Prep Football: South hangs in there in 19-0 loss to Concord
By Mike London
CONCORD — It was an unusual situation, as South Rowan’s first-year head coach Daniel Yow fielded “congratulatory” phone calls from supporters after Friday’s 19-0 South Piedmont Conference road loss to defending league champ Concord.
Carson coach Joe Pinyan, who had Yow on his Salisbury High staff shortly after Yow finished playing at Catawba, was one of the callers.
“He just told me to hang in there and keep working,” Yow said. “Everyone who called told me they knew we weren’t looking for any moral victories, but that we were improving and we were doing things the right way.”
Yow took his son to the Cabarrus County Fair on Saturday evening and forgot about football for a while, but he won’t mind reviewing this game film more than once.
South Rowan (0-4, 0-2) was supposed to lose 40-0 or 50-0, but instead the Raiders made it a ballgame. It was still 0-0 when the Spiders (4-1, 3-0) scored in the final seconds of the first half on Keenan Black’s touchdown pass to Drew Yoos on a fourth-down play.
“Concord doesn’t have Rocky Reid this year and that changes their running game some, but they’re still an excellent team with a good offensive line, a good defensive line and a quarterback who can make things happen,” Yow said. “I was excited about how hard our guys competed with them. We played lights-out on offense and defense from start to finish. I gave them that same speech Chip Hester used to give us at Catawba about being fast, physical and first class, and our guys responded.”
Obviously, South’s defense, which allowed 67 points to A.L. Brown in a mercy-rule game a few weeks ago, has made strides.
“After someone made first contact, eight or nine more guys were rallying to the ball and finishing off the play,” Yow said. “It wasn’t any one individual. We just gang-tackled really well, and that’s what you have to do against a team as good as Concord.”
Concord hasn’t lost in the SPC the last three seasons.
While South didn’t score and while sacks trimmed South’s offensive output to 70 yards, Yow saw positives on that side of the ball.
“Heath Barringer threw the ball well and made a lot of good reads on the option,” Yow said. “We just stopped ourselves with turnovers and penalties. We’re not good enough to overcome it when we have a penalty and put ourselves in a tough down and distance.”
Punter Marshall Long was outstanding for South, trading punts with Concord most of the first half.
P.J. Hall rushed 25 times for 122 yards for the Spiders.
Hall scored a touchdown in the third quarter, and Black hit Isaac Staton with a TD pass in the fourth quarter, as Concord finally achieved some breathing room.
“All in all, this was the best game we’ve played,” Yow said. “It was good for our kids to see that they’re getting better and that they can compete.”
South Rowan is at West Rowan (3-1, 2-0) next Friday. West coach Joe Nixon was a senior when Yow was a freshman at Catawba.
SOUTH ROWAN 0 0 0 0 — 0
CONCORD 0 7 6 6 — 19
Ç — Yoos 19 pass from Black (James kick), 2nd
C — Hall 2 run (kick blocked), 3rd
C — Staton 11 pass from Black (run failed), 4th