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Stanly Football Preview: Nov. 1

West Stanly (8-0, 2-0 RRC) at Anson Co. (5-3, 2-0)
When: Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Series Record: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: 2018 (West Stanly 35-34 OT)
Notes: The Colts look to continue the best start in program history while also vying for the team’s first Rocky River Conference title since West shares the title with Forest Hills in 2006.

The big news for West Stanly will be the absence of the county’s leading rusher in the game, Jordan Poole. The junior, who has offers from five different D-I schools, suffered a shoulder injury last week against Montgomery Central and will not play Friday, according to head coach Brett Morton.

Despite Poole’s absence, Morton said practice has been the same as usual this week in preparing for the Bearcats in a battle of the two remaining RRC teams without a conference loss this season.

Last season’s matchup needed overtime in Red Cross where the Colts tackled Anson quarterback Wesley Lear in the backfield on a two-point conversion to preserve a win.

Lear, now playing his senior season with the Bearcats, has thrown for 1,388 yards and 16 TDs with only five interceptions.

Anson also returns senior running back Dequan Sturdivant (1,120 yds. 17 TD).

“We are calling it Championship Friday,” Anson head coach Ralph Jackson said. He added it’s a huge game for both teams but he does not think his players realize the gravity of the game.

Jackson, the former North head coach who set rushing records in his time playing at West, said his goal for the program was to change the culture, a phrase he used in his time with the Comets.

The former Colts standout said playing against West is sweeter because he coached Morton years ago.

Anson’s coach added his team is experienced and has grown up from last season’s squad.

“We have gone through some growing seasons…the kids are doing tremendously better. It’s nothing like it was when I first got here.”

Albemarle (3-6, 3-2 YVC) at S. Stanly (5-4, 3-1)
When: Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Series Record: Albemarle 32-17
Last Meeting: 2018 (South Stanly 34-6)
Notes: Two teams needing a win to improve their postseason profiles meet in Norwood Friday.

A win for South would guarantee a winning season above the .500 mark and put the Bulls one step closer towards possibly hosting a playoff game.

“(Albemarle) has very fast skilled players that can hurt you if they get in the open field,” South head coach Ryan Ochier said.

South’s coach said the Bulls worked on blocking up front on offense while staying disciplined on defense.

For Albemarle, the Bulldogs would pull into a tie with South in the conference for third place should North Stanly win at North Moore Friday.

Albemarle head coach Richard Davis said the Bulldogs have to be sound with the team’s blocking up front against South’s blitzing defense.

On defense, Albemarle worked on swarming to the football, with Davis noting South QB Jaquez Cooke turns good plays into great ones and bad plays into good ones.

N. Stanly (5-4, 3-1 YVC) at N. Moore (3-5, 1-3)
When: Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Series Record: North Stanly 6-2
Last Meeting: 2018 (North Stanly 64-0)

Notes: The Comets enter Friday’s game in Robbins having won the past six meetings against the North Moore Mustangs.

North Stanly head coach Scott Crisco noted the play of the Mustangs’ quarterback, Gage Pennington, who leads North Moore in rushing and passing yards.

“(North Moore) looks good on film. (They are a) smart, disciplined team,” Crisco said.

The North Stanly coach said offense has been important in practice this week including work on the offensive line to be more physical up front this week.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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