High school football: Cavaliers battle for road win

Published 7:10 am Saturday, September 2, 2023


By Mike London

WADESBORO —  North Rowan’s football team displayed serious resilience and won a road game.

It was tough one. The Cavaliers, who got creamed on a road trip to Forest Hills in Week 2, bounced back from that disappointment. They built a three-touchdown lead on Friday and held off a determined Anson comeback to take a 38-28 decision.

“It’s a huge win for us on the road,” North’s first-year head coach Josh Sophia said. “Anson has great football tradition, and they’ve still got great athletes. They may be 0-3 right now, but that’s not a typical 0-3 team.”

Daniel Montes Medrano kicked the 35-yard field goal that gave the Cavaliers (2-1) a two-score lead late and sealed the victory. He also kicked five PATs.

Jeremiah Alford accounted for four touchdowns and picked off a pass on defense.

Tsion Kelly, another two-way man, had himself a night with an interception, a fumble recovery and a touchdown catch.

North ran the ball a lot more than it threw it. That was the plan. Control the ball. Keep it away from Anson’s explosive athletes.

Jaemias Morrow was the workhorse back for North with 20 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. Khor’on Miller muscled for another 39 yards on nine carries.

Alford only threw 10 times, but he was efficient. His five completions were mostly big plays. He had three TD passes and 124 passing yards.

Alford ran for another score.

“We want to run the ball,” Sophia said. “But at the same time we’ve got some great athletes at receiver, and we have to take our shots and try to get the ball in their hands.”

Amir Alexander had three catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He’s had at least one TD catch in every game so far.

Morrow got the first touchdown of the night late in the first quarter.

Alford’s touchdown pass to Kelly gave North a 14-0 lead at halftime.

“Our defense played tremendously in the first half,” Sophia said. “But we missed some great opportunities to score more points, and Anson was able to stay in the game.”

Anson got back to 14-6 early in the third quarter, but North answered with two quick touchdowns on Alford’s first touchdown pass to Alexander and Alford’s scoring run.

Down 28-6, Anson started gathering momentum on offense. North plays a lot of people both ways, and they were tiring.

Anson fought back to 28-22, but Alford and Alexander connected again for a 35-22 advantage.

Anson made it 35-28 with about five minutes left, but North was able to finish.

Medrano’s clutch field goal sailed through the uprights, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

North will face another athletic crew next week — the TW Andrews Red Raiders from High Point — but the Cavaliers will get to play that one at home.