Friday, September 21, 2012 — Albemarle (4-1, 1-0) at W. Mont. (3-2, 1-0)
Since the last conference realignment in 2009, the annual game between Albemarle and West Montgomery has helped shape the conference title race. In the past three seasons, the Bulldogs and Warriors have finished in the top three in the YVC.
Albemarle enters Friday’s road game in Mount Gilead after beating Chatham Central at home 47-14 despite over 150 yards in penalties and three turnovers, both of which have been points of emphasis this week for the Bulldogs. Head Coach Danny Akins talked about his team’s preparations, saying, “We have worked on ourselves and been stricter on them with more consequences for mental mistakes.”
This year, West Montgomery is 3-2 after an earlier 19-14 loss to North Lenoir became a forfeit victory. The Warriors on the field have won their last two games including a 13-12 win at Jordan-Matthews.
Gone is the talented Jaquil Capel at quarterback but a trio of players have picked up the slack and have efficiently run the triple option spread offense, according to head coach Nick Eddins.
Junior quarterback Caleb Drake has matured and learned to manage the offense, Eddins said, while the swift Suave Pegues and the hard-nosed Devante Gainey are two top running backs.
The Warriors’ leader on defense is Matt Harkins, a 5’7”, 155-lb. linebacker that leads the team in tackles and sacks.
“We are young; if we take care of the football and be physical, we can be there in the fourth quarter; we have to make them make mistakes,” West Head Coach Nick Eddins said.
CATA (1-4, 0-1) at
N. Stanly (0-5, 0-1)
Friday’s home game for North Stanly against Monroe’s Central Academy Cougars will be the fourth of seven home games this season for the Comets as North searches for their first win this season.
Last week, the Comets lost 41-9 at Union Academy, which included allowing Cardinal running back Rasheed Rushing to gain 304 yards on 27 carries with four touchdowns as Union ran for 470 yards against the North defense.
Speaking of rushing, the lead for the rushing title in Stanly County still belongs to a columbia-blue clad Comet in freshman Antonio Williams (699 yards) despite being held to his lowest output of the season, 63 yards.
This week, North faces a Cougars squad that relies more on throwing the football than running, including a standout quarterback in Travis Levin. The 6’2”, 195-pound senior is 51-of-130 this season for 932 yards with six touchdowns, but he has eight interceptions as well.
North Head Coach Ralph Jackson talked about his team’s practice this week as going back to the basics in terms of working on blocking and tackling.
“We haven’t tackled well or blocked consistently,” Jackson said.
The North head coach also said that the defensive backfield has had a lot of work in practice because of Central Academy’s propensity to throw the football.
Regarding the matchup, Jackson said, “If we can stop their quarterback and receivers, and our running game can do what it did at the beginning of the season, we will have a good chance of winning.”