C. JEMAL HORTON
CONCORD – It was one of those rare nights for a football team.
And for Northwest Cabarrus, its 67-6 victory over South Rowan Friday at Trojan Stadium was even more special for a multitude of reasons.
1) The Trojans started the South Piedmont Conference slate 1-0.
2) They won their third game in a row.
3) At the very least, it was the most points the Trojans had scored in two decades.
Northwest Cabarrus (4-1 overall) had virtually every player at every position contribute to the win, building confidence for a team that feels it can compete for the conference crown after finishing in a third-place tie last year.
“It was a good conference win,” Northwest Cabarrus coach Eric Morman said in a telephone interview with the Independent Tribune. “Our guys came out and played really well. They did a really good job of executing, and we just capitalized on some turnovers. We had a very explosive night.”
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That would be an understatement.
The Trojans controlled the game from the outset, and there was never any doubt about what the final outcome would be. Only the final score.
South Rowan (1-4, 0-1 SPC) hardly had room to breathe.
At halftime, the Trojans had a 60-6 lead, and the game moved along at an accelerated pace with a running clock in the second half.
There was plenty for the Northwest faithful to cheer about before that, though.
Offensively, Alex Walker put on a show, as the junior quarterback ran for three touchdowns and threw for another. Senior Tevin Tucker was on the receiving end of that touchdown pass, which went for 70 yards. Meanwhile, Northwest running backs RayJay “Runnin’” Waters and Michael Hobbs each scored on the ground.
“Alex Walker had a very explosive night, running the ball and passing,” Morman said. “And our running backs ran the ball well, and a lot of credit goes to our offensive line.”
Defensively, there were plenty of standouts, too.
Cade Midgett recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, while Le’Darrion Mentor scooped up a loose ball and raced in for a score. And Dylan Gregory and Jason Gonzalez each grabbed interceptions and promptly made trips to the end zone.
Camden Barringer also had an interception for the Trojans.
“Our defensive guys caused a lot of turnovers,” Morman said. “They stopped the run, and then South had to throw the ball, and we made some plays.”
The Trojans’ only point total that has come close to Friday night’s effort, at least in the last 20 years, was a 62-36 win over Jay M. Robinson in 2019. The Independent Tribune was unable to access all the scores involving Northwest Cabarrus since it started playing football, so it is not yet certain how the output ranks in overall program history.
Morman, who previously was the head coach at North Mecklenburg and West Stanly, didn’t recall a points-producing night like this for any of his other squads.
“I’ve had some really good teams, and I know we’ve had some high-scoring nights, but I don’t know about 67 points,” he said. “That 67 was offense and defense. Our guys just made plays when they had the opportunity to make them.”
Sitting in a first-place tie, albeit it in Week 1 of SPC action, Morman said he’s proud of how his team has responded since falling to Class 4A Cox Mill in the second game of the season. Since then, the Trojans have given up a total of just 23 points over the last three games.
“The guys are buying into all of the things our coaches are preaching,” Morman said. “What I like most is that they’re selfless. They don’t care who catches a touchdown or runs the ball. They just want team success, and that’s the thing that I enjoy as a coach.
“We have a great group of kids. The biggest thing for us is they understand the going-1-and-0-each-week mentality. They’ll enjoy this victory tonight, but they’ll come in Monday with the understanding that, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do it all over again.’”
The Trojans travel to East Rowan next week for their second SPC game.
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