Two was too much for opponents of Western Guilford and Southwestern Randolph Friday night. A pair of players from each of those schools head the News & Record All-State Checklist.
John Thomas and Fred Davis debuted as a formidable passing combination in Western's opener, a 21-16 defeat of Southeast Guilford. Thomas completed 15 of 21 passes for 240 yards and threw touchdowns of 86 and 37 yards. Both scores went to Davis, a 5-foot-3, 145-pound converted running back who had seven receptions for 131 yards.Thomas, a 6-3, 190-pound junior who started half of last year, opened in disastrous form as his first five attempts yielded an interception and three incompletions. He kept his composure, however, and was able to rally Western from a 16-7 third-quarter deficit by getting the ball in the right hands - Davis'. On both his touchdown catches, Davis turned a short sideline pass into a long score.
Moving Davis to receiver ``changed the whole team,' Western coach Charlie Griffin said. ``We had no speed at wide out last year. We'd throw a 4-yard pass and it was a 4-yard gain. Now we throw a 4-yard pass and it's an 86-yard touchdown.'
Southwestern Randolph's dynamic duo was bound to the ground, but no less effective. Falcaro Hooker ran 27 times for 237 yards, including touchdowns covering 38, 35, 31 and 5 yards as the Cougars (2-0) trounced North Moore 41-19.
When Hooker wasn't pounding away, Eric King was gobbling yardage in large chunks. He totaled 191 yards on just 11 carries and scored from 80 and 43 yards away.
``Falcaro is more of a powerful runner,' Southwestern coach Charles Chapman said. ``He'll run through tackles.
``Eric will hit the hole a little quicker. He's gone before you know it.'
Between those two and opening-game rushing leader Ken Thompson, the other part of a three-back rotation, hopes are running high for the Cougars.
``We feel like we've got the best team we've had, at least in my six years here,' Chapman said.
JEROME BAILEY (Beaufort Co. Northside): Rushed for 184 yards on 23 carries and scored two TDs in a 31-12 victory over Washington. LEE BECTON (W. Craven): Rushed for 176 yards and scored on a 14-yard run and 30-yard interception return in a 27-14 victory over Greene Central. JODY BROWN (Statesville): Completed 14 of 24 passes for 253 yards and three TDs in a 20-17 victory over defending Class 3-A state champion Kannapolis Brown. DONNIE DAVIS (Cummings): Completed 15 of 21 passes for 283 yards and two TDs in a 35-3 defeat of Reidsville. JOHN HILL (Smoky Mountain): Ran 29 times for 224 yards and four TDs in a 27-17 defeat of Robbinsville. The TDs covered 74, 30, 4 and 4 yards. REGINALD HUNTER (Parkland): Rushed for 232 yards on 33 carries, including TDs of 18, 7 and 19 yards and two 2-point conversions in a 28-27 victory over Glenn. DAVID JOHNSON (Chatham Central): The senior linebacker/fullback blocked a punt and recovered it for one TD, returned an interception 13 yards for another score, made 17 tackles, including eight for losses and one quarterback sack, and ran 5 yards for a TD as the Bears blanked Magnolia 25-0. DUDLEY JOHNSON (Avery): Rushed for 141 yards and one score, intercepted two passes and returned a kickoff 56 yards in a 26-6 win over Watauga. CARLOS KING (Starmount): Rushed for 152 yards and scores of 6, 67 and 2 yards. Also caught a 30-yard TD pass in a 37-0 victory over Elkin. HEALTH SHULER (Swain Co.): Completed 14 of 21 passes for 293 yards, including TDs of 21, 53 and 60 yards. The senior also scored on runs of 34 and 26 yards in 54-12 victory over Rosman. CARLOS SMITH (Anson Co.): Rushed for 166 yards on just five carries and scored once in a 28-18 victory over Forest Hills. JUNIOR SMITH (Fayetteville Smith): Rushed for 283 yards on 18 carries, including scoring runs of 7, 9, 17, and 29 in a 48-14 victory over Durham Hillside. T.G. TRUMBULL (Avery): Ran for 201 yards and two TDs in a 26-6 defeat of Watauga. CARL WALKER (Glenn): Completed 13 of 25 passes for 276 yards, including a 38-yard TD pass and a 3-yard TD run in a 28-27 loss to Parkland. TODD WALKER (Ashe. Reynolds): Rushed for 171 yards and three TDs and passed for another TD in a 40-0 win over Roberson. HARRY WILLIAMS (Princeton): Rushed for 174 yards on 16 carries and scored five TDs in a 60-0 victory over Mattamuskeet.