• 72°

Gallagher column: West's D-line got down and dirty

SALISBURY — Joe Pinyan is a fan of West Rowan linebacker Logan Stoodley.
“But I didn’t get to see him,” the Salisbury coach said after his team’s 37-28 loss to the Falcons.
Stoodley wasn’t hurt. It was just the defensive line was so monstrous, so stout, so down and dirty, Stoodley didn’t get many chances to make plays.
Pinyan did get to see plenty of Greg Dixon. No. 72 was a spitting, hard-hitting, no-quitting M-A-N. Just ask Salisbury quarterback Brian Bauk after he was sacked by Dixon & Company seven times.
“He was always in my face, I’ll tell you that,” Bauk sighed afterward.

People in the county were in the Falcons’ faces all week long. Salisbury, the defending 2AA state champ, was the undefeated team this time. It had the ferocious defense that had given up only five first downs, minus rushing yards and six points in two games.
West was 1-1 — and as crazy as it sounds — seemed to be losing its aura.
Its 37-game winning streak in the county would come to an end.
Now, that the game’s over, let’s go over the stats. West ran for 217 yards. It had 12 first downs.
And most importantly, the aura is back with No. 38 in a row. That’s what happens when a three-time state champ simply gets tired of the trash talk.
Salisbury made famous the phrase, “Bringing the bang-bang.” West used it in practice leading up to Friday.
“We mocked it, using it for motivation,” said an elated senior receiver Jarvis Morgan.
West showed the flash on offense and the grit on defense. It was as if the Falcons were angry.
Not angry, Dixon said. Just motivated.
“We had to come out and prove a point — that we’re still the best around,” the 270-pound hulk said. “I did what I was asked to do, make big plays.”
Dixon, Trey Shepherd, Maurice Warren, Troy Culbertson and Kiero Cuthbertson smashed, crashed and mashed Bauk. No wonder he was limping off the field.
“They were as aggressive as everything, like I’ve never seen a D-line play before,” he said.
West coach Scott Young shook his head.
“That poor kid didn’t have a chance,” he said.
Dixon was the reason.
“I think he was in our huddle a couple of times,” Pinyan said.

The other line, the big boys up front, had their best game as well. Quarterback Zay Laster made several key runs, especially on a fourth-quarter drive after Salisbury had cut the lead to 23-21. He led the Falcons downfield on a long touchdown drive.
Zay is finally a bonafide member of the Big Blue as far as the team and the fan base. He proved himself.
“I’ve got coaches and I’ve got teammates who believe I can make plays for them,” Laster said. “We love our defense but we know we have to make plays ourselves.”
The game wasn’t sealed until Morgan picked up an onsides kick and raced in untouched for a 37-28 lead in the final seconds.
“I was surprised too,” Morgan grinned. “I saw a hole and my eyes got big.”
“The thing I love about this team is that every time they got close or challenged us, our kids responded each and every time,” beamed Young, looking as proud as any of his 137 career wins. “It shows what West Rowan is about and what our program is about. We do what we do. And that’s usually good.
Pinyan was classy in defeat.
“They’re going to give you their best shot, whether they’re 800-0 or 1-1,” he said. “I hope they win a state championship. I hope we do too.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Charlotte-based developer chosen for Empire Hotel project

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths in Rowan grow to 378 since start of pandemic

Coronavirus

375 employees noncompliant with Novant Health’s vaccination requirement

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 21

Local

Salisbury woman wins $200,000 from scratch-off ticket

Local

Commissioners approve incentive agreement for ‘I-85 Commerce Center’ on Webb Road

Education

State Employees Credit Union commits $1.5 million to new Partners in Learning center

Local

Salisbury council to discuss grant for thermal cameras, reconsider rezoning for future Goodwill store

Elections

Early voting for 2021 municipal elections begin Oct. 14

Nation/World

COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

Nation/World

US officials defend expulsion of Haitians from Texas town

Nation/World

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 fatalities bring September death toll to 27

Business

New ambulance company moves into Rowan County, filling need as COVID hospitalizations remain high

Crime

Blotter: Woman’s car shot several times on Pinehurst Street in Salisbury

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Nation/World

Search for Gabby Petito boyfriend continues after body found

Ask Us

Ask Us: What companies does RSS use for instructional materials, textbooks?

Nation/World

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from Texas

Business

In lieu of annual festival, New Sarum turns Cheerwine beer release into celebration

Education

RSS says federal money won’t be long-term solution for staff pay

China Grove

Main Street Marketplace combines local ingredients, community with farm-to-table dinner

Business

Business roundup: New managing director takes helm at Piedmont Players Theatre

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases continue decline as week brings 12 new deaths