Prep Football: Notebook
Published 8:57 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017
By Mike London
Prep football notebook …
Defensive back Equarius Baldwin’s three interceptions for A.L. Brown in the recent win at Davie County set off a search through the record books.
Three interceptions by a team in a game isn’t all that common, so three by the same player is a rarity.
At A.L. Brown, you have to go all the way back to 1998 to find a player with a three-interception game.
That was a powerful Nick Maddox-led machine, but the Wonders had many more standouts, including a DB named Tremaine Robinson, who occasionally took blowout snaps at quarterback.
Robinson turned in two three-interception games that season, but he accomplished that feat at the worst possible times, at least for him, in games in which he still wasn’t the lead story.
Robinson had three picks when the Wonders mauled Harding, 42-0, on the road, but the spotlight still was fixed squarely on Maddox, who broke the Cabarrus County career rushing record that night.
Two weeks later, Robinson produced three more picks. This time it was in the famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) 97-0 beatdown of Northwest Cabarrus, and everyone was more concerned with the bloody and spooky final score — it happened around Halloween — then with Robinson’s sixth, seventh and eighth interceptions of the season. Robinson also contributed to that wipeout offensively, bolting about 80 yards with a quarterback sneak. There was no mercy rule in those days, and mercy, on that night, was in fairly limited supply.
Neither Baldwin nor Robinson holds the school record for interceptions. The late Bobby Compton played defensive halfback for the Wonders in 1960 – a position we call cornerback now — and he personally made four interceptions in a really big game, the much-hyped 1960 Piedmont Championship contest in which the Wonders smashed Mooresville, 26-0. That game featured great multi-sport athletes on both sides, players who would unite on the 1961 Kannapolis American Legio baseball team that won the state championship.
While quarterback Griffin Myers was player of the week for the state, he shared Salisbury’s offensive player of the week honor with receiver Joe Steinman, who had his first 100-yard night in the blowout of Central Davidson. Steinman had two big plays, a 53-yard TD and another long gain to the Central Davidson 1-yard line.
The 58-0 romp against Central Davidson was the most points the Hornets have scored since they beat Carson, 68-28, in 2012. The margin of victory was the largest since the Hornets beat West Davidson, 59-0, in 2011.
Salisbury’s defensive player of the week was inside linebacker Nick Austin who had five solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, a sack and a pass breakup. The other inside linebacker, Tevin Mullenax, also had a big game.
Receiver Will Taylor scored the first two TDs of his varsity career on Friday.
There were some injury concerns regarding outside linebacker Blaine Shellhorn on Friday, but Hinson said he’ll be OK.
While Central Davidson’s varsity has lost 29 straight games, the Spartans smacked Salisbury, 49-6, in jayvee action last Thursday. Central’s jayvees are 3-2.
Jayvee scores don’t necessarily mean much — a lot depends on how many sophomores are playing on the varsity team — but that’s still encouraging for Central’s future.
While Salisbury’s varsity is off this week, the jayvees (2-3) will be taking on Oak Grove on Thursday. Oak Grove, the new school in Midway, isn’t competing in varsity football this season, but the Grizzlies are 4-1 in jayvee ball.
It’s a very big week for South Rowan, which has lost nine straight games, dating back to last season.
South can win at West Davidson if it can cut down mistakes. South turned it over five times in last week’s 48-6 loss to West Rowan.
“We’ll put our noses back to the grindstone this week and go to work,” South coach Daniel Yow said. “Every game we’ve got left is winnable, but we’ve got to stop stopping ourselves.”
South just finished the most demanding part of its schedule — a rough, three-week grind against Ledford, North Davidson and West Rowan. Ledford and North Davidson are still unbeaten in the CCC.
Martavio Rankin (273 rushing yards), Jaden Perry (280) and Jayden Jones (267) are having very similar seasons for the Falcons.
They combined for five TDs in the romp against South.
Rankin, a senior, has dropped weight and looks much quicker. He got to the outside several times against South Rowan.
Jay Joseph, Malcolm Ingram and Daniel Durham had fumble recoveries against South.
The win against South boosted the Falcons’ record in county games under coach Joe Nixon to 9-0. West has won 60 of its last 63 county games. West hasn’t lost to North Rowan since 2001, to South Rowan since 2000, and to Salisbury since 1996.
QB Willis Mitchell had the biggest passing night of his career, throwing for 257 yards in the 20-19 win against South Stanly.
Quintous Smith Jr. has nine catches for 201 yards in the past two weeks, with three of those receptions going for TDs.
Jaleel Webster scored his eighth and ninth TDs of the season on Friday and has 26 for his career. He’s closing in on 2,500 career rushing yards.