Archive for September, 2005

How I voted

September 28, 2005

Here’s how I voted in the latest AP High School Football Poll:

4A
1. Charlotte Independence
2. Richmond County
3. Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor
4. Greenville Rose
5. Fayetteville Britt
6. Southern Durham
7. New Bern
8. Raleigh Wakefield
9. Charlotte Providence
10. Hope Mills South View

3A
1. Asheville
2. West Rowan
3. Greensboro Dudley
4. Charlotte Catholic
5. Wilson Beddingfield
6. Western Alamance
7. Franklin
8. Kannapolis Brown
9. Hickory
10. Rocky Mount

2A
1. East Duplin
2. Brevard
3. Southwest Onslow
4. Shelby
5. South Lenoir
6. South Columbus
7. Canton Pisgah
8. Elizabeth City Northeastern
9. Catawba Bandys
10. Lincolnton

1A
1. Wallace-Rose Hill
2. Thomasville
3. Elkin
4. Chocowinity Southside
5. East Carteret
6. Polk County
7. Mt. Airy
8. Manteo
9. North Johnston
10. Ayden-Grifton

One for the books – in a bad way

September 27, 2005

This past weekend had to be one of the darkest in recent memory for Cleveland County football fans.

Five teams with county ties — Burns, Crest, Kings Mountain, Shelby and Gardner-Webb — took the field on Friday and Saturday, and every one of them came out a loser.

OK, Hope Christian beat Hickory Grove’s JV team, but the Thunderbolts are still working their way onto the county football landscape.

Somebody asked me when the last time all four high school teams had lost in the same week of the regular season.With the help of my good friend Phillip Gardner over at The Gaston Gazette, I think I’ve found the answer.

The year was 1967. It was Crest’s first year of existence and on the third week of that season, Crest lost to Tryon, 45-6, Shelby dropped a 6-0 decision to Lincolnton, Kings Mountain was shut out by Chase, 14-0 and Burns was a 32-6 loser to Charlotte Catholic.

So this weekend’s carnage is only the second such occurance in our history.GWU didn’t have a team in 1967, so all five teams falling is a historic event.

Of the five established teams, all but Kings Mountain were favored to win their games.The Mountaineers hit the road to face an improving Central Cabarrus squad, and it really wasn’t a huge shock when the Vikings came out on top.

But Crest was hosting an Ashbrook squad that had dropped four straight, while Burns had Forestview over for Homecoming, and although the Bulldogs had never beaten the Jaguars in Lawndale, this figured to be the year.

Shelby had a tough road date with Brevard, but the Lions pounded the Devils in last year’s State 2A Playoffs.

And finally, Gardner-Webb brought the nation’s top-rated offense into a home date with traditional patsy UT Martin.

On paper, that’s four wins with Crest and GWU’s probably coming easy.

But as we all know, games aren’t played on paper.

And so the stage was set for a bitter weekend of football.

Let’s start with the most baffling and work our way down.

Crest entered the game against the Green Wave riding the tide of its highest offensive output of the year in last week’s 43-14 win over Kings Mountain.

The yardage was there, as the Chargers outgained Ashbrook 333-138.Points, however, were another matter.

Burns and Shelby hung a combined 82 points on Ashbrook while Crest managed 12. Go figure.

Gardner-Webb eased out to a 28-10 halftime lead Saturday afternoon, and I was thinking of ways to make a blowout win sound interesting in Sunday’s paper.

Uh, nevermind.

A funny thing happened on the way to 3-0 for the Bulldogs — their offense never left the locker room after intermission.

Twenty-one unanswered points left the GWU faithful, and at least one alum, scratching their collective heads.

Shelby had a similar meltdown, only for a much different reason.

The Golden Lion offense has been a fullback-based attack longer than I’ve been alive. And that’s all well and good, assuming you have some healthy candidates to line up back there.

With Arsenio Parks already out of commission, Doug Scott went down early in Friday night’s contest, forcing Shelby to abandon its three-back set for a spread attack.

The Lions were up 20-0 in the blink of an eye, as Shelby’s sudden shift in tactics caught the Devils off-guard.

But a fumble and a special teams error reduced the working margin to 20-12 at the break, and even after Tavorris Jolly scored his third touchdown of the night on a fumble recovery to make it 27-12, the tide was already turning.

Brevard went to work, pounding away at an injury-depleted Shelby defense. The Devils piled up 313 rushing yards on 52 carries — and most of that damage came after halftime.

Three fairly easy touchdown drives, the last one coming with just over a minute left, sealed the Lions’ fate.

Burns’ loss marked the second straight week that a fourth-quarter lead went up in smoke.Rod Mack punched in a short touchdown run with no time left, running Forestview’s career record in Lawndale to 4-0.

Another big stat night from Lance Camp went by the boards, and now the Bulldogs have another heartbreaking defeat to go with the one they suffered in Belmont two weeks ago.

It was a hard week for me to cover, so I know it was rough on the fans.

But look on the bright side.

There’s nowhere to go from here but up.

An idea worth stealing

September 13, 2005

My friend Bryan Hanks posted his votes in the weekly AP High School Football Poll on his blog (link is on the right), and I need material for this one, so here are my votes for this week’s poll:

4A
1. Charlotte Independence
2. Richmond County
3. Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor
4. Morganton Freedom
5. Fayetteville Britt
6. Greenville Rose
7. Southern Durham
8. Matthews Butler
9. Davie County
10. Charlotte Providence

3A
1. Asheville
2. West Rowan
3. Wilson Beddingfield
4. Kannapolis Brown
5. Charlotte Catholic
6. Hickory
7. Western Alamance
8. Greensboro Dudley
9. Lawndale Burns
10. Northwest Cabarrus

2A
1. Southwest Onslow
2. Shelby
3. Brevard
4. East Duplin
5. South Lenoir
6. Lincolnton
7. Edenton Holmes
8. East Rutherford
9. Salisbury
10. Elizabeth City Northeastern

1A
1. Thomasville
2. Elkin
3. Wallace-Rose Hill
4. East Carteret
5. Chocowinity Southside
6. Ayden-Grifton
7. Polk County
8. Mt. Airy
9. Swain County
10. Manteo