Week one is over, with three Rutherford County football teams winning and four correct picks by yours truly last week. Let's review and preview what's ahead. Perhaps 8-for-8 to start out in the guessing game for me as well?
It wasn't easy, but R-S Central beat McDowell 20-14 this past Friday.
Central played well and as the better team this past Friday, but they still have some things to clean up. Penalties, allowing some long runs on defense, missing some opportunities to score on offense and having a punt blocked were the brunt of the issues. I expect them to only get better though.
Central's defense was stout all night with the exception of being hurt by a handful of big plays. Damarcus Johnson was all over the field, while Frank Parton, Jimmy Bradley and Austin Bright cleaned up or assisted Johnson on the stop. Bryson Flynn had two interceptions and Marlin Francis had a touchdown saving tackle late to help Central earn the victory.
The Hilltoppers will travel to Morganton as they face Patton. Central will face the rushing duo of quarterback, Joe Eakin and fullback, William Brawley as both had 2700 yards rushing combined last year. Central needs to go up big early, so that Patton will be forced to pass. Otherwise, I would expect a close game. The last meeting in 2009 saw a 23-7 victory for R-S.
Pick: R-S Central
The Cavaliers easily downed 1A South Stanly 34-2 this past weekend on the road. Despite five East turnovers, the defense was stellar. Joey Detetta (two interceptions) and Josh Wilson led the defensive effort. Meanwhile, Demetrius Mauney scored twice for East.
The Cavaliers head to North Gaston this Friday. The Wildcats have given East Rutherford problems over recent years. Normally an option style offense for North Gaston, the Cavs have been duped before losing the last two road games at North Gaston in the series. East has won four of the previous six meetings.
North Gaston had over 300 yards rushing last week and still lost. Kareem Kennedy leads as he gained 200 on the ground last week. East won 27-14 last year.
Pick: East Rutherford
Chase had almost 260 yards of offense and led early, but Polk fired back for a 30-14 win last week. The surprising part may have been the passing game. The Trojans scored on two touchdown passes with Xaiver Williams at quarterback.
Chase received good production from Kaleb Logan, Garrett Hampton and Mike Singletary in the loss.
To no surprise, Chase allowed three rushing touchdowns with Dillon Overholt going over 100 yards on the ground. Chase will have Cherryville at home this Friday.
I expect Cherryville's Justin Lemons to get 20 touches from the backfield as he put up 142 yards last season against Chase. Quarterback Jacob Harden and Jayden Blanton will also try to tote the rock occasionally. The Ironmen struggled in week one gaining just 200 yards of offense and allowed five rushing touchdowns. Chase won 33-6 last year.
The Gryphons got off to a slow start, but wound up with a 34-8 win this past Friday. Nomi McMullens hit pay dirt three times as he rushed for over 100 yards and had a kickoff return for a touchdown as well. The defense held for under 200 yards offense with Miller Outten and Max Robbins having solid performances this past weekend.
They definitely showed well defensively with a number of underclassmen stepping up.
I expect TJCA to start out a little faster in this one because that's what Coach Cash will put emphasis on this week.
The Gryphons will host the Greenwood Raptors on Friday at 7:30.
Pick: Thomas Jefferson