High school football notebook: Corpening produced two turnovers in latest SHS shutout
Published 11:35 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2019
By Mike London
Football notebook for Week 6 …
Salisbury’s defense still owns a clean sweep in the area stats, leading in rushing defense, pass defense, total defense (yards allowed) and scoring defense (points allowed).
Through five games, one touchdown has been scored against the Hornets’ wall-to-wall defense. That one came on a West Davidson trick play. Salisbury hasn’t allowed anything close to a scoring drive so far.
Run-stoppers and pass-rushers such as Jabril Norman, Jalon Walker and Zae Clay are quickly becoming household names. The back four — Donavan Corpening, Jadarius Wood, Max Morgan and Lawon Blackwell — aren’t famous yet, but they’re working on it.
“Our defense doesn’t have a nickname or anything like that,” Corpening said with a smile. “But our games are low-scoring or no-scoring.”
While there’s often no scoring, there’s also no snoring. Salisbury (5-0, 3-0 CCC) is making defense exciting. The Hornets make you want to carry one of those silly “D–FENCE” signs to the game.
While Walker and Blaine Shellhorn had two tackles for loss each in Friday’s 28-0 win against Lexington, Corpening may have had the most impactful game. He accounted for two turnovers with a forced fumble and an interception.
The forced fumble came on Lexington’s first snap after the opening kickoff. Lexington QB Rahmel Ewart took off.
“It was a designed run for an athletic QB, and they gashed us pretty good,” Salisbury coach Brian Hinson said. “He ran for about 15 yards.”
But that’s when Corpening whacked the ball loose.
“I saw the ball in his right hand and put my shoulder in there and knocked the ball out,” Corpening said.
Morgan made the recovery.
“The thing is,” said Hinson, “that may have been the longest gain Lexington had all night.”
Corpening added an interception in the third quarter.
“The receiver ran a slant, and I just mirrored his route and broke on the ball,” Corpening said.
Hinson said Corpening, who occasionally plays receiver for the Hornets, made a super catch on the interception.
“We kidded him about that one,” Hinson said. “Why isn’t he making catches like that when he’s on offense?”
Corpening is a senior and a two-year starter. Two years on the jayvees led to getting his first varsity shot last season.
“He’s got some height (6 feet) and he’s got good length, and like all our DBs, he’s a very good athlete,” Hinson said.
Corpening credits “quick feet” for his success.
The move of Wood from outside linebacker (last year) to strong safety also has elevated Salisbury’s DB play.
“Pound for pound, Wood is one of the strongest players in the county and one of the toughest,” Hinson said.
The return of quarterback Vance Honeycutt, who missed two games, helped the Hornets last week.
He produced more than 100 passing yards in the third quarter.
“He was a little rusty and missed a sure touchdown pass in the first quarter,” Hinson said. “But he hit that pass on the same play in the third quarter.”
JyMikaah Wells (5-9, 208) doesn’t look like a typical freshman — and isn’t playing like one.
Wells posted career highs for carries (12) and rushing yards (84) against Lexington. He scored a touchdown for the fourth straight game and probably will get more touches as the season progresses.
Wells and defensive lineman Anthony Dodd are headed to Dallas to play for Team USA in the International Bowl in January.
Patrick Taylor had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season against Lexington and hauled in his third TD pass.
Lexington’s defense stopped Mike McLean’s streak of consecutive 100-yard games at three, but he still went over 500 yards for the season and scored his fourth rushing TD.
The toughest games for Salisbury (5-0, 3-0 Central Carolina Conference) lie ahead on the road at Oak Grove (Oct. 11), at Ledford (Oct. 18) and at North Davidson (Nov. 1).
Kendrell Goodes caught his first touchdown pass in the 39-0 win against North Moore on Friday.
The 6-foot-4 basketball standout provides an imposing target.
“Since he made the decision to play football, he’s really worked at it,” North head coach Ben Hampton said. “It was good to see him get rewarded with a trip to the end zone.”
Denerio Robinson, another tall basketball/football player also snagged his first TD aerial of the season.
DB Jaharion Graham, a junior who is a three-year starter, turned in another strong game against North Moore. His 10 tackles, included three for loss.
“Graham and Zay Davis are a whole lot alike,” Hampton said. “They flat get after it.”
Asked about the race for first place that’s shaping up in the Yadkin Valley Conference, Hampton said it’s been “confusing.”
“Based on all the scores, we’re still not sure who’s good and who’s not,” Hampton said.
North hosts South Stanly, a likely contender, on Friday.
South Stanly was favored by 35 last week against South Davidson and won by a touchdown.
When North Iredell couldn’t find the handle on Carson’s opening kickoff, Caden Hudson recovered for the Cougars.
QB Alex London enjoyed his first productive running game of the season in the 35-14 win against North Iredell, with six carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Carson’s defense was led by Robert Barringer, Andrew Rollins, Logan Rogers and Connor Floyd.
Rollins has moved from linebacker to defensive end due to injuries.
At 6-2, 180 pounds, Rollins looks more like a receiver, but he was strong on the defensive line, especially during a Carson goal-line stand.
“He’s tall, but he understands the importance of playing with leverage,” Carson coach Daniel Crosby said.
Carson lost its first three meetings with North Iredell, but has now won seven in a row. That’s Carson’s longest winning streak against any school.
Carson has seen a steady diet of Norths in recent weeks — Northwest Cabarrus, North Rowan, North Stanly and North Iredell.
Taylor Conrad, an athlete who placed second in the Rowan Cross Country Championships last Thursday, was crowned homecoming queen the next day.
Davie’s 43-40 loss to A.L. Brown on Friday (and Saturday) marked the first time in Davie history that the War Eagles lost a game in which they scored 40 points.
Prior to Saturday’s wild finish, the War Eagles were 73-0 when scoring 40 or more.
This was only the fourth game in Davie history in which both teams topped 40 points.
Davie beat North Davidson 45-42 in 2016. Davie beat Page 45-40 in 2014 and topped Page 50-49 in overtime in 2008. Davie trailed that one 34-8 at halftime.
Off this week, Davie (3-3) expects to have rushing/receiving standout Tate Carney back in action when it starts Central Piedmont Conference play on Oct. 11 against R.J. Reynolds. Carney missed the losses to South Iredell and A.L. Brown.
Joe Robinson, another of Davie’s top offensive performers, will miss more time with a knee injury.
Nate Hampton nearly had his second 400-yard passing game of the season. He had 388 vs. the Wonders.
Coach Mike Newsome raved about freshman Ty Woods in the preseason, and the youngster was 5-for-5 on PATS at Davie where every point was critical. He’s the Wonders’ special teams player of the week.
Linebacker B.J. Foster made a key interception as the Wonders improved to 3-1 in exciting fashion and racked up defensive player of the week honors.
Newsome has made his quarterback decision and will go with 6-foot-3 sophomore Cam Kromah, but Isaiah Black, who opened the season as the starting QB, will still be on the field as a receiver. Kromah connected with Black for the game-winning play against Davie. Under pressure, Kromah threw the ball 35 yards downfield, and Black made a twisting catch near the sideline at the Davie 20 and sprinted for a touchdown. Those two were co-players of the week for offense. Kromah threw for more than 300 yards.
Not many football players have their grandfather on the coaching staff, but A.L. Brown guard Luke Stone does.
Pete Stone, a fixture on the Bob Boswell staffs in Kannapolis in the 1980s, gives the Wonders’ a lot of valuable coaching experience.
Luke was “Hawg of the Week” for pulling and erasing a Davie defender on a counter play.
Linebacker Brycen Schenck was “Hitman of the Week” under unusual circumstances. Blocking on an interception return, he pancaked an offensive player.
A.L. Brown hosts Carson on Friday.
Nathan Chrismon caught a 68-yard TD pass from Drew Huffman in the 52-14 loss to North Davidson on Friday.
Chrismon is tied for the county lead in scoring with 40 points (in five games) on six touchdowns and two 2-point conversions.
Logan Perry caught a pass for his second TD of the season.
Not surprisingly, it’s been a rough stretch for the Raiders (1-4, 1-2 CCC), who have been outscored 94-28 by Ledford and North Davidson the past two weeks.
That’s still progress. Last year, South was outscored by those two programs, 96-6.
South plays at Oak Grove on Friday.
South lost a close game to Oak Grove at home last season, 17-14, but the unbeaten Grizzlies look powerful this year.
Oak Grove (5-0) has won four road games and has outscored opponents, 240-39.
Oak Grove offensive lineman Matt Steadman is 6-4, 400 pounds and will provide some challenges for the Raiders.
Off last week, West (2-3) tried to heal bumps and bruises.
“We took a step back and took a look at a lot of things, and hopefully fixed some things and got better at things we weren’t good at,” Nixon said. “We’re excited. There’s a lot of football yet to be played.”
For Friday’s game at Concord, Jalen Houston and Cayleb Brawley will again be counted to carry the rushing load for the Falcons.
“If our line blocks well, it shouldn’t matter who carries it,” Nixon said. “We’ve got guys who can do the job, but we also know it’s going to be a very physical game. It’s always a physical game with Concord.”
Concord leads the series 16-6, but the Spiders have been struggling this season. West is a 9-point favorite.
In Friday’s 47-6 loss to West Stanly, Sammy Pinckney had 21 carries for 164 rushing yards. The rest of East’s offense had minus yardage.
“Sammy played every snap at running back and did all that he could do,” East head coach John Fitz said.
Pinckney leads the county in rushing yards.
East quarterback Logan Forbis and several more regulars missed the West Stanly game.
Fitz said Forbis is “questionable” for Friday’s homecoming game against Mount Pleasant.
East (2-3) should get a boost from the return of Isa’ah Cauthen, a two-way player at linebacker/running back and the team’s No. 2 rusher.
While the Mustangs had zero passing yards and only seven first downs on Friday, Fitz was most concerned about the defensive lapses.
“We didn’t do that bad of a job on offense,” he said. “We just couldn’t stop them.”