Prep Football: Notebook for Sept. 3
Prep football notebook …
West Rowan junior Kortez Weeks came through with the second-best receiving game of his career in Friday’s 35-14 win against Davie. Weeks had nine catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, second only to his mammoth game against Carson last season when he had 11 receptions for 181 yards and two TDs.
Weeks also produced the first special teams TD of his varsity career with a game-turning kickoff return late in the first half.
West’s kickoff return unit has produced a touchdown in both outings this season and in three of the last five games dating back to last season.
West shut out Davie in the second half, with senior lineman Derrick Moreland, sophomore lineman Devin Turner, junior defensive end Tyler Wheeler and senior linebacker Dearius Phillips leading the way.
West senior QB Kacey Otto was 10-for-13 passing in the second half against Davie. Otto’s 189 passing yards marked the second-highest total of his career.
West has beaten Davie seven straight times, the longest run of success the Falcons have enjoyed in the series. Davie went 9-0-1 against the Falcons from 1970-1980 and still leads the all-time series 26-17-2.
West (1-1) doesn’t play on Friday. The Falcons open SPC play at Robinson on Sept. 11.
Davie lost, 53-22, to Page in its opener, but the War Eagles’ defense was fierce for a half in the 35-14 loss to West Rowan.
Junior linebacker James Boyle had 12 solo tackles and assisted on three more. Boyle had four tackles for loss.
Junior linebacker Jack Little was in on 14 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Broc Barnette made 10 stops. Safety Caleb Wallace broke up three passes.
It gets even tougher for Davie (0-2) with Friday’s road trip to Greensboro Dudley. Dudley had to forfeit all its wins last season, but on the field, the Panthers have won 27 in a row. Dudley has overwhelmed Carver and Ragsdale this season.
Davie has lost 16 of its last 26 outings.
While Carson’s 44-26 win at North Rowan on Friday sounds like a shootout, North only had one sustained scoring drive against an improved Carson defense. The Cavaliers scored on a bomb right before halftime and had short-field touchdowns set up by a fumble recovery and a long kickoff return.
While he’s a backup linebacker on the depth chart, Chandler Herring impacted the win over North.
“He blew up some wedges and he did a great job covering kicks,” Carson coach Joe Pinyan said.
Kicker/punter Cole Howard was Carson’s special teams player of the week. He was 5-for-6 on PATs, kicked a field goal that put Carson ahead to stay, and had a great punt that pinned North close to its goal line.
He also made a touchdown-saving tackle.
While Carson didn’t name an offensive player of the week, sophomore QB Owen White was impressive in his first varsity start. He had three key completions of 40 or more yards, tossed two TD passes and wasn’t intercepted.
“We were all proud of him,” linebacker Ryan Bearden said. “He took some shots, but he just kept on playing.”
Tackle Logan Parker had two fourth-quarter sacks against the Cavaliers. Linebackers Jacob McCurry and Alex Deal had solid games to support the monumental effort turned in by Bearden.
The win squared Pinyan’s record at Carson at 12-12. Pinyan’s career head-coaching record, bolstered by his 10 strong years at Salisbury High, is 112-48. He’s three behind Roger Secreast for fifth place on the county’s all-time wins list.
The strength of North Rowan’s team is its front six on a 4-2-5 defense. North held Carson to 108 rushing yards, the fewest ground yards for the Cougars since they had 95 in a 2013 playoff loss to Forestview.
“North is real good upfront,” Pinyan said. “They were every bit as good as they were supposed to be and they also did some things we didn’t expect them to do.”
North lost the turnover battle, 5-1, to Carson. That, in a nutshell, is why the Cavaliers lost the game.
“You can’t defend the turnover,” North coach Ben Hampton said.
The lone turnover North Rowan came up with was a Jake Pritchard recovery of a fumble caused by Terry Cathcart. Carson put the ball on the ground two other times, but North couldn’t make the recoveries.
For the second straight week, sophomore running back Xavier Haley keyed North’s offense. He’s the county rushing leader with 285 yards.
After a quiet opening night against East, touted junior defensive end Zion DeBose was a terror against Carson with six tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Pritchard, a senior defensive end, leads the Cavaliers with 17 tackles. Linebacker Javin Goodine (15), nose Steven Thurston (14) and safety Jaylen Brown (13) are right behind him.
North (1-1) has a tough assignment Friday at Statesville (1-0). The Greyhounds thumped Hickory, 47-23, in their opener.
South coach Daniel Yow said the lone positive from a 67-0 loss to A.L. Brown was the punting of Marshall Long, who averaged 33.4 yards on seven boots.
South (0-2) was shut out for the fourth time in the last three seasons and allowed 60-plus points for the fifth time in the last three seasons.
A.L. Brown’s 67 points — even with a running clock in the second half — were the most ever allowed by a South team. The school opened in 1961.
The previous record? Central Cabarrus scored 66 against South on opening night in 2012 in a 66-31 romp.
Bailey Purcell has been South’s leading rusher in both games. He’s produced 65 yards on 18 carries.
South’s open week provides an opportunity to regroup. South returns to action on Sept. 11 with the SPC opener against Northwest Cabarrus. South beat Northwest (0-1) last season. The Trojans lost, 48-0, to Robinson and are taking on A.L. Brown on Friday.
A.L. Brown (2-0) rushed for 407 yards against the Raiders, the first 400-yard rushing game for the Wonders since they sped for rolled in a wild 69-55 playoff win against Hickory Ridge in 2012. That was the game in which current Charlotte 49ers star Kalif Phillips ran for 328 yards and seven TDs.
Senior Sandon McCoy is closing in on 2,000 rushing yards for his three-year varsity career after picking up 63 in six carries against South.
McCoy has 1,979 rushing yards. He had the 17th and 18th rushing TDs of his career in the South game.
Senior Jayln Cagle rushed for 125 yards in only four carries against South. Cagle, who played in only a handful of varsity games as a sophomore, has 932 career rushing yards and should go over 1,000 when the Wonders play at Northwest Cabarrus on Friday.
Senior QB Damon Johnson had another productive game against South with two rushing TDs and a passing TD. He’s thrown for 2,319 yards in his three-year varsity career and has rushed for 947.
While Salisbury lost 33-0 to East Rowan on Friday, there were bright spots for the Hornets.
Coach Ryan Crowder praised the play of senior receiver Will Steinman (three catches, 73 yards), sophomore cornerback Tyvion Wood and senior punter Arturo Ramirez.
Salisbury was shut out for the first time since a 41-0 setback against North Rowan ended the 2013 season.
With six carries for 46 yards against East, senior Willie Clark pushed his career rushing total to 1,531 yards. Only nine Hornets, including QBs John Knox and Brian Bauk, have surpassed 2,000 rushing yards.
Salisbury (1-1) travels to Carson on Friday.
East’s defense produced its first shutout since it blanked Salisbury in the second week of the 2013 season.
Coach Kenneth McClamrock identified lineman Chase Fritz and cornerback Wesley Porter as the defensive standouts.
East opened in 1959, and Keith Tillman’s four-TD game against Salisbury was only the 11th in school history.
Eight have come since the turn of the century. Cal Hayes Jr., an electrifying runner and returner, accomplished the feat three times in 2000 and 2001, including a memorable effort against A.L. Brown.
Jamey Small, whose sister Brittany is now a volleyball and track standout for the Mustangs, had four TD receptions in a game against North Iredell in 2004.
Workhorse Thomas Lowe had a pair of four-TD rushing efforts in 2007, while Seth Wyrick had four TD receptions in a playoff game against Freedom in 2014.
East (1-1) hosts Concord, McClamrock’s alma mater, on Friday. Historically, the Spiders have been tougher on the Mustangs than anyone. East is 3-38-1 against Concord.