Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 8

It’s week 8 of the North Carolina high school football season.  Fall has finally arrived and teams are starting to make that final push to the playoffs as we enter the last month of the regular season.  As the winds begin to cool the evenings down, conference races are heating up.  Make sure you go out and support your local football team this Friday night.

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week

There are so many good games on the schedule this week, but one game was able to stand above the rest.  A matchup of Top-10 teams in the Carolina Gridiron and a battle for first place in their conference pits two great teams in this week’s game.  The Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 8 features the Draughn Wildcats at the South Iredell Vikings.

Draughn, coached by Scott Lambert and in only its third year of varsity football, is coming into the game with a 6-1 record with wins over 3A North Buncombe and conference rival Bandys.  The Wildcats have fought their way to the #8 in the Carolina Gridiron FAIR rankings.  Draughn’s only loss came to fellow Burke County rival and Top-10 ranked Freedom.

Coach Lambert had the following to say about his team: “We are going to have to play our best game to date to beat a very talent laden South Iredell team.  We are in our third season of varsity football.  Many of these seniors were playing varsity ball as 10th graders and taking their lumps.  It is very satisfying to see them get rewarded this year with the success that we have had.”

Top offensive playmakers include quarterback Keith Loomis, who Coach Lambert described as “one of the most gutsy offensive players in our area both running and passing…he has tremendous character and is the number one student in his class.”   Split end Alex McGee, running back Jaron Johnson, and running back Jordan Moore also do their part for an offense that averages almost 30 points a game.

Leading a defense that only gives up 11 points a game are defensive ends Hayden Beck and Adam Manns, linebacker Alex Semande, safetys Keith Loomis and Jordan Moore, and corner back Jaron Johnson.

The South Iredell Vikings, #1 in the Carolina Gridiron FAIR rankings, are coached by Scott Miller.  South Iredell comes into the game with a 7-0 record, averaging over 40 points a game while only giving up 8.  The 2A Vikings have taken down three 3A teams and one 4A team so far this season.

When asked about how the season was going so far Coach Miller stated, “at this point in the season our team is starting to get to where they need to be on offense and defense.  We still have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball.  Our players play hard and focus on one week at a time.”

On offense, the Vikings are led by running back Cameron Mattox,  who has rushed for 1,067 yards and 18 touchdowns so far this season.  ECU commit and preseason All-Gridiron Quataye Smyre has what Coach Miller refers to as “game changing athleticism” and has scored 9 touchdowns.  According to Coach Miller, the offense is able to operate like it can due to center Adam Armstrong, who “always has the offensive line in the right position.”

Defensively, the Vikings are led by All-Gridiron linebacker LaChaston Smith, who has returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns and caused 4 fumbles. On Smith, Miller says that he is “the 2010 CVAC Defensive Player of the Year, hard hitter and runs from sideline to sideline.”  Also playing key roles in one of the stingiest defenses in 2A are John Bustle, who has 3 sacks and 3 interceptions, linebacker Scott Miller, who has amassed an amazing 90 tackles in 7 games, and defensive back Michael Fisher, who has 6 interceptions. 

It looks to be a good game at South Iredell on Friday night.  It’s homecoming for the Vikings, so the stands will fill up early.  Make sure you get there in plenty of time.