High School Sports

Friday night HS football observations: Big win doesn’t thrill Butler coach Brian Hales

Butler High coach Brian Hales saw his Bulldogs defeat 3A power Western Alamance Friday, but he’s disappointed in his team’s performance this season. Hales said Butler is ‘not physical enough’
Butler High coach Brian Hales saw his Bulldogs defeat 3A power Western Alamance Friday, but he’s disappointed in his team’s performance this season. Hales said Butler is ‘not physical enough’ Jeff Siner

Butler High’s football team went to Burlington Friday and beat a very good Western Alamance team 34-7. But the win didn’t exactly thrill Bulldogs coach Brian Hales.

“I was disappointed,” Hales said, a few minutes after it ended. “I think we can play much better than we are.”

Butler led 7-0 at halftime Friday, hurting itself with the same stream of penalties that plagued the Bulldogs in a 35-20 home loss to Mallard Creek last week. But a blocked punt and a blocked field goal in the first half kept Butler in front. And in the second half, after Western Alamance tied the game at 7, Butler woke up. The Bulldogs scored four unanswered touchdowns, using the diverse, quick-strike offense that has led to Hales being considered one of the state’s best offensive minds.

“I think our offense finally stepped up,” Hales said. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot a bunch with stupid penalties and once we eliminated those, we started to roll.”

Western Alamance (2-1) is no pushover, mind you. The Warriors, a longtime 3A power, won their first two games this season by a combined score of 115-14. In fact, they have won at least eight games in every season since 1998 and played in four state championship games.

Still, Hales knows that to compete with the state’s 4AA heavyweights come November, and to beat 4AA heavyweight Richmond Senior at home next week, the Bulldogs must raise their level of play.

“I don’t think we’re being physical enough right now,” Hales said. “We’ve got the ability to do it and for whatever reason, that’s not happening right now and it’s something I need to see. (The physical play) is too inconsistent right now and it’s been for awhile. So we can watch film and talk to them about what is causing the problem, and maybe it’s trying to do too many things and maybe we’ll scale it back and find out who we’re going to be.

“It’s still early and we’re trying to find the combination of guys and the right combination of (play) calls, too.”

Friday’s Notes

▪ There might be a private-school power brewing at Statesville Christian. The Lions, who were 2-8 last season , are 3-0 under coach DeAngelo Cox after Friday’s 19-14 win over Pine Lake Prep (1-2). Statesville Christian, which didn’t allow a point in its first two games, has outscored opponents 140-14.

▪ Lake Norman improved to 3-0 after a big win at Sweet 16 No. 2 Hough Friday. Lake Norman rallied on the road, down 34-21, and won. Now, the Wildcats have a real chance to finish the regular season unbeaten and get a top playoff seed.

▪ In Thursday’s 55-6 win over the Hickory Hawks, Davidson Day linebacker Chase Monroe had a school-record 28 tackles. Teammates Ryan Titus and Joel Serepca had 23 each.

▪ Speaking of defense, Forestview recovered five Kings Mountain fumbles in a 28-0 win. Kings Mountain managed only 110 yards of offense.

Friday’s Roundup

Concord First Assembly 57, Christ The King 6: Bryan Jacobs scored three times and Kyle Howard scored twice in the win. Concord First Assembly led 21-0 after the first quarter and 44-0 at halftime.

Lake Norman Charter 35, Community School of Davidson 16: Lake Norman Charter improved to 3-0. Community School fell to 0-3.

Olympic 14, Independence 12: Independence scored for the first time this season, but fell to 0-3 after losing a 10-0 lead. Olympic (1-1) got a fourth-quarter touchdown from Damon Rouse to win. Independence is off to its worst start since 2010, when the Patriots began the season 0-4 and finished 3-8.

West Mecklenburg 42, Garinger 8: First-year coach Jarvis Davis has West Meck off to a hot start. The Hawks (2-1) took Sweet 16 No. Vance to overtime in Week 1 and has won two straight since then. Garinger (0-3) lost its 44th straight game since beating Harding 16-14 in October 2011.

Friday’s Top Performers

Jack Brigham, Milan Howard, James Hurney, Charlotte Catholic: In a 27-0 win over Charlotte Country Day, Bingham ran 20 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns. Howard ran 12 times for 108 yards, and Hurney had three interceptions.

Canaan Cox, Statesville Christian: He ran 29 times for 191 yards and a score and had 253 all-purpose yards in a 19-14 win over Pine Lake Prep. His 6-yard run with 9 minutes, 40 seconds to play was the game-winner for Statesville Christian (3-0).

Sean Dugan, Davis Wilder, Lake Norman Charter: In a 35-16 win over Community School of Davidson, Dugan rushed 18 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Wilder had two interceptions, one of which he returned 58 yards for a score.

Tyus Fields, Hough: He had five carries for 134 yards and three touchdowns in a close loss to Lake Norman.

Jerry Howard, Rock Hill Northwestern: Howard ran 13 times for 140 yards and three scores in a 38-25 win over South Mecklenburg.

Cole Ladowski, John McCue, Lake Norman: Down 34-21 on the road at Hough, Lake Norman rallied to win after Ladowski’s short touchdown run with 70 seconds left tied the game. McCue’s extra point won it. Hough missed a PAT earlier. Ladowski was 19-for-32 passing for 208 yards and two scores. He ran 12 times for 33 yards.

Cordel Littlejohn, Lincolnton: Had 221 yards passing, three touchdowns and 42 yards rushing in a 61-34 win over North Gaston. Teammates Xavier McClain (179 rushing yards, two scores) and Sage Surratt (eight catches, 124 yards, two scores) also had big games.

Gabe Montgomery, Providence Day: 17 carries for 268 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-0 win over Carolina Pride. Montgomery averaged nearly 16 yards per carry.

Nijere Peoples, Butler: 20 carries, 170 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-7 win at N.C. 3A power Western Alamance.

Rain didn't dampen the spirits of the Charlotte Catholic Cougars fans or players. Catholic defeated Country Day 27-0 to win the John Cook Cup.

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