Mustangs Finally Make It Home
After four straight weeks playing on the road and playing a very challenging nonconference schedule, the North Moore football team finally gets to play in front of its home crowd when it opens its Yadkin Valley Conference slate tonight.
While the Mustangs played a tough preconference schedule tuning up for the league play, their opponent, West Montgomery, will not be an easy opener. The Warriors have been one of the top teams in the state at the 1-A level, having played in the Western Regional finals three times in the past five seasons.
This year the Warriors are a young team and have experienced some growing pains with their nonconference schedule, going 1-3 on the field. However, West received a forfeit from North Lenoir, a team it lost to by a 19-14 score, making its record 2-2. The Warriors come into the North Moore matchup coming off a 13-12 victory over 2-A Jordan-Matthews.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs are still searching for their first victory of the season.
“West Montgomery is good football team, right up there with the other teams we played so far this season,” said North Moore coach Greg Simmons. “They fly around on defense and they can make big plays. They have a good quarterback, who makes good reads running the option. They have a big fullback and another running back who can scoot.
“We’ll have to play a good game if we want to give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
The Warriors’ junior quarterback Caleb Drake is coming off his career-best game against Jordan-Matthews. Drake ran for 174 yards and scored both Warrior touchdowns, one on a 62-yard scamper. Drake is averaging more than 100 yards a game. He’s also connected on nearly 50 percent of his passes and has a pair of scoring tosses.
The Warriors’ two starting running backs, senior Devonte Gainey and junior Suave Pegues, have rushed for 212 yards and 302 yards, respectively.
“Defensively we have to be very disciplined because their quarterback makes good reads,” said Simmons. “Their offense is similar to what we saw at Union Pines, only they (West) run the option out the shotgun. We will have to play assignment football if we want to stop them.”
One of the areas the Mustangs have struggled with is putting the ball into the end zone. They’ve been able to move the ball, but haven’t been able to score. North has been doing a much better job of taking care of the football and has cut down on penalties.
“We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone,” said Simmons. “We’ve been able to move the ball the past couple of games, but we’re not scoring. We’ve got to find a way to get the ball into the hands of our playmakers and let them make plays. We’re getting better and the kids are working hard. We’ll have to play well on both sides of the ball and do a good job on special teams.”
The Warriors have dominated this series with the Mustangs having only two victories on the field against West. North Moore won its only two contests in 1967 and 1971.
North Moore received a forfeit from West in 2010 when they used an ineligible player.
The rest of the conference starts their league schedule tonight as well with the headliner being South Stanly at North Rowan.
Albemarle, who suffered its first defeat last week, hosts Chatham Central while East Montgomery entertains winless South Davidson.
All the games are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
More like this story