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HS football playoffs: West Rowan falls at Catholic

Staff report

CHARLOTTE — West Rowan’s strong football season ended harshly on Friday, with a a 42-7 loss to Charlotte Catholic at Keffer Stadium.

Charlotte Catholic has won the last two 3A championships.

The fifth-seeded Cougars (10-3) rolled 66 yards to score on the game’s first possession, built their lead to 21-0 in the first quarter and brought on a running clock by taking a 42-0 advantage with seven minutes left.

The ninth-seeded Falcons (9-5) had won seven of eight coming in, including two playoff road games, but Catholic breezed into a regional final meeting with Kings Mountain.

Paul Neel finished Catholic’s opening drive with a 13-yard scoring run.

After Jimmy Brewer’s 7-yard TD made it 14-0, the Cougars pushed the lead to 21-0 through the air, with Harrison Barnett hitting Garrett McKernan on a 44-yard play.

In the second quarter, Barnett scored on the ground for a 28-0 halftime lead.

West didn’t allow any points in the third quarter, but Catholic expanded its lead in the fourth quarter on another Barnett-to-McKernan touchdown pass and Jake Smith’s touchdown pass to Jason Jeffares.

Catholic had 215 rushing yards and 114 passing yards.

West managed 204 yards of offense, with Jalen Houston rushing 25 times for 125 yards. Houston also had two of West’s three pass receptions.

Noah Loeblein ran for 25 yards and threw for 37.

Houston got a TD in the final seconds for the Falcons to prevent a shutout. West moved 75 yards to score. Houston got the touchdown from the 9, his 19th of the season and 54th of his career. Federico Cruz added the PAT.

West Rowan                   0     0     0      7  —  7

Charlotte Catholic      21     7     0    14  — 42

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