CONCORD – The Cream of Cabarrus fifth-ranked Cox Mill football team used impressive offense and defense to defeat second-ranked Central Cabarrus, 31-6, Friday at Charger Stadium.
The Chargers also put themselves in position to compete for the conference championship next week when they visit No. 1 Northwest Cabarrus. Cox Mill sits alone in second place in the South Piedmont 3A and is one game back of conference leader Northwest Cabarrus.
“Right now, we’re ready,” said Cox Mill coach Craig Stewart. “We told (our players) we would take one game at a time. Let’s don’t look ahead. Sometimes, young guys do that. This time, our guys were focused on (the Central Cabarrus game). Now we’ll get ready for Northwest Cabarrus starting on Monday.”
Cox Mill had only 39 yards rushing in the first half, but junior quarterback Varney Farhnbullah completed scoring throws to Christian Henry (67 yards) and a pair of 12-yarders to Barry Robertson.
Central Cabarrus gained three first downs on its opening drive but didn’t register another until the second half, when it was trailing 21-0.
After Jelynn Barnett’s 1-yard touchdown dive increased the Chargers’ lead to 28-0, Vikings running back Solomon Faulkner got wide open on the left sideline and hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blue Monroe with 1 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.
Injuries forced the Vikings to play without the services of senior starting quarterback Dajon Johnson and star junior running back/linebacker DeAndre Boykins.
“Cox Mill showed up, and we did not show up,” said Central Cabarrus coach Kenneth McClamrock. “We’ve got a lot of guys out and a lot of guys that were on the field were playing with guts that probably should be out (injured). But Cox Mill had a great game plan against us and made some plays early on.”
Central Cabarrus 6-4 overall, 2-2 South Piedmont 3A Conference; Cox Mill 6-4, 3-1
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
Cox Mill did not attempt a pass on its first possession, but once Farhnbullah put the ball in the air, the game’s course was set.
Facing second-and-9 from his 33-yard line, Farhnbullah faked a handoff and quickly spotted Henry 20 yards downfield and a shade to his right. Henry was already a few steps ahead of the nearest defender when he caught Farhnbullah’s pass just across midfield.
Henry soon realized he was destined for the end zone and an early Cox Mill lead.
-- Including a sack, senior linebacker Logan Anderson had six tackles in the first half and was in the neighborhood of 10 for the game.
-- With his 35-yard touchdown catch and 40 yards of rushing, Faulkner led the Vikings with 75 yards offense.
-- Farhnbullah completed nine of his first 11 attempts and finished 12-of-18 for 182 yards and three scores.
-- Robertson caught six passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
-- Sam Weber was perfect on four extra-point attempts and a 33-yard field goal.
-- End DeNorris Hunsucker was among the defensive standouts, recording at least seven tackles and recovering a fumble.
-- McClamrock said Central Cabarrus is playing without nine injured starters. He estimated five of them have gone down in the last two weeks.
-- Wesley Poindexter, a standout defensive back, caught a couple of passes during Cox Mill’s two-minute drill at the end of the second half. Even though the drive didn’t yield any points, Poindexter was targeted two other times as well.
-- Each team was flagged 10 times. Central Cabarrus accumulated 115 penalty yards, while Cox Mill had 90.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
Both teams are on the road next Friday. Central Cabarrus plays at Jay M. Robinson, while Cox Mill visits Northwest Cabarrus.
Central Cabarrus 0 0 6 0 – 6
Cox Mill 7 14 7 3 -- 31
CM – Christian Henry 67 pass from Varney Farhnbullah (Sam Weber kick)
CM – Barry Robertson 12 pass from Farhnbullah (Weber kick)
CM – Robertson 12 pass from Farhnbullah (Weber kick)
CM - Jelynn Barnett 1 run (Weber kick)
CC – Solomon Faulkner 35 pass from Blue Monroe (kick failed)
CM – Weber 31 field goal