CONCORD – The Cream of Cabarrus fifth-ranked Cox Mill football team used explosive plays in all three phases of the game and finished the night with a 45-0 victory home victory over Concord.
The Chargers jumped out to a 35-0 lead, and coach Craig Stewart was pleased with the way his players performed after a less-than-stellar week of practice.
“It was an OK week of practice; wasn’t a great week of practice,” Stewart said. “We kind of challenged them a little bit before the game, and they stepped up and played. We kept telling them, ‘We’ve got to get better every day.’
“We’ve had a tough last couple of weeks (after a 37-7 loss to No. 1 Northwest Cabarrus), but we stepped it up and played tonight and played good. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll take it and we move on.”
Chargers quarterback Varney Farhnbullah was responsible for a number of the explosive plays on the night, finding his receivers for big gains and even using his legs to get out of trouble. He credited the team’s performance to the disappointment of last Friday’s loss to Northwest Cabarrus.
“I feel great,” said Farhnbullah. “It was a good team victory after losing to Northwest last week. It was a good thing to get punched in the mouth and to go to practice and do some soul searching and come back out here and try to go undefeated in our conference. In a way, I’m glad we got beat by Northwest because that really set the tone. It punched us in the mouth and humbled us. And it actually made us angry, so every team that faces us now is going to feel our wrath.”
Concord 0-7 overall, 0-1 South Piedmont 3A Conference; Cox Mill 4-3 overall, 1-0 South Piedmont 3A
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
Concord got a sustained drive going while trailing 14-0 with fewer than four minutes left in the first quarter. The Spiders converted a fourth-and-1 situation from their own 43 with a 27-yard run by Jacori James, then continued to steadily move further into Chargers territory.
Concord lined up at the Chargers’ 9-yard line facing third-and-2 when it appeared that Cox Mill scooped a fumble and returned it all the way to the Spiders’ 1-yard line. But after conferring, referees ruled that the Concord runner was down, giving the Spiders a fourth-and-1 situation at the Chargers’ 8-yard line.
The Cox Mill defense stuffed the next play for no gain, taking over on downs, and the Spiders never threatened again.
“We were running counter real well,” said Concord coach Marty Paxton. “Ran it, got down there. In that situation, they were going to bring the house, and it’s hard to run counter. So you try to do what a lot of people do: block down and kick out. We got stopped short. So it’s fourth and 1, and we get stopped short. The momentum just kind of went away from us at that moment, and we just couldn’t recover after that.”
Despite it being so early in the game, does Paxton believe that was the turning point of the night?
“I do,” Paxton said. “Yeah, I do. Unfortunately, that early in the game, it shouldn’t be. But in tonight’s case, I believe I do.”
-- James had 11 carries for 50 yards, including that big 27-yard run on fourth and 1.
-- Varney Farhnbullah finished the night with 239 yards on 11-of-17 passing with three touchdowns, one interception and a 20-yard rushing score.
-- Christian Henry had five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
- Jelynn Barrnett had two 3-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter.
-- In the late second quarter, Paxton brought in Massiah Ashford to play quarterback. While it was definitely an adjustment for him, Ashford’s pure athleticism and playmaking ability is evident. With time, he could be the conductor of a prolific option offense.
-- For Cox Mill’s first touchdown of the game, both teams traded turnovers to set up a very short field. After the Chargers got down to the Concord 25, Farhnbullah was intercepted at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, there was a bobbled snap, and the Chargers fell on the ball at the 3.
-- Concord did record a blocked field goal in the third quarter with a well-timed rush off the edge.
Concord returns home to take on Jay M. Robinson on this Friday, while Cox Mill hosts A.L. Brown.
Concord 0 0 0 0 – 0
Cox Mill 14 21 10 0 – 45
CM -- Jelynn Barrnett 3 run (Sam Weber kick)
CM -- Barrnett 3 run (Weber kick)
CM -- Christian Henry 34 pass from Varney Farhnbullah (Weber kick)
CM -- Farhnbullah 20 run (Weber kick)
CM -- Henry 42 pass from Farhnbullah (Weber kick)
CM -- Luke Sutton 9 pass from Farhnbullah (Weber kick)
CM -- Weber 31 field goal