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Cavs down Lexington


SPENCER | North Rowan’s Kasuan Coney was Rowan County’s interception king in 2012 with six picks.

His first of 2013 was worth the wait.

It came on an ungodly play on which he looked like Mike Trout laying out for a line drive on the warning track, and it put an exclamation point on North Rowan’s 33-13 win against Lexington at Eagle Stadium.

“I knew that ball was overthrown, and we were already calling the next play,” Lexington coach Chuck Henderson said. “That kid made an unbelievable athletic play. North has special players and a really good team.”

In winning its Central Carolina Conference opener, North (7-0, 1-0) lived up to its billing as the No. 1 team in 2-A — at least for a half.

“It got a little sloppy, with us coming off our open week, but I was proud of our guys for playing hard,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “We controlled the line of scrimmage, and that’s always a big emphasis for us.”

Lexington (0-7, 0-1) actually outplayed the Cavaliers after the break. Homecoming distractions — many Cavs escorted young ladies at halftime — may have had something to do with that, but the Yellow Jackets also had something to do with the turnaround.

North, which led 26-0 at the break, was so dominant in the trenches in the first half that Lexington had minus-21 rushing yards, but quarterback Raekwon Byrd and receivers Shakeem Peterson and Devin Cross got the Jackets moving through the air in the second half.

“Our kids competed better in the second half,” Henderson said. “Competing hard every minute is what we stress, and we reiterated that at halftime.”

Lexington scored the game’s final 13 points. Byrd scored on a short run, and the Jackets added another TD on a Byrd-to-Peterson pass that was set up by Nidarious Welborn’s interception.

Lexington even made a red-zone stand late after North superhero Jareke Chambers had returned a kickoff to the Lexington 14.

Chambers had 135 of his 151 rushing yards by halftime and his 57-yard burst set up the first of three Xavier Robinson touchdown runs and gave the Cavaliers a 7-0 lead.

“We were mixing up the run and the pass pretty well, just like we’d game-planned,” Robinson said. “And we got Alexis Archie back tonight. That’s a great team lift and takes some pressure off Jareke.”

Out since Week 2, Archie is a big, strong lefty quarterback. He powered for a rushing TD and threw smoothly.

“Alexis’ rehab went well and he’s further along than we thought he’d be,” Nixon said. “He got in there and  was able to knock some of the dust off.”

The Cavaliers smashed for 335 rushing yards, with Andra Cowan contributing 87. He got 44 on one up-the-middle power blast that set up North’s second TD.

“I just followed my blocks,” Cowan said. “(Center) Josh Cozart pancaked his guy, and I hit the hole with a full head of steam.”

Mike Robinson also had a pick, and the Cavs handled  an athletic opponent.

“Sometimes a team’s record doesn’t mean anything,” Archie said. “Lexington fought hard, gave us a run for our money.”