Prep Football: Previews and Picks for Oct. 30
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 30, 2015
Salisbury Post rankings: 1. A.L. Brown (7-2), 2. West Rowan (7-2), 3. Davie (3-6), 4. Carson (5-4), 5, North Rowan (4-5), 6. East Rowan (2-7), 7. Salisbury (2-7), 8. South Rowan (0-9).
The picks were 6-1 last week, with the miss coming in the Concord-West Rowan game that the Falcons lost at home 17-10. West was an untimely penalty away from a win, so it’s not like it was the worst pick in the world, but it’s a miss.
Since North Rowan beat East Davidson 58-0 and I predicted a tight win for the Cavaliers, many are lobbying for that game to count as half a miss.
But I’m not listening. The picks are 46-6 for the season.
Tonight’s schedule is filled with “Senior Night” contests. That may mean emotional efforts by underdogs such as East Rowan, Carson and Davie.
NORTH ROWAN at THOMASVILLE
RECORDS: North Rowan (4-5, 3-0 CCC). Thomasville (6-3, 3-0 CCC).
LAST WEEK: North crushed East Davidson, 58-0. Thomasville beat Salisbury, 14-6.
THE SERIES: North rolled, 31-13, in 2014. Thomasville’s last win was in 2007. The Bulldogs lead the series, 13-8.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: North’s sophomore quarterback Josh Ellis threw four touchdown passes last week, with two going to A.J. Shields. Thomasville running back D.J. Spann had 101 rushing yards against Salisbury and possesses breakaway speed.
OUTLOOK: The winner will at least tie for the CCC championship. North’s last regular-season game is against Salisbury next week, while Thomasville always finishes against Lexington.
North enjoyed an offensive breakout last week, but this should still be a defensive struggle.
Fast and physical on defense, Thomasville has won five straight games and has allowed a meager total of 15 points in those five wins.
North Rowan has won three in a row and has shut out its last two opponents.
It’s likely neither team will be able to run the ball consistently, so it’s going to come down to who can make some plays in the passing game.
Thomasville is a run-heavy team, with about 85 percent of its offense coming on the ground. North throws it a little better, so give a slight edge to the Cavaliers.
PICK: North 10, Thomasville 7
WEST DAVIDSON at SALISBURY
RECORDS: West Davidson (2-7, 0-3 CCC). Salisbury (2-7, 0-3 CCC).
LAST WEEK: West Davidson was walloped, 48-0, by Lexington. Salisbury’s offensive frustration continued in a 14-6 loss to Thomasville.
THE SERIES: The Hornets rolled, 37-14, in 2014. Salisbury leads the series, 11-3. West Davidson’s three wins in the series came consecutively from 2005-07.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: West Davidson QB Carter Beck supplies most of the Green Dragons’ offense with 975 passing yards and 316 rushing yards. WD’s Zyler Starbuck has been good on kickoff returns.
Linebacker Tywun Rivers anchors a good Salisbury defense.
OUTLOOK: Something has to give. West Davidson hasn’t won since Sept. 11, and the Hornets haven’t tasted victory since Sept. 25.
Salisbury has been shut out twice and has scored in single digits three other times, but there’s no reason for the Hornets not to score three touchdowns tonight.
PICK: Salisbury 21, West Davidson 6
COX MILL at WEST ROWAN
RECORDS: Cox Mill (2-7, 2-5 SPC). West Rowan (7-2, 6-1 SPC).
LAST WEEK: Cox Mill lost, 28-14, to Central Cabarrus. West Rowan lost, 17-10, to Concord.
THE SERIES: Cox Mill leads, 2-0. The Chargers won, 34-29, in bizarre fashion at West in 2013 and backed it up with a solid 27-13 win against the Falcons last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: West Rowan QB Kacey Otto and receivers Kortez Weeks and Juwan Houston have given the Falcons the county’s most productive passing game.
Cox Mill’s 6-foot-3 receiver Jonathan Earl is a talented player.
OUTLOOK: West should beat the Chargers for the first time, but can the Falcons rebound from last week’s gut-wrenching loss.
Cox Mill has struggled some (losing to Northwest Cabarrus), but the Chargers are capable of a strong effort. They lost tight games to Hickory Ridge and North Meck. Their only wins came against South Rowan and East Rowan.
Cox Mill’s defensive front usually gets lots of pressure on passers, but this is a team the Falcons should be able to run the ball on. Central had 211 rushing yards vs. the Chargers last week.
PICK: West Rowan 28, Cox Mill 13
HICKORY RIDGE at CARSON
RECORDS: Hickory Ridge (6-3, 6-1 SPC). Carson (5-4, 3-4 SPC).
LAST WEEK: Hickory Ridge blasted South Rowan, 49-0. Carson whipped Northwest Cabarrus, 43-13.
THE SERIES: The Ragin’ Bulls outscored Carson, 44-36, last season to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Carson won 2010 and 2013 meetings with the Bulls.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Dual-threat QB Greg Waslo and running back Jaylen Rudisell lead Hickory Ridge.
Carson sophomore QB Owen White (809 passing yards) already has battled Waslo on the baseball diamond and and will try to direct an upset tonight.
OUTLOOK: While the focus in the SPC has been on Concord and West Rowan all season, Hickory Ridge and Robinson also are exceptional teams. After a 1-3 start that included a 21-18 loss to Concord, the Ragin’ Bulls have reeled off five straight SPC victories and are still contenders to share the league title.
Carson is still fighting for a playoff berth. A win tonight would help immensely, but the Bulls will be hard to move the ball on. Hickory Ridge has held its last five opponents under 18 points.
PICK: Hickory Ridge 27, Carson 14
CENTRAL CABARRUS at EAST ROWAN
RECORDS: Central Cabarrus (4-4, 3-4 SPC) at East Rowan (2-7, 1-6 SPC).
LAST WEEK: Central Cabarrus beat Cox Mill, 28-14. East Rowan was clobbered, 49-0, by Robinson.
THE SERIES: Central Cabarrus leads, 19-8. East won, 28-21, last season in a lightning-delayed affair that took two nights to play. The Vikings pounded East, 48-21, in 2013.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Central running back Makhi Jones rushed for 94 yards and broke two TD scampers last week. Central QB Tyler English is athletic.
East standouts Max Wall and Naquis Caldwell have been quiet the past two weeks, but they’re capable of big nights.
OUTLOOK: Central faced Hickory Ridge, Concord and West Rowan in a three-week span and dug a hole. Lately, facing the league’s bottom teams, Central has been rolling. The Vikings play Northwest Cabarrus next week, so they’re in great position to finish with a 5-4 league record and a playoff berth.
Other than a 36-13 win against Northwest Cabarrus on Oct. 9, the Mustangs haven’t shown much offense this month.
PICK: Cental Cabarrus 21, East 7
SOUTH ROWAN at ROBINSON
RECORDS: South Rowan (0-9, 0-7 SPC). Robinson (6-3, 5-2 SPC)
LAST WEEK: South Rowan lost, 49-0, to Hickory Ridge. Robinson beat East Rowan, 49-0.
THE SERIES: The series is 1-1. South won in 2009. Robinson won in 2010.
Robinson is one of five schools (Salisbury, A.L. Brown, Carson and Statesville are the others) that South beat in 2009 but hasn’t beaten since.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: South punter Marshall Long averaged 50 yards on his four punts last week and is averaging 46.1 for the season.
Robinson defensive lineman Desmond “Bo” Mason is very large, very mobile and very good. Running back Josh Rutherford (two TDs last week) leads the Bulldogs’ offense.
OUTLOOK: Robinson is a very good team that has lost to A.L. Brown, Hickory Ridge and West Rowan, and the Bulldogs should win easily.
Robinson can provide some inspiration for the Raiders. Robinson didn’t win a game last year, but look where the Bulldogs are now.
PICK: Robinson 49, South Rowan 3
WEST CHARLOTTE at A.L. BROWN
RECORDS: West Charlotte (2-8, 1-4 MECKA). A.L. Brown (7-2, 2-2 MECKA).
LAST WEEK: West Charlotte lost, 31-0, to Hough. A.L. Brown lost, 37-27, to Mallard Creek.
THE SERIES: The Wonders have won, 66-14 and 42-14, the last two years and lead the series, 3-1.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: West Charlotte QB Izayah Cole has thrown 15 touchdown passes.
A.L. Brown receiver Sherrod Sutton hauled in two scoring passes against Mallard Creek.
OUTLOOK: West Charlotte has improved quite a bit from a year agoand has a balanced offense, but the Lions were shut out by Vance and Hough, so they’re not going to do much against the Wonders’ defense.
PICK: A.L. Brown 31, West Charlotte 7
MOUNT TABOR at DAVIE
RECORDS: Mount Tabor (5-5, 2-3 CPC). Davie (3-6, 1-3 CPC)
LAST WEEK: The Spartans spanked Parkland, 49-15. Davie was off.
THE SERIES: Mount Tabor leads, 19-10. The Spartans have won 11 of the last 13.
Davie encountered the Spartans in the playoffs in 2010 and 2012. Davie won the playoff game in 2010 and won the CPC meeting in 2012.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mount Tabor receiver Deablo Devine is a Shrine Bowler.
Davie QB Chris Reynolds has 2,112 passing yards and threw for 369 two weeks ago in a loss to North Davidson.
OUTLOOK: Both teams have lost to league foes North Davidson, Reagan and West Forsyth. Both beat R.J. Reynolds. Davie should be able to handle Parkland next week, so this is a game for fourth place.
PICK: Mount Tabor 35, Davie 28