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Area Sports Briefs: Wonders advance; Catawba women win

From staff  and wire reports

KANNAPOLIS — A.L.Brown outscored Asheville Erwin in the first round of the 3AA football state playoffs, 44-34, on Friday.

Sixth-seeded A.L.Brown (10-2) advances to play at No. 3 seed South Iredell (10-2) next week.

The Wonders stopped 11th-seeded Erwin’s first possession less than a minute into the game, and Malik Keller, who has turned blocking kicks into an art form, rejected Erwin’s punt to set up the game’s first score. QB Jordan Medley got the TD from 15 yards out with his legs, and the Wonders led, 7-0.

Medley’s 10-yard scoring pass to Jaron Cooper gave the Wonders a 14-6 lead late in the first quarter, but the visiting Warriors also kept scoring.

Erwin (6-5), which had a six-game winning streak stopped, took a 20-14 lead. A 29-yard Jalen Nixon TD tied it for the Wonders at 20-all with 3:10 left in the first half.

Zaquan Clyburn’s 63-yard punt return gave the Wonders a 27-20 lead at halftime.

Brian Gutierrez kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 30-20 lead with 7:37 left in the third quarter.

The Wonders’ lead was 30-27 when Nixon got his second TD of the night for  a 37-27 edge late in the third quarter.

Medley’s 16-yard scoring pass to Antonio Knight  early in the fourth quarter gave the Wonders a 44-27 lead and some breathing room.

But Erwin got back to 44-34 with a TD with nine minutes left.

There was still  doubt about the outcome until the Wonders made a goal-line stand at the 1-yard line with 4:39 remaining.

Erwin tried to make it a one-score game with a field goal with 2:09 left, but a miss sealed victory for the Wonders.

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TROUTMAN — North Piedmont Conference champion South Iredell (10-2) outscored upset-minded Northwest Cabarrus (6-6) in another 44-34 contest on Friday.

South Iredell QB Brady Pope was 19-for-34 for 302 yards and is closing in on 10,000 passing yards for his career.

But the Trojans sacked Pope six times and made it exciting.

Ty Everhart caught two touchdown passes from   Pope, including one with 6:31 left to push the lead back to 10 points.

Catawba women

Catawba’s women’s basketball team opened the season with a 94-81 win against Mount Olive in a game played in Hickory on Friday afternoon.

Freshman Taisha DeShazo scored 23 points for the Indians.

Veterans Serena Brown and Marshauna Butler had 16 points apiece, and Brianna Hodges added 11.

Catawba plays Barton in Hickory today.

Catawba men

Catawba’s men erased a 14-point deficit in the second half but lost to Francis Marion, 72-70, on a bucket with two seconds left.

Jerrin Morrison led the Indians with 26 points and nine rebounds.

Jaleel Taylor scored 16 points.Malik Constantine had seven points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Newcomer John McRae helped spark Catawba’s comeback.

Detrick Browning scored 30 points for Francis Marion, including the winning bucket.

The game was played at UNC Pembroke  Catawba plays the Braves tonight.

•••

CHARLOTTE — Austin Ajukwa and Milos Supica each scored 18 points and led seven players in double-figure scoring as Charlotte routed Division III Methodist, 116-76 in the season opener Friday night.

The 116-point total is the most Charlotte has scored in a game during the Mark Price era.

The 49ers shot 62.7 percent from the field (42 of 67).

Prep football

Chris Doby will continue as interim head coach the rest of this season at Ledford.

Chris Adams will then resume his duties as head coach.  Adams is serving as an assistant coach currently. Adams will continue as head baseball coach.

Wolfpack rolls

RALEIGH — Kevin Keatts’ debut as North Carolina State’s head coach went just as he planned.

Allerik Freeman scored 17 points to help N.C. State beat VMI 102-67 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

Torin Dorn added 16 points and Lennard Freeman had a career-high 15 points for the Wolfpack, who never trailed.

Seven N.C. State players scored in double figures as the team cracked 100 points in a season opener for the first time since a 104-78 win over VMI in 1995.

“I was really impressed with our balanced scoring,” Keatts said. “Pretty much everybody who got in the game affected the game in a positive way. I thought we really shared the basketball.”

8th-grade hoops

West Rowan’s boys lost to Mooresville,55-37, in a season opener.

Josh Noble led West with 10 points and eight rebounds. Noah Loeblein scored seven for West.

West Rowan will travel to China Grove on Monday.

•••

   Erwin’s girls rolled against North Rowan, 62-28. Mary Spry scored 18, while Hannah Isley and Haley Dalton scored 14 each. Riley Isley and Madie Honeycutt scored six apiece.

Webb dies

Toby Webb, passed away this week at the age of 96.

He was an outstanding coach and was the driving force behind turning Albemarle becoming a football power.

Webb served as head football coach and AD at Albemarle, posting a  record of 103-18-6 while winning two WNCHSAA crowns .

The NCHSAA’s annual awards for outstanding male and female coach of the year are named in his honor.

Webb was a  Tarboro native and played football at UNC.  He served three years in the U.S. Marines Corps before earning his master’s degree at UNC and coming to Albemarle.

He coached the 1958 N.C. Shrine Bowl squad.

Signings, commits

Salisbury swimmer Kathyrn Morrison will sign with East Carolina on Wednesday.

•••

  West Rowan catcher/outfielder Parker Greene announced a commitment to UNC Wilmington’s softball program.

•••

South Rowan first baseman Brooke Lowery will sign with Catawba’s softball program on Monday.

•••

Carson’s Owen White,  a pitcher/shortstop, will sign with South Carolina’s baseball program on Monday.

•••

Carson’s Lindsay Elmore will sign with Queens’ volleyball program on Monday.

•••

Salisbury swimmer Ethan Knorr will sign with    East Carolina’s swimming program on Monday.

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