Monday, August 27, 2007

Union football Week 2

For the rest of the season, I will attempt to write a follow-up to the Union County football game I cover each week and publish it Monday in this blog.

(You didn't think I work weekends, did you?)

We'll start with Week 2, what I heard and learned at the Monroe-Weddington game:

The game ended awfully late, just in time for "Conan" I think. That precluded us from getting my observations into Saturday's paper. Here they are:

--Weddington may not have much depth on offense and defense for a 4A team, but the Warriors have as much kicking depth as a college team. Shawn Dodd, their kicker for the past three seasons, is the punter. Carter Stinman is the new kicker. Stinman, a senior, made a 40-yard field goal that would have easily been good from 50 and consistently nailed touchbacks on his kickoffs.

--Monroe’s Jake Sanders, a senior, also exhibited strong kicking skills. The Redhawks’ quarterback, nailed touchbacks on his first two kickoffs and had a 56-yard punt in the first half.

--Weddington senior Stephen Efird was removed from the sideline on a stretcher during the second quarter and taken to a local hospital. The running back/defensive end left the game in the first quarter under his own power.

--Kyle Bryant filled in well for Efird in the Warriors’ backfield. The junior, a backup quarterback last year, accounted for more than 200 yards of total offense running and receiving. After Efird plowed into the Redhawks early in the game, Bryant must have surprised them with his 4.5 speed.

--Jameze Massey continued his strong start to the season for Monroe. The senior tailback returned a punt for a touchdown, scored on a long reception and rushed for over 100 yards.

Here is what else I picked up Friday night:

--Strong final three quarters for Weddington quarterback Anthony Boone. After the sophomore misfired on his first five attempts, he completed 10 of his final 20 for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for the game-winning score.

--The first quarter was brutal. The teams were flagged for penalties a combined nine times, Boone did not complete a pass, Efird suffered the injury. And, most importantly, the air conditioning went out in the press box.

--Brandon Ames, a senior defensive back, led the Warriors with 10 tackles.

--Donnard Covington, Monroe's starting fullback, missed the game due to injury.

--Boone on Bryant: "It was very important for him to step up like that (in Efird's absence)." Weddington is very thin at tailback. Coaches spent a lot of time during last week's practices teaching the 5-10, 175-pound junior to run inside, which Williams said paid off against Monroe.

--Weddington coach Phil Williams was less than pleased with the breakdowns in coverage and high number of penalties. "They didn't want it," he said of the Redhawks. He added: "We didn't want it."

One final note: At least one Union County football coach was infuriated by comments Independence coaches Tom Knotts and Bill Geiler made in an Observer story last week.

Knotts complained about losing highly regarded tight end Mario Carter to a season-ending injury. Independence, of course, is much deeper than most teams in the Charlotte area.

Said coach leads a team that struggles with numbers. So he didn't appreciate Knotts and Geiler mourning the loss of one player -- no matter how talented he may be.