Weather forces Salisbury to adjust
There were a few adjustments to the Salisbury football schedule Wednesday.
The school announced the Hornets’ game against Southeast Guilford was moved from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Thursday because of the strong possibility of inclement weather.
The National Weather Service says the area could get hit with showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening. Showers and thunderstorms are predicted to hit the area before 8 p.m. and to continue throughout the night. The chance for precipitation is 70 percent. The decision to move the game ahead was made before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Salisbury head coach Ryan Crowder said there was talk of moving the game to Monday, but that would give both teams short weeks to prepare ahead of their conference openers. Crowder said neither team wanted a short week, effectively two days, ahead of a league game.
The Thursday night kickoff led to a longer-than-usual practice Wednesday for the Hornets (1-4, 0-0 SPC) as they prepare to battle the Falcons (4-1, 0-0 All-Metro 4A). Practice was extended by about 20 minutes as the team fine tuned a few things ahead of Thursday’s kickoff.
“We had to go longer today just to get a few things taken care of that we do on Thursday in walk-through,” Crowder said.
Along with a different night comes a different energy about the game. Friday night is, traditionally, reserved for high school football. When South Iredell and South Rowan finished their rained-out season opener on a sunny Saturday evening in Landis, the crowd was not what it was the night before at Donnell Stadium.
“It’s always supposed to be on Friday night, and whenever you move the game up, it’s an extremely different atmosphere,” Crowder said.
The Hornets go into this game coming off a 41-31 win over South Iredell — their first of the season — and a bye week.
After struggling in the first four games of the year, Salisbury was able to put together drives and not make fatal mistakes that led to losses earlier in the season. Turnovers and penalties were the Hornets’ downfall in blowout losses to West Rowan, East Rowan and Lake Norman.
Southeast Guilford, however, presents a challenge to the Hornets.
“They’re going to run some different offenses and different defenses than what we’ve seen this year,” Crowder said.
The Falcons work out of a Wing-T offense. Styles Jennings and Zakey Stevenson lead the rushing attack with 516 and 407 yards rushing, respectively. The two have scored three touchdowns apiece. Quarterback Bubba Craven has run for just shy of 300 yards and six scores this year.
Only once this year has Southeast Guilford failed to win a game by at least two touchdowns.
Follow Adam Houston on Twitter at @AdamRHouston.