Prep Football: Notebook for Week 1
By Mike London
Prep football notebook …
Playing both ways in August heat is no picnic, and South Rowan lineman Patrick Brooks played nearly 100 snaps in the 18-15 loss to Carson.
“He looked so exhausted Friday that I called him on Saturday to make sure he was OK,” South head coach Daniel Yow said. “He was our player of the game, no doubt. He played that 100th snap as hard as he did the first one.”
Yow hopes to get Brooks more rest moving forward.
“We need him on every offensive snap, but we’ve got to find a way to rest him for at least a series or two on defense,” Yow said.
Brooks is the son of South assistant coach Jim Brooks.
Yow was pleased with the debut of quarterback Brett Amburn, a senior making his first varsity start. Amburn threw a touchdown pass at the end of the first half and found six different receivers.
“He may have had the most passing yards that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Yow said. “He had one interception, but that was a ball that got tipped. Then it stayed up in the air so long, it was almost like a punt.”
There was no shortage of bright spots for South, including DB Emilio Bernal.
“He didn’t allow a completion on his side of the field,” Yow said. “He played really well. We had a lot of guys who were in their first varsity game that did really well.”
South is off this week. That will give Yow a chance to scout two future opponents in person on Friday. He’s planning to see the Central Davidson-East Rowan contest.
Head coach Joe Pinyan declared in the preseason that junior defensive lineman Teolyn Woodruff was a player to watch. Woodruff delivered two sacks in the 18-15 win against South Rowan and caused a fumble that was recovered by Joseph Collins. Woodruff also handled punting duties and averaged a respectable 35.3 yards on three boots.
Carson got relatively good news on injured lineman Kenny Clarke. His senior season has been interrupted, but not ended, by a knee injury. Clarke is expected to be out a few weeks.
Returning starter Josh Malloy had a sack for the Cougars, while linebacker Josh McCurry made an interception and nine tackles.
New quarterback Cole Sifford is the county total offense leader after Week 1. He ran for 96 yards and threw for 86. Ben Coulter was his top receiver, with two catches for 44 yards.
Sophomore back Hunter Courtney debuted with 72 rushing yards and two TDs.
Senior linebacker Devin Gay was in on 12 stops against the Raiders and was the primary tackler eight times.
Carson football got a boost from the school’s basketball stars. Receiver Jamarius Hairston made his first catch, a 16-yard completion. Cornerback Jailen Williams had four tackles and was credited with thwarting two pass plays. Jailen’s older brother, Tre, was outstanding in both sports for the Cougars.
Head coach Ben Hampton was happy with the offensive line play, especially in the second half of a 42-15 win against rival Salisbury.
Center Will Anthony and left tackle Bryson Deal were standouts, protecting QB Willis Mitchell and opening holes for backs Jaleel Webster and sophomore Malcolm Wilson.
Webster is closing in on 2,000 career rushing yards. He needs 67 more. He scored the 18th and 19th TDs of his career on Friday.
As expected, North’s defense line was outstanding. Husky junior Chaz McCombs had six tackles, one for loss.
Down 15-13 at one point against the Hornets, North got a momentum-turning TD late in the first half and scored 27 unanswered points.
“We made some adjustments at halftime, and the kids really went to work,” Hampton said. “Our guys just played their tails off in the second half. Our linebackers were really good.”
Kicker Jacob Young was successful on four PATs on Friday. He’s been one of the top kickers in school and county history. He’s kicked 97 PATs in a four-year varsity career and he’s made 15 field goals. That’s 142 points.
North handled the anxiety of opening against the Hornets for the first time ever and started 1-0 for the sixth straight season.
Salisbury couldn’t run the ball the way it wanted to against North Rowan’s defense, but the Hornets hit big pass plays. Griffin Myers leads the county with 172 passing yards, mostly because speedsters Trell Baker and Tyrone Johnson produced a pair of huge plays that netted 140 yards.
“Trell took a bubble to the house (67 yards), and Tyrone caught a vertical route that almost went for six,” Salisbury coach Brian Hinson said. “Their DB had the angle on Tyrone, but he out-ran the angle. He was just able to clip his heels and stop him short of the end zone.”
Johnson doesn’t have ideal size, but speed kills. He’s the county’s defending champion in the 100 and 200 meter sprints.
“He’s really fast, a field-stretcher, but he’s just a tiny little thing,” Hinson said. “I was pleased with his effort to block people, to at least get in someone’s way. He was like a gnat out there.”
Leaders for Salisbury’s defense were senior left end Kevon Yelverton and senior inside linebacker Tevin Mullenax.
“Kevon played with a lot of heart all night,” Hinson said. “Tevin made good reads. He played downhill.”
One of Salisbury’s standouts, linebacker Nick Austin, was injured in the North game. Hinson said he’s likely to miss a few weeks.
Trying to bounce back from a 29-3 loss at Mooresville, West hosts North Rowan on Friday in a marquee game. The rivals haven’t met since 2012, and the game will be broadcast on WSAT.
It’s also “Military Appreciation Night,” with camouflage uniforms planned.
Martavio Rankin managed 64 rushing yards against Mooresville, his best game since getting 122 against East Rowan midway through the 2016 season. North Rowan transfer Jaden Perry added 53 yards.
QB Payne Stolsworth, who threw for 2,034 yards as a sophomore, was held to 85 passing yards on opening night. Jalen Houston led the receivers with three catches for 45 yards. Rain in the second half didn’t help the passing game.
East’s opening loss at North Stanly, 39-25, can be chalked up to two things — failing to tackle Cameron Davis (306 rushing yards, four TDs) and losing three fumbles.
But a lot of the things East wanted to do with its new triple-option offense, it did. Most of the time, if you run 65 offensive plays, rush for 233 yards and grind out 24 first downs, you’re going to win the ballgame.
Deontae Gallman rushed for 115 yards — 62 on one play — and is second in the county in rushing to North’s Webster.
Peyton Lambert, a kicker turned receiver, made an impact with two catches for 30 yards.
Versatile Sam Wall is among the county leaders in scoring, rushing and receiving after Week 1.
Defensively, East did a nice job against the pass. North Stanly had just two completions in 11 tries.
Junior Justin Smith, one of the county’s top returning QBs, threw the 13th and 14th TD passes of his career.
Linebacker James Boyle, who made a school-record 497 tackles for the War Eagles, is at Davidson College now, but Davie still has a tackling machine. Cody Hendrix, a 205-pound senior linebacker was credited with 16 stops in the 20-14 overtime loss to Page.
Davie’s net offense against Page was just 83 yards. Davie hadn’t been held below 100 yards in a game since a 13-7 overtime loss to West Forsyth in 2009.
Star receiver Cooper Wall, who caught 15 TD passes last season, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL sustained during basketball season. His left-knee surgery took place in late January, and he’s expected to return at some point in the next few weeks.
Junior Jordan Medley’s debut as the starting quarterback was a rousing success. Medley ran for 102 yards, threw for 99, and accounted for three touchdowns.
Medley, Jaron Cooper and Nick Lyerly combined for 419 rushing yards in a 56-0 romp against Hopewell. All three averaged better than 13 yards per carry. Medley was named offensive player of the week, while Lyerly, who trucked a defender on a scoring run, was named “Hitman of the Week.” Keon McGee, a senior cornerback who scored a two-point conversion, led special teams.
The Wonders will honor their 1997 3A championship team, the school’s most recent state champs, on Friday when Marvin Ridge visits.
That team, coached by Bruce Hardin, was led by two-time Associated Press state player of the year Nick Maddox and went 15-1. The lone loss was to East Rowan. The Wonders, East and Concord shared the South Piedmont Conference championship that year.
Brown’s defense logged its first shutout since blanking Northwest Cabarrus in Week 3 of the 2016 season. The defense also got in on the scoring parade when Zaquan Clyburn returned an interception for a touchdown.
By Mike London firstname.lastname@example.org FARMINGTON HILLS, Michigan — Fifty years ago, the best football player in Rowan County was a rugged... read more