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Prep Football: Common Sense picks

There’s still a lot of football left to be played.
Optimists see that as good news — plenty of time to turn things around. Pessimists see it as bad news — plenty of time to experience more pain.
Not to complain too loudly, as the world has more pressing problems than my Friday night entertainment, but so far the Common Sense correspondent has eyeballed nine prep football games (three in a recent, weather-related, four-day span) and has witnessed just two that remained beyond a reasonable doubt at halftime.
The only real suspense has been over whether or not coaches would agree to use a running clock to put the second half in the books more briskly.
To be brutally blunt, I’ve seen just two games that were still in doubt when Mr. Pigskin was kicked off. There’s been a steady diet of 52-12, 65-0 and 56-14. There are just an awful lot of struggling teams out there, folks.
Probably I was spoiled by record-setters such as K.P. Parks, John Knox, Romar Morris, Shaun Warren and B.J. Sherrill in recent seasons, but, gosh, it seems like things are down in Rowan County this year.
The head coaches are smart people and the assistants, players and parents all seem to be stellar human beings, so it pains me to say this, but the Common Sense picks have become way too easy.
Common Sense was 13-0 last week, not because of any newfound knowledge on my part, but because most games have been so utterly predictable.
Salisbury is going to win — unless it’s playing West.
West is going to win if it’s a county or NPC game.
The other four county teams? Well, let’s talk about it. One jester — not me — proclaimed recently that the third-best team in the county had to be the Salisbury jayvees.
The comprehensive Massey Ratings, a national system that crunches numbers without bias, rates Carson as the 250th best team in the Tar Heel state, with North Rowan checking in at No. 322, South at No. 338 and East at No. 350.
Salisbury is ranked only 80th in the state by Massey, presumably because its strength of schedule is unimpressive.It’s true four of its five wins did come against Rowan teams.
For the record, Massey has West at No. 35. Davie is 51st and A.L. Brown 59th.
You probably are keenly aware of this, but it’s an alarming reality that four Rowan varsities have a combined 0-17 record when not facing each other.
That 0-17 includes some losses to juggernauts, to be sure, but also setbacks to non-juggernauts Central Cabarrus, East Montgomery and Robinson.
Carson, which still looks to be the county’s bronze-medal team, has beaten only North and East.
North’s lone win came at East’s expense. South and East are still on the track, searching for Victory Lane.
And yet, toss me in the cockeyed optimist category. Common Sense sees a county comeback starting tonight with North’s first YVC win and South’s first win of 2011.
South 34, North Iredell 27
In South’s defense, the schedule has been vicious. Five of the six teams South has played are good.
W. Rowan 38, E. Rowan 7
East’s schedule hasn’t been a barrel of fun, either. The Mustangs do get a winnable game next week.
N. Rowan 34, North Moore 14
Seriously, the Cavaliers should win pretty big if they bring it.
Statesville 27, Carson 13
Cougars have a shot, but they’ll have to play better than last week.
Salisbury 42, W. Davidson 14
This one used to be one heck of a scrap for the Hornets. No longer.
A.L. Brown 27, Cox Mill 7
Wonders are oozing confidence in their defense.
Davie 28, R.J. Reynolds 14
War Eagles already have conjured up their late-season magic of 2010.
After an 0-2 start, they’ll make it five wins in a row.
And, for what it’s worth: Albemarle 35, S. Davidson 7; W. Montgomery 48, Chatham Central 0; S. Stanly 21, E. Montgomery 13; Thomasville 39, C. Davidson 26; Lexington 42, E. Davidson 12; Concord 45, C. Cabarrus 3; Mt. Pleasant 17, Hickory Ridge 14; NW Cabarrus 35, Robinson 7; W. Forsyth 27, Reagan 13; Mt. Tabor 34, N. Davidson 17.

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