High school football: Mustangs, Wonders, Raiders fall

Published 4:29 am Sunday, September 17, 2023


From staff reports

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s football team tried mightily to get a rare win against Concord on Friday.

It would have been a huge upset. Concord was favored by four touchdowns.

Concord did enough early to hang on for an 11-10 victory over the Mustangs in the South Piedmont Conference opener for both teams.

Concord is 43-3-1 against East all-time. East’s most recent victory in the series came in 2009. The others were in 1969 and 1979.

Concord’s Patrick Stephens kicked a field goal midway through the first quarter to open the scoring, and the Spiders (3-1, 1-0) added a rushing touchdown by Justin Johnson and a 2-point conversion by Alex Petroff for an 11-0 lead later in the first quarter.

East (0-4, 0-1) was stout defensively and shut out the Spiders the rest of the way.

East cut its deficit to 11-7 with 2:45 left in the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Tijon Everhart to AJ Goodman.

When Concord fumbled on the first play of the second half, East recovered at the Concord 20, and Carter Honeycutt’s field goal made it an 11-10 game.

East had numerous scoring chances after that but couldn’t cash in.

East’s defense got its final stop of the night to give the ball back to the offense at the East 30 with 1:05 remaining, but the Spiders sealed victory with a forced fumble by Isaiah Wright and a recovery by Kadein Porter.

East Rowan plays at Northwest Cabarrus next week, while Concord plays Central Cabarrus at home.


HARRISBURG — Hickory Ridge was a very talented 0-4 team that had played an impossible early schedule, and the Ragin’ Bulls beat A.L. Brown on Friday for their first victory.

Hickory Ridge’s 33-28 Greater Metro Conference win was achieved almost exclusively through the air.

Quarterback Caden Haywood was 26-for-37 for 372 yards and three TDs. He also was Hickory Ridge’s leading rusher and accounted for about 95 percent of the Bulls’ offense.

Haywood is an exceptional 6-foot-5 athlete, a Western Carolina baseball commit who also is the leading rebounder in the Hickory Ridge’s basketball program’s history.

Dominic Testa had two touchdown catches, as the Wonders had to focus on 6-foot-3 wideout Jalen Harris, a Coastal Carolina Commit.

A.L. Brown also has a quarterback who is a three-sport athlete, and CJ Gray made it an interesting game. Gray’s touchdown pass to Gerard Evans gave the Wonders a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.

With the Wonders (2-2, 0-1) trailing 23-7 late in the first half, Gray ran for a 6-yard touchdown.

Gray’s score came in the last minute of the half, but the Bulls were still able to add a field goal for a 26-14 halftime lead.

Hickory Ridge led 33-14 after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter, but the Wonders came back.

Gray’s second touchdown run made it 33-21 with 6:46 left.

Gray’s second TD pass of the night went to Mekhi Herron with 47 seconds left to make it 33-28.

Hickory Ridge was able to secure an onside kick attempt to wrap up the win.


LANDIS — Northwest Cabarrus is undefeated for a reason and smacked South Rowan 63-0 on Friday.

Northwest (4-0, 1-0) led 21-0 right away and by 35-0 after a quarter. It was 56-0 at halftime.

Alex Walker threw for 211 yards for the Trojans, including a 60-yard scoring pass.

Ray Jay Waters had 112 rushing yards on only nine carries and scored four touchdowns.

Even with the running-clock second half, Northwest had more than 450 yards of offense.

South (1-3, 0-1) had negative rushing yardage for the night, but Brooks Overcash and Dalton Young were able to make some plays in the passing game for first downs.

“Dalton had some great catches,” South coach Chris Walsh said. “We had some injuries that made us one-dimensional on offense, and Brooks had to throw it a lot. Props to him for doing so in the face of a lot of pressure.”

Walsh said Zion Jackson led South’s defense in tackles.

South plays at West Rowan next. Northwest will look to keep it rolling at home against East Rowan.