Cavaliers, Chargers battle for 2-0 start
Southern Lee (1-0) at Northwood (1-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Northwood 37, Southern Lee 21
SANFORD — Southern Lee capitalized on six turnovers, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions, for a major part of its 23-6 win at Western Harnett to kickoff the season last Friday night.
The turnovers were more than good changes in momentum or fortunate breaks to new Cavalier head coach Don Simon. His Cavs work on forcing turnovers in practice and they were necessities to topping the Eagles. The Cavaliers will have to keep making plays on the football, even when they don’t have the ball, to build on their 1-0 record.
“We specifically work on drills to help us create turnovers every day. My coaching staff and I believe in it, we work on it as a staff, and it’s something we drill over and over and over again,” Simon said.
The Cavalier offense got out to a 10-0 lead in the first six minutes, but then lost three turnovers and had its fair share of game-one penalties, so the defense had to come through with big plays, Simon said. He believes it can become a trend for his team, although he’s hoping it won’t have to be out of necessity quite as often.
“Our offense put the defense in a bad position a couple of times, but our defense’s reaction to that was to go out there and get the ball back,” Simon said.
“(The defense) has the chance to be a special group,” he said, “there’s nothing they can’t do. If they’re aggressive and doing what they can do on the field together, there’s nothing they can’t do.”
The Cavaliers travel to face Northwood (1-0) at 7:30 tonight. The Chargers, new to 3A and the Big Eight Conference, started their season routing 4A East Chapel Hill 39-14 in Pittsboro last Friday.
Quarterback Ti Pinnix threw for 287 yards. Wide receiver Jalen Smith caught two touchdowns.
“(Northwood) has a great quarterback,” Simon said, “he runs really well and has a nice arm.”
Simon also credited the Charger running game and defense, saying the Chargers have fast athletes all over the field on defense.
“It looks like two like teams playing each other,” he said.
Southern Lee quarterback Emond Caldwell threw for 151 yards, two touchdowns and one interception last Friday. The Cavaliers held a 20-5 margin in first downs over the Eagles.
Last season, also in the second game of the Cavalier and Charger seasons, Northwood scored five touchdowns in the first 20 minutes of the game in Sanford for a 31-0 lead which led to a 37-21 win.
Kadarus Rone, still the lead Charger running back, rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown. The Charger passing game was 12-for-17 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers were aided by a 5-1 turnover advantage.
The Cavaliers are doing all they can to change that stat, and much more, from that meeting with the Chargers a year ago.
Jordan-Matthews (1-0) at Chatham Central (0-1) - 7:30 p.m.Last season - Jordan-Matthews 32, Chatham Central 0
Jordan-Matthews comes in with a shortened week, having played Monday night, but should be flying high off a 41-7 romp over Providence Grove, avenging a loss to Providence Grove last September.
Chatham Central, on the other hand, had a disappointing start to a season, falling 34-12 to Wake Christian. The Bears cruised to a win versus Wake Christian to open last season.
Jet senior running back Hunter Causey carried for 179 yards and four touchdowns Monday, with all of the touchdowns and nearly all of the yardage in the first half.
Wake Christian jumped out to a 14-0 lead by early in the second quarter. The Bears got back within a possession twice, but no closer.
Union Pines (0-1) at North Moore (0-1) - 7:30 p.m.Last season - Union Pines 33, North Moore 6
The Vikings fell 27-22 to East Montgomery last Friday but will be looking for their eighth straight win in their series versus North Moore.
Junior running back/quarterback Kaleb Johnson carried for 83 yards, including a touchdown and two two-point conversions in week one for Union Pines. The Vikings led 22-14 in the third quarter. East Montgomery scored a touchdown to take a 27-22 lead with 7:22 to play.
North Moore, in its first game under head coach Mike Vogt, fell behind 27-0 to Trinity and lost 46-14.
The Mustangs successfully moved the ball through the air, though. Sophomore quarterback Malik McCrimmon was 15-for-35 passing for 193 yards and a touchdown.
Pinecrest (1-0) at Douglas Byrd (1-0) - 7:30 p.m.Last meeting - Douglas Byrd 28, Pinecrest 21 (Sept. 26, 2008)
Two squads which had impressive opening nights square off in Fayetteville tonight. Douglas Byrd beat Lumberton 44-14 while the Patriots rolled to a 35-14 win over Overhills.
Douglas Byrd had two dual threats versus Lumberton. Senior running back Alonzo Hurtado rushed 15 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns while catching six passes for 66 yards. Senior quarterback Elijah Bulger totaled 134 passing yards and a touchdown and rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Pinecrest led the Jaguars 28-0 at halftime. Josh McCoy led the Patriots with 13 rushes for 87 yards and their first two touchdowns of the night. The Patriots scored all five touchdowns on the ground.
Western Harnett (0-1) at Harnett Central (0-1) - 7:30 p.m.Last season - Harnett Central 10, Western Harnett 7
Harnett Central made it eight straight victories over the rival Eagles last season.
The Trojans, under new head coach Dave Thomas, will be trying to rebound from a 43-0 loss at Apex last Friday.
The Eagles will be trying to bounce back from a 23-6 loss to Southern Lee. The Eagles lost six turnovers to the Cavs. A bright spot was the Eagle defense’s ability to get stops and force their own turnovers.
Overhills (0-1) at Triton (1-0) - 7:30 p.m.Last season - Triton 27, Overhills 6
The Hawks made it back-to-back wins in the county rivalry with the Jaguars last season.
Overhills led 6-0 at the half before the Hawks took the lead in the third quarter and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. Triton’s defense, along with Tyler Tyndall’s 21-yard interception return in the fourth quarter, shut down a Jaguar offense which turned out to be very good through the next nine games of the season.
Last week, the Hawks beat Cape Fear 19-9. Zach Wade rushed for two touchdowns. Pinecrest beat Overhills 35-14.