Cabarrus

Game of the week: Cox Mill High at Concord High

After going 1-10 in its first season, Cox Mill is looking to take the next step and compete in the South Piedmont conference.

The Chargers have proved that they're much improved since last year, winning four games, including their second ever SPC win against Mount Pleasant last month.

The Chargers will have an upset on their minds when they travel to Concord Friday.

"We play in a very difficult conference and there is no easy weeks," said Cox Mill football coach Greg Neuendorf, whose team lost to Concord 41-0 last year. "Concord has been the class of this league for a long time. We hope to one day get where they are. To do that, we have to able to beat the best teams in this league."

After struggling early last season, the Spiders have won 11 of their last 14 games. Second-year head coach Glen Padgett and company hope to prove they are amongst the conference's best.

"We know anybody can beat anybody in this league on a given night," said Padgett, whose team finished 5-2 in SPC play last season, tied for second place. "We aren't going to overlook any opponent. We want to win the (SPC), so we have to be ready to try and win every conference game."

Cox Mill (4-3)

Year two of the Cox Mill football program has been a major step in the right direction. The next month will tell just how good this team has become.

Neuendorf's triple option offense has given teams fits as junior quarterback Aaron Hincher and company are a year "bigger, stronger and faster."

Hincher's main man in the run game has been running back Jhaquille Hankerson, who has already rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns (going into last Friday's A.L. Brown game).

When the Chargers pass, which is eight to 10 times a game, they usually go deep and Parker Kenney is normally the target.

Cox Mill's offense has improved, averaging more than 26 points per contest after averaging a little better than 8 per game in their inaugural campaign.

The Cox Mill defense is also better, allowing just over 21 points per game after surrendering 40 points per contest in 2009.

Junior linebacker Tristian Green is the leader of the defense with 13.5 sacks, while classmate, linebacker, T.J. Poole has a team-best 24 tackles.

Concord (5-2)

After starting 0-6 last season, the Spiders have returned to their winning ways since then, only losing three games since.

The constant for head coach Glen Padgett has been a solid defense and the emergence of quarterback B.J. Beecher.

Beecher, a sophomore has been up and down this season. He had thrown more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns going into Friday's game against Central Cabarrus.

The return of tailback Dominique Posey will also helps as the senior battled knee and shoulder problems early on this season, but is now back to 100 percent.

Another return, in the form of senior wideout and returning specialist Jacquise Moore, has also jumpstarted the offense.

Moore, who transferred to Flora Macdonald Academy in Red Springs before changing his mind, had five catches for 137 yards and a touchdown in his debut two weeks ago against Jay M. Robinson and is a welcomed addition.

While the offense has been on a roller-coaster of ups and downs for most of the season, the Spider defense has been rock solid. Concord's defense is allowing just over 11 points per contest.

Seniors Jalen Brown and Bradley Phillips have led the unit. Brown, a linebacker, has 40 tackles, three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns, while Phillips, the anchor of the defensive, has 28 tackles, three fumble recoveries, one-and-a-half sacks and a score.

The Spiders are just coming into their on as they hit the heart of the SPC schedule and that could be bad news for Cox Mil.

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