UCW Football Notebook

Cuthbertson’s stingy defense stifles Cardinals

Much has been made this season of the Cuthbertson offense, and rightfully so, as the unit has several game-breaking stars. Those players were on full display last week, as the Cavs posted their highest point total of the season in a 35-0 win over Union Academy.

However, the defense stole the show in the Sept. 28 shutout, limiting star Cardinals running back Rasheed Rushing to only 64 yards, well below his average of more than 148 yards per game.

“The defense played one of the best games, probably, in our program’s history in terms of production and holding an opponent to no points,” said Cavs coach Mike Roark. “We knew they were going to run the ball, we knew they were skilled at running the ball. Rushing is a good back, and we were going to have our hands full getting him stopped.”

Linebackers deserve much of the credit, as sophomore Joe Walther and junior Justin Shanahan each have stepped into starting roles and are developing into reliable run-stuffers. Shanahan recorded 12 tackles and an interception, while Walther added eight stops and recovered a fumble last week.

It was an encouraging performance entering the Cavs’ Friday, Oct. 5, game against North Stanly, which will feature freshman running back Antonio Williams, who already has  1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

“Obviously, there’s still a lot of room for growth with (Walther and Shanahan), but they’re hard-working kids, they’re football guys and they want to get better with what they do,” Roark said. “We’ve really been pleased with how they’ve progressed.”

Spartans get Anson monkey off backs

For just the second time since 2005, Sun Valley managed to down Anson, 56-28, last week. The series had been marred – at least for Sun Valley – by several disappointing endings in recent years, which included last-minute losses, costly miscues and even a playoff defeat.

Spartans coach Scott Stein said his team wasn’t about to let the past haunt it again.

“The big deal for me was we came out with a good mentality and really a lot of intensity and a lot of emotion,” said Stein. “I thought we came out to play a good football game.”

The Spartans, who’ve won four consecutive games and improved to 4-2 overall, were paced by running back Albert Funderburk, who rushed for 215 yards on 21 carries with four touchdowns and added another score receiving. Defensively, safety Michael MacChiavello recorded 18 tackles, while several other players were “right around the eight- to 12-tackle mark,” Stein said.

“I think everybody (played a good game),” Stein continued. “Our offensive line came off the ball and did some good stuff. Defensively we gave up some big plays and those kinds of things, but overall, we played pretty good defense against them.”

Perhaps more important, the game was a good warmup for the Spartans, who host conference foe Marvin Ridge on Friday.

“We haven’t hid from (the fact) that our goal is to win a Southern Carolina (3A/4A) conference championship, and we have to take (games) one at a time,” Stein said. “Marvin Ridge is a good ball club, but we feel like we’re hitting our stride. It should be a good ball game.”

Adamczyk does it all in Warriors win

When Metrolina Christian Academy starting quarterback Trey Timmerman exited last week’s game against Fayetteville Village Christian with bruised ribs shortly before halftime, things could’ve gone down hill quickly for the Warriors.

But receiver Andrew Adamczyk wouldn’t let that happen.

Adamczyk, the starting JV quarterback two years ago, replaced Timmerman and completed 10 of his 13 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Adamczyk added 72 yards and a touchdown on seven rushing attempts – all this after totaling 97 yards receiving and a touchdown from his starting receiver spot in the first half.

The Warriors won, 45-7, to improve to 4-1 overall.

“(Adamczyk) was definitely the highlight of the night,” said Metrolina Christian coach Thomas Langley. “He’s (also) definitely our best receiver. He’s just a really good athlete, and that helps. He did a really, really good job.”

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Marcus Abraham led the Warriors with 12 tackles.

The Warriors face Charlotte Victory Christian on Friday.

Baucom: CATA win well-timed

Though it was just their second win of the season, the Central Academy of Technology & Arts Cougars achieved several firsts as a program in last week’s 44-9 win over West Stanly.

For starters, it was the first homecoming victory for the school, which opened in 2006. Also, the Cougars recorded two safeties in the game, another first, said coach Tad Baucom. The Cougars also totaled a school-record eight sacks, led by Sam Helms and Cameron Frazier, who each had a pair. Helms also added 10 tackles, while Luke Porter recorded an interception.

Offensively, quarterback Travis Levin completed 13 of his 20 passes for 185 yards and four touchdowns.

“Overall, it was a really good performance for us, which is good headed into the next three weeks,” Baucom said. “We’re on the road starting with Piedmont (Friday), then at Forest Hills (Oct. 12) and at Monroe (Oct. 19). We’ve got some big games on the road back to back to back. It was really good timing for us to get a victory.”

Mavs keep loss in perspective

While moral victories don’t count in the win-loss record or a team’s playoff seeding, Marvin Ridge coach Scott Chadwick couldn’t help but see some bright spots in the Mavericks’ 21-14 loss to top-ranked Porter Ridge last week.

The silver lining was especially evident in freshman quarterback Aaron Pilkington, who found running back Jacob Henderson in the first quarter for the game’s first score before firing a 24-yard strike to receiver Carter Harris – between three Pirate defenders – to draw the Mavs within a score of Porter Ridge late in the third quarter.

“That was a big-time throw,” Chadwick said. “It’s a throw very few high school quarterbacks could make, much less a freshman quarterback.”

That, along with the narrow loss to Porter Ridge, should give the Mavs something to build on, said Chadwick.

“Certainly we were disappointed in the outcome, but at the same time, it hopefully gives us an idea of really what our potential is,” said Chadwick. “I know they were short-handed (Porter Ridge had four players suspended for the game), but that’s still a team that’s going to contend for a 4A state championship. We stood there and went toe to toe with them.”

Monroe healthy, resurgent

Monroe has won three consecutive games to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the Rocky River 1A/2A conference, good for a tie for first place with Forest Hills. Monroe started the season by losing three of its first four games, and the biggest difference, said coach Johnny Sowell, has been the fact that several players have returned from early injuries.

Receiver Jaylen Barbour missed three games with an ankle injury but returned last week and caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown in a 64-0 win over North Stanly. Sowell also expects defensive back Chris Rice to return from an ankle injury in the coming weeks and added that the Redhawks have benefitted from an offensive line that has broken in several first-year starters.

Monroe shined defensively in the shutout. Linebacker Ashad Byrd tallied nine tackles and two sacks, while safety Jeremy Hammond collected six tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Sowell also commended running backs Tre’Shun Wynn (four carries, 89 yards, two touchdowns), Chase Byrum (five carries, 85 yards, one touchdown) and Cuthbertson transfer Julius Stradford (five carries, 89 yards, two touchdowns) in the win, as well as quarterback Quayshawn Chambers (78 yards passing, 54 rushing, one passing touchdown).

“We feel good about (our depth after those injuries) now,” Sowell said. “The biggest thing is trying to stay healthy.”

Pirates stand up to Mavs test

The Porter Ridge football team has been pushed by several opponents during its current 24-game regular-season win streak, but perhaps no challenger presented the Pirates with a possible loss like Marvin Ridge last week. With a depleted roster missing four starters who were suspended – three for leaving the sideline, one for an illegal hit – the Pirates held off the Mavs on the road, 21-14.

“It showed us that we have a lot of heart,” said senior Pirates running back Chris Duffy, who had 140 yards and two touchdowns. “We had starters missing, but people stepped up. We found a way to win.”

Pirates coach Blair Hardin said several players, including cornerback Xavier York (one tackle) and running back Chris Rathbone (12 carries, 54 yards) shined in relief of the suspended players. Isaiah Duffy also added five catches for 46 yards.

“Every position was pretty much new,” said Hardin. “Our kids faced an excellent Marvin Ridge team and just found a way. They played for each other, and that’s as good as it gets.”

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