West Rowan Middle wins 8th grade championship

Published 12:07 am Friday, October 27, 2017

Staff report

MOORESVILLE — In a battle of unbeaten teams, West Rowan defeated Mooresville, 26-8, on Wednesday evening, winning the Rowan County Middle School Conference championship.

West concluded a perfect 8-0 season while Mooresville finished 7-1.

“This football season was perfect in so many ways,” said West coach Raye Brothers. “Being able to coach such a great bunch of players, who all had great enthusiasm, desire and determination was paramount. We had an exciting night in Mooresville.”

The Bulldogs’ offense came out hitting on all cylinders, scoring on its first two possessions for a 14-0 lead and the defense set the tone by keeping the Red Imps’ star back, Blue Monroe, in check.

Brothers credited the offensive line with opening up huge holes for the West backs to run through. Linemen Qadree Ziyad, Papa Brush, Joshua Noble, Zander Burton, Tre Garrison, Blake Oliphant and Ben Sweet led the charge as running back Akin Robinson ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Another West back, Jason Artis, picked up 52 more yards rushing and two TDs. Johnny Hernandez added a PAT for two points.

Mooresville’s offense was averaging 35 points per game, but West’s “Crazed Dogs” defense made 69 tackles, sacked the quarterback three times, force a fumble and deflected a pass.

“We knew how good Mooresville was, so the kids had to bring their “A” game to this one,” added Brothers. “The defense was fantastic.”

Leading the West defense was Jaedon Neal, who recorded 12 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Glorious Wood recorded 14 tackles, two of which were for losses.

Also making major contributions for the Bulldogs’ defense were Noble, Brush, Artis, Hernandez, Noah Loeblein, Drew Taylor and Jason Caulder.