosted by all those big plays on special teams, has won the last six meetings. Davie’s most recent win was 35-21, in 2008. The Falcons won their next 46 in a row after that setback.
A.L. Brown (1-0) at South Rowan (0-1)
South Rowan beat the Wonders, 21-19, in 2009, but since then, A.L. Brown has won five straight while steamrolling the Raiders by a combined score of 262-38. The closest contest in the last five seasons was 41-6. The final was 51-7 in 2014, although it was a ballgame in the first half.
The teams have played every year since South opened in 1961. The Wonders lead the all-time series 44-8-2.
South had a pretty good showing in a 35-20 loss to Salisbury last week, in coach Daniel Yow’s debut, while the Wonders beat rival Concord, 26-15, behind terrific performances by running back Jayln Cagle and QB Damon Johnson.