North Rowan loses to Carver in first round
By Adam Houston
WINSTON-SALEM — Rashad Butler took off for a 68-yard touchdown run in the middle of a disastrous first quarter for Carver. The play cut the Yellowjackets’ deficit to 14-7 against North Rowan with 6 minutes, 21 seconds left in the period.
That play let Butler know something special was going to happen.
“I made a cut, and I seen nothing but green,” Butler said. “I just took off. My eyes was just glued on the end zone.”
When the night was done, Butler had 412 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 28 carries in No. 9 Carver’s 38-14 victory over No. 9 North Rowan in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 2-A playoffs.
Butler ripped off big runs and small runs. He found success running to the left to the right and up the middle. He was never held for a loss on any rush attempt.
“He’s just one of them kids that you just love to have in the program; does the right things, you know,” said coach German Crowell Sr. of Carver. “He works hard on and off the field, in the weight room and works hard in practice. So this is just a great reward for him.”
According to available NCHSAA records, Forsyth County has never had a player run for more than 350 yards in a single game. Butler was 98 yards shy of former Northern Guilford running back T.J. Logan’s state-record 510 yards, set in the 2012 Class 3-AA state championship game against Charlotte Catholic.
Butler’s 60-yard touchdown run gave his team a 20-14 lead with 2:46 left in the second half. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior’s 86-yard touchdown run in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter sealed Butler’s spot on top of the Forsyth County record book and, with a 32-14 lead, all but promised his team a spot in the second round of the playoffs.
Carver (8-4) travels next Friday to defending Class 2-A state champion and top-seeded Shelby (11-1). The Golden Lions defeated No. 16 West Wilkes 62-0.
North Rowan (5-7) broke out of the gate early. Jaden Perry took the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into game. Carver quarterback Germane Crowell Jr. was intercepted on the first play of the ensuing drive, but Carver muffed the Cavaliers’ punt on that drive. That sequence led to Xavier Haley’s 3-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead.
The Cavaliers, the runners-up to Thomasville in the Central Carolina 2-A, picked off Crewell Jr. four times but were unable to convert their final three into anything meaningful.
“We came out on fire, we return the opening kickoff for a touchdown, we go down to punch another one, go up two scores, and we wanted to try to control the clock,” coach Ben Hampton of North Rowan said. “We had some big third downs. We had some dropped passes. We had some missed reads.
“From that point on, we didn’t execute.”
Jacob Young missed two field goal attempts in the first half.
North Rowan 14 0 0 0 — 14
Carver 13 7 6 12 — 38
NR — Jaden Perry 87 kickoff return (Jacob young kick), 11:47 1st
NR — Xavier Haley 3 run (Young kick), 7:15 1st
C — Rashad Butler 68 run (John Lobo Jimenez kick), 6:21 1st
C—Tyquan Watson 22 pass from German Crowell Jr. (kick failed), 1st
C — Butler 60 run (Lobo Jimenez kick), 2:46 2nd
C — Terrion Cherry 4 run (kick failed), 8:03 3rd
C—Butler 86 run (kick failed), 10:29 4th
C—Watson 10 run (run failed), 4:01 4th
Rushing: Josh Ellis 5-23, Xavier Haley 10-20, TD.
Passing: Corbin Smith 6-20-0, 72.