The previous week, it was a 4-0 sweep for Rutherford County football, but this past Friday went a lot differently.
R-S Central proved that they could score quickly against Polk, but turnovers literally doomed the Hilltoppers in a 33-12 loss.
Athletic Jamal Tanner, made the play of the game, making three Central players miss the scrambling quarterback before finding the sideline to go 89-yards for the first score of the night. Although Central never led, they still were in the ballgame down, 20-12 until a bad decision just by the young quarterback Tyrese Tate tossed the ball directly into a Polk lineman’s hands, which turned into a touchdown as the third quarter was coming to a close . Central had three interceptions, which Polk scored off two of those. Central also went deep into Polk territory two other times but failed score on either chance.
R-S Central (2-1) will now face Shelby (2-1) one of the top teams in the state on the road this week in the conference opener. Players to watch: Nick Johnson (RS), Kaleb Hines (RS), R.J. George (SH) and Chad Reid (SH).
“It doesn’t get any easier going against Shelby and every time you line up in the conference, it’s going to be a dogfight.” R-S Central coach Mike Cheek said. “Bottom line, Polk outplayed us tonight.”
The only upside of the week came from Bostic as the East Rutherford Cavaliers out gunned Tuscola 39-29 in a wild fourth quarter. East Rutherford (2-1) was down 14-12 at the end of the first half, but led 19-14 at the end of the third quarter. Running back Calvin Camp help East Rutherford as they scored three fourth quarter touchdowns for the victory.
A very tough Kings Mountain (3-0) is next on the horizon and that will be the game of the week. Being able to stop Kings Mountain’s high powered offense is crucial. Players to watch: Micah Deyton (ER) Jordan Davenport (ER), Brandon Bell (KM) and Tico Crocker (KM).
Thomas Jefferson was riding a two game win streak to start the season, but Avery ended it with a 42-28 loss on the road last Friday. The Gryphons were down 28-7 at half, but the cut it to 28-21 at the beginning of the fourth quarter and got no closer.
Turnovers (six), plus the running game of Austin Phillips and Tre Jackson for the second year in a row were just too much. Bradley Freels did a solid job as the backup quarterback, throwing for nearly 200 yards and Mason Fenner had six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas Jefferson is on the bye week, but will visit Asheville School for a 4:30 game on September 19.
Coming off a big road win from the week before, Chase couldn’t extend the streak as they were defeated 42-7. Chase was held to under 100 yards of offense. Chase (1-2) will now head to Burns (0-2) for the conference opener.
Don’t let the Bulldogs record be misleading, their defense held Freedom to no points in the first half last week. Burns is still athletic enough, which makes keeping the Trojans offense on the field that much more important. Players to watch: Lucas Hewitt (CH), Trent Head (CH), B.J. Hopper (BN) and Magale Burris (BN).
Meanwhile, soccer is going well for the Rutherford County. Thomas Jefferson is 3-0. Chase is 4-1-1, R-S Central is 2-3 on a very tough early schedule and East Rutherford is 1-2.
The feel good story so far maybe in Avondale. Thomas Jefferson volleyball has never won more than four games in an NCHSAA season until this year. The Lady Gryphons have started out 5-1 this season.
Opening season for the Carolina Panthers ended in a 20-14 victory at Tampa Bay. Once again, some forget the power of defense. If Carolina can keep playing well on defense and stay healthy, I like their chances to put themselves in the playoff race. Backup quarterback Derek Anderson didn’t look too bad, but Cam Newton should start this coming weekend.
Speaking of the NFL, Miami’s win over New England and Buffalo’s win over Chicago were by far the two biggest upsets this weekend. Miami’s run game and defense played as well as their fans could ask. Chicago is among Super Bowl talk, but three turnovers and gaining less than 100 yards on the ground against a below average Bills team doesn’t show that the Bears are among the elite yet.