Prep Football: Commom Sense picks
At the heart of a solid prep football rivalry is the possibility that either team can win on a given Friday.
The greatest of the rivalries in the area returns next week when A.L. Brown and Concord renew hostilities, with both teams likely entering that contest at 9-1.
They’ve played 80 times since 1931. Concord’s won 39. Brown’s won 37. There have been four ties. Both schools have pulled off plenty of upsets. That’s a rivalry.
There’s some friction when Brown plays Northwest Cabarrus, but it’s hard to call it a rivalry since the Trojans’ most recent cause for celebration came in 1976.
Brown-South has a somewhat better claim to rivalry status, but even that series stands 41-8-2 Wonders. South’s won two of the last 16, so the Raiders are clinging to rivalry respectability.
In Rowan County, there’s a potential Concord-Kannapolis-esque rivalry brewing between West and Salisbury, programs that have pushed themselves to a position among the state’s elite.
But it’s not quite there yet. West coach Scott Young is still 10-0 against the Hornets. Let the Hornets win one or two before we put it in the Rivalry Hall of Fame.
Salisbury’s once intense rivalry with North Rowan is now on life support. While Salisbury’s all-time lead is only 25-19-2, which sounds like a rivalry, it’s been — ho, hum — 52-8, 51-12, 33-15, 35-6 on the field the last four seasons. While Salisbury had to forfeit one of those wins, the Cavaliers haven’t beaten SHS on the field since 2003.
Are there any rivalries that are alive and well?
Sure. Thomasville-Salisbury keeps getting better.
That annual CCC struggle gets rebooted tonight at Thomasville’s Cushwa Stadium, and if SHS coach Joe Pinyan hasn’t already thrown the Bulldogs’ 4-5 record out the window, we’ll do it for him.
It won’t be routine for the third-ranked Hornets, no matter what the standings say. There’s enough heat between Thomasville and Salisbury to start a forest fire. Their varsity guys got into a scrap two years ago — at the Thursday jayvee game.
Since 1930, Thomasville has played Boyden or Salisbury 30 times. Thomasville has won 15 and lost 14. There was a tie in 1973.
The 1960s and 1970s, the Pete Stout days at Salisbury, boost the Hornets in the all-time series. They were 8-2-1 against the Bulldogs in Stout’s era, including a pair of 7-6 verdicts in 1974.
But Thomasville got the best of the Hornets in the 1980s to close the gap.
The schools met just once between 1988 and 2009, but that one was memorable. Third round of the 1995 2A playoffs. Salisbury was undefeated and looked unbeatable. Thomasville won 14-6. Eventually, Thomasville whipped Clinton for a 2A state crown that had appeared to be Salisbury’s birthright.
After some time in 1A, Thomasville returned to 2A and the CCC in 2009.
The Bulldogs’ 14-7 victory over Salisbury at Cushwa Stadium in 2009 had to be seen to be believed. It decided the CCC title. That was Salisbury’s last CCC loss.
The Hornets beat Thomasville 10-7 in 2010 in a frenzied fracas that came down to the final seconds at Ludwig Stadium. That muscular victory — and the Thunder Dance that followed — propelled SHS to not only a CCC title, but the 2AA state championship.
Expect intensity tonight. Forget records. This is a rivalry.
The picks were 14-1 last week, with the miss on West Iredell-Carson. South Rowan is off this week.
Salisbury 21, Thomasville 14
We’ll take the Hornets, but if anyone offers Thomasville and 14 points, take the Dogs. Thomasville can still get the CCC’s No. 1 seed if it wins.
W. Montgomery 28, North 7
Warriors may be the state’s most underrated 1A team.
Statesville 28, East 14
Don’t expect a cakewalk by the Greyhounds. It’s the last game for East’s seniors.
West 41, Carson 14
That was last year’s score. We’ll try it again. West has never lost to the Cougars.
A.L. Brown 35, NW Cabarrus 14
Not a rivalry until proven otherwise.
Davie 38, Reagan 14
War Eagles bounce back from one of the tougher losses in school history.
YVC: Albemarle 77, N. Moore 0; E. Montgomery 20, Chatham Central 13; S. Stanly 35, S. Davidson 14
CCC: Lexington 35, Central Davidson 27; West Davidson 20, East Davidson 13
NPC: W. Iredell 42, N. Iredell 14
SPC: Cox Mill 35, Central 7; Concord 24, Hickory Ridge 14; Mt. Pleasant 28, Robinson 13
CPC: Mount Tabor 42, West Forsyth 21; N. Davidson 27, Reynolds 10