Patriots Travel to Take On Chargers
The Pinecrest football team (1-1) will be looking for some offensive improvement tonight to keep pace with a Cox Mill squad (2-0) that has outscored its first two opponents 88-0.
The kickoff time in Concord is 7:30 p.m. The Patriots defeated the Chargers of the 3-A South Piedmont Conference 40-8 a year ago. They rushed for 390 yards that night with Dwayne Simpson scoring three touchdowns.
Patriot coach Chris Metzger encourages Patriot followers to combine the serious business of high school football with pleasure.
“You know, Concord Mills Mall is right by the school,” he said before an early, early morning practice on Tuesday. “Get some shopping done and come support your Patriots.”
The Chargers were also 2-0 last year when the Patriots enjoyed one of their most productive offensive games since Metzger became coach in 2007.
One of the keys this time around will be finding some help for Simpson. The senior running back has scored all five Patriot touchdowns in the first two games, and accounted for 64 percent of the team’s total offense. He has rushed for 205 yards on 34 carries and caught six passes for 95.
Making his first varsity start in last week’s 21-7 win against Overhills, sophomore quarterback Bradley Black was sharp at the start, using primarily the pass to direct the Pats to a 14-0 first quarter lead. Interceptions by Sam Brower and Nick Lacy, and fumble recoveries by Lacy and Mike Gray, helped maintain the two-touchdown margin most of the way.
The Chargers are led by Diron Chloe, a more than 1,000- yard rusher in 2011, who is also one of the team’s best defensive players from his linebacker position.
Quarterback Kelly Hall, a transfer from North Mecklenburg, has completed 18 of 21 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns in the two games. A veteran Patriot defense will also be tested by a Charger ground game that has averaged 285 yards in their two lopsided wins.
“Anytime you outscore your opponents 88-0, you’re doing something right — you’ve got things going,” Metzger said. “They’re very confident and they kind of have revenge on their mind. It’s a two-hour drive, and we want to come home with a victory.”
Senior defensive lineman James Harrison, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, underwent surgery for the second time on Monday after reinjuring it during a preseason scrimmage. Running back Juwanza Harris, and linebacker Brandon Stonesifer, are also on the Patriot injury list.
The leaders in total tackles through two games for the Patriots are Gray (18), Brower and Jonah Caliri (14), Lacy (12), Frankie Painter (11) and Josh McMillan (nine).
Cox Mill is in its fourth year of playing varsity football.
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