CONCORD Rocky Reid’s importance to the Concord Spiders offense might have been exemplified by what his teammates did in the 3A Western Regional final win Friday against the Forestview Jaguars.
Reid, a junior running back who has accounted for 40 touchdowns this season, did not score for the first time this season.
Though he set a Cabarrus County season record with 3,131 yards rushing, Reid did not break any big runs against the Jaguars until a 31-yard burst late in the third quarter when the game was all but over.
Forestview did everything it could to contain Reid and did a pretty good job of it. But Reid still rushed for 178 yards on 32 carries and Concord captured an easy 35-14 victory. As a result, the Spiders will play in their second straight state championship game Saturday at Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium.
Concord will face two-time defending state champion Havelock, which beat the Spiders in last year’s title matchup 55-21. Both teams are 15-0 this season. Havelock has lost just one game in three seasons.
“One of the advantages of having a good running back is teams set their defenses around him,” said Spiders coach Glen Padgett. “And it has freed things up for (quarterbacks) Keenan Black and Graham Pruette and our receivers. It helps makes our offense more balanced.”
Last season, Reid gained 1,590 yards on 230 carries, complementing Concord’s high-powered passing game. Quarterback B.J. Beecher, now at East Carolina, passed more than 4,000 yards.
This season, Concord’s potency has been centered around Reid’s abilities. At 6-feet and 210 pounds, Reid is built with strength and speed. He can run over or around defenders.
Reid established himself in the season opener, running for 232 yards and three scores (including a long of 82 yards) against rival A.L. Brown. Reid was held to a season-low 101 yards against Mount Pleasant in Week 2, but he chalked up with his first of two 300-yard games the following week at Hickory Ridge.
That started a dominant six-game stretch during which he totaled 1,620 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. For the season, Reid rushed for more than 200 yards nine times.
“I’ve had a great season,” Reid said. “The linemen are blocking for me. The quarterbacks are getting me the ball, and I thank God for letting me do what I can do.
“As a team we’ve had a great season. We have played with a lot of heart since the first game. We wanted to be back to (the state final) so bad but knew we needed to go through every one to get here and make it back.”
In last year’s state title game, Reid gained 61 yards and scored a touchdown on 13 carries. Havelock’s Derrell Scott carried 18 times for 145 yards and two scores.
This year’s game promises to be a rematch of Reid’s and Scott’s abilities.
“We have to play as a team and play with heart,” Reid said. “We know we have to stop their running back, Derrell Scott. He’s a speedster. The offense goes through him. We know if we can stop him, we can get the win.”
Havelock must be thinking the same thing about Reid.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less