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IN MY OPINION

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Cabarrus County prep football fans enjoying special season

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Not sure I can remember too many years when two of the state’s best running backs were playing about 7 miles apart.

But entering Friday’s games, Cabarrus County prep football fans were enjoying a pretty special season. Central Cabarrus High’s Kenny Purvis entered the night with a state-best 1,526 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Concord’s Rocky Reid had 1,458 yards rushing, third-best in the state, and 18 scores.

Reid and Purvis had played against each other the week before. Concord won 63-50 but not before Reid, a junior, ran for 338 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries; and Purvis, a senior, went for 308 yards on 20 carries and four touchdowns.

In his previous two games, before Friday’s win at West Rowan, Purvis had rushed for 815 yards and 10 touchdowns. That’s an entire season’s worth for many high school running backs.

West Rowan made a great effort to slow Purvis, holding him to 80 yards on 19 carries, but Central Cabarrus improved to 6-1 with a 28-16 win.

Meanwhile, a short drive away from Central Cabarrus’ home field, Reid led Concord to a 7-0 start with a 28-14 win against county rival Cox Mill.

Reid rushed 29 times for 245 yards and a score. In seven games this season, Reid has gained at least 200 yards six times.

So, unofficially, Reid now has 156 carries for 1,706 yards and 19 touchdowns. Purvis has 138 carries for 1,606 yards and 21 touchdowns. For comparison, Charlotte Catholic All-American Elijah Hood, a top 20 player nationally, has rushed 163 times for 1,510 yards and 19 touchdowns. All three players have played seven games.

According to N.C. High School Athletic Association records, the single season rushing mark for a Cabarrus County player is 2,456 by Concord’s Jamie Scott in 1996. Right now, assuming good health, Reid and Purvis each will break the county record – in the same year.

Pretty amazing.

• Hood had 294 yards and five touchdowns Friday against Olympic and had 114 yards called back for penalities. It cost Hood his sixth 300-yard career game, but the 294 yards ranks 27th in Mecklenburg County history. Hood, by the way, owns seven of the top 27 single-game rushing performances in county history.

For his career, Hood now has 6,801 yards and 98 touchdowns. Right now, he ranks No. 10 all-time in the state in rushing and fifth in rushing touchdowns. Only four N.C. players have ever scored 100 rushing touchdowns – Albemarle’s T.A. McLendon (170), West Rowan’s Kevin Parks (158), Maiden’s Tommy Henry (125) and Western Guilford/Asheboro’s Anthony Saunders (100).

• Hopewell’s Dimitris Camp ran for a career-high 193 yards and six touchdowns in Friday’s 47-34 win against rival North Meck. Camp’s touchdowns tied the Mecklenburg County record. He joins Providence’s Brandon Jackson, Charlotte Catholic’s Ben Herlocker, West Meck’s Van Smith and Hood in the record book, according to Observer records.

• Remember NFL quarterback legend Brett Favre? These days, he’s the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove High in Hattiesburg, Miss. He’s helped his new team to a seven game win streak. Nationally ranked Oak Grove beat rival Meridian 38-10. Favre’s team is averaging more than 300 yards per game passing. Why Oak Grove? Favre lives in the area and his daughter attends the school.

• Not too many N.C. players are having a better season than Lake Norman quarterback Josh Ladowski. He has thrown for 1,943 yards and 17 touchdowns in seven games. He’s rushed for 1,176 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a team, mind you, Lake Norman has rushed for 1,507 yards.

Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr; Facebook.com/queencitypreps
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