Friday, September 9, 2011

High School Football Gameday


UP | Lake Norman football: It’s military, police and fireman appreciation night.
UP | Mount Pleasant’s Dezmond Leach: 26 tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries in two weeks.
DOWN | Southwestern 4A: N.C.’s dominant conference has had a representative in the state semifinals for 11 straight years. This year? Only Independence and Myers Park have winning records. Three members are winless.
UP | Angelo Crawford, Ashbrook: Rushed 28 times for 142 yards at Clover on Monday.

Mecklenburg matchups

Vance at No. 2 Butler
All summer, this looked like a phenomenal matchup: a rematch of last year’s Western 4AA regional championship game with both teams loaded with talent. Vance had plenty of turmoil when coach Pete Culicerto resigned days before the first game and the Cougars have started slowly (1-2). Now they play their second game in four days against a Butler team that had a week off since beating Olympic 70-6.
No. 3 Charlotte Catholic at Charlotte Latin
A pair of unbeaten teams and state championship contenders meet in front of what is always a standing-room-only crowd. Catholic is bigger, Latin is probably a little quicker and will try to use its up-tempo offense to outscore the Cougars.
Myers Park at North Mecklenburg
North Meck played Olympic to a close game in a wild 44-42 loss to open the season, and then only scored 20 in its next two games. Which offense shows up tonight? Myers Park lost a 10-9 game to Olympic on Tuesday, spoiling hopes of a potential unbeaten showdown with Butler next week.
Garinger at Sun Valley
Despite losing its coach to suspension, winless Garinger has hung tough in two of three games this season. Sun Valley was off last week after losing to 4AA powers Richmond Senior and Mallard Creek in back-to-back games to start the season.
No. 14 Berry at Hough
Berry comes off a 42-18 loss to No.1 Mallard Creek on Tuesday, and playing the Mavericks, who average about 275 pounds on both sides of the ball, can wear most high school teams out. Berry won’t get much time to rest, playing at Hough, where the Huskies nearly upset Independence in Week 1 before losing by six.

Regional games

No. 4 A.L. Brown at No. 11 Porter Ridge
This might be the best game in the state this week and it might be high scoring. Porter Ridge averages nearly 500 yards and nearly 60 points per game. Brown averages nearly 50 per game. Get there early and, as Terrell Owens would say, “Get your popcorn ready.”
No. 8 Burns at No. 5 South Point
Two legitimate state title contenders in the 3A class meet. Burns has played two Sweet 16 teams in the first three weeks and relies on a defense that gives up about 8 points per game. It’ll be tested tonight. The Red Raiders average 53.6 points.
No. 6 Rock Hill South Pointe at No. 9 West Rowan, Saturday
South Pointe reached the S.C. 3A championship last year, when West Rowan won its third straight N.C. 3A championship. Here’s a wonderful matchup of Carolinas powers that we wish we saw more of (can someone say “Battle of the Borders?”) annually.
Of particular interest 
1 Porter Ridge: First real test tonight after games against 1A and 2A teams.
2 Harding: Four days after huge win against West Charlotte, Rams don’t want to come out flat at home against South Mecklenburg tonight.
3 Draughn at Freedom: A couple of foothills teams (both 3-0) meet tonight while having special seasons. Burke County rivalry should draw a huge crowd.
4 Live updates: Get live updates from tonight’s games at;

Observations from Langston Wertz

-- Right here last week, I warned Mallard Creek to not kick off to Berry’s Germone Hopper. He ran one back 99 yards for a score against the Mavs. Hopper is the most dangerous return man in the area (also see Harbison, Jamel at Mallard Creek; Washington, Damien at A.L. Brown; and Fuller, Jody at Sun Valley).

-- Kick away, guys. Just kick away.

-- Some folks asked me why Porter Ridge wasn’t ranked in AP 4A poll this week. I said this last week, too: Porter Ridge, which seems to be a special team this year, needs to upgrade the schedule. The Pirates have a big game tonight with A.L. Brown, but Brown is 3A. Porter Ridge has one 4A team on the schedule: Sun Valley on Oct. 28.

-- Independence doesn’t have a lot of numbers but I sense a hunger from the Patriots we haven’t seen in a while. Coaches complained in recent years that all the success left the players feeling entitled. Now that they seem to be back to business, watch out. We could be looking at an unbeaten Indy heading into the Butler game on Oct. 28 for a league title.

High School Notes: Lake Norman Navy Seal tribute

Lake Norman Navy Seal tribute
The Lake Norman football team offers a special tribute to the Navy Seal community by wearing stickers to honor some of America’s bravest. A Lake Norman player's father is affiliated with the Seals. The stickers were made to honor the fallen, help their families and raise awareness. In return, people are asked to donate what they can to the Navy Seals Widows Foundation fund, which solely benefits the widows and children of fallen soldiers.
Marvin Ridge QB questionable tonight
Marvin Ridge quarterback Tyler Chadwick missed last week’s 30-19 win against Cuthbertson after he separated his shoulder in the third quarter against Ardrey Kell two weeks ago. He’s questionable for tonight’s Union County rivalry game with Monroe. Chadwick is 25 for 40 for 366 yards. He has one touchdown pass and three rushing.
Cannon’s big run game
Cannon School averaged more than 570 yards rushing in its first two games: 617 in a win against North Raleigh Christian and 532 against Westminster Catawba. Seniors Justin Redfern, Mason McClanahan and Jason Willix, plus junior Myles Martino have each run for more than 200 yards in one of the two wins.

Game Schedule

Games at 7:30, unless noted (*denotes highlights on WCNC, Channel 36 tonight at 11:13).
North Carolina
AFC Rangers at Providence Day
A.L. Brown at Porter Ridge*
Albemarle at Mount Pleasant
Ardrey Kell at Weddington
Berry at Hough, 7*
Bessemer City at Forestview
Burns at South Point*
Central Cabarrus at West Stanly
Catholic at Latin*
Concord at Hunter Huss
Crest at T.C. Roberson
Cuthbertson at Rocky River
East Lincoln at East Gaston
East Meck at West Meck, 7
East Rowan at Hickory Ridge
East Rutherford at West Lincoln
Fred T. Foard at Bunker Hill
Freedom at Draughn
Garinger at Sun Valley
Hibriten at Patton
Hickory at North Gaston
Hickory Grove Bapt at Union Acad
J.M. Robinson at Carson
Kings Mtn at Alexander Central
Lake Norm Char at Wake Chr
Lincolnton at Shelby*
Monroe at Marvin Ridge*
Mooresville at NW Cabarrus
Myers Park at North Meck, 7
Newton-Conover at East Surry
North Lincoln at Bandys
North Stanly at South Stanly
Olympic at Ashbrook
Parkwood at Forest Hills
Piedmont at Cox Mill
Richmond Senior at South View
R-S Central at Erwin
South Caldwell at East Burke
South Iredell at North Iredell (E)
South Meck at Harding, 7
South Rowan at Salisbury
St. Stephens at Maiden
Vance at Butler, 7
Village Chr vs David Day @JCSU
Watauga at West Caldwell
W. Char. at Independence, 7
West Iredell at Lake Norman
South Carolina
Central Pageland at Chester
Clover at Fort Mill*
Carolina Pride at Great Falls
Indian Land at Whitmire
Buford at Lancaster
Lewisville at Nation Ford
Northwestern at Ridge View
Rock Hill at York
South Pointe at West Rowan, Sat.
Westminster Catawba at Christ School


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