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PREVIEW: Concord vs. A.L. Brown (NC)

October 24, 2012

The Concord Spiders and the A.L. Brown Wonders will face off in this year’s installment of the “Battle for the Bell” in North Carolina this Friday night. The winning team earns possession of the “Bell”, an old Southern Railways bell that is painted the school’s colors each year. The Wonders defeated the Spiders 31-26 in last season’s matchup. The win helped Brown edge closer in the all-time series which Concord leads 39-37-4. Both teams look to be in position to make the 3A playoffs and sit right behind Hickory Ridge in the SPC standings.

The A.L. Brown Wonders finished the 2011 season with a 12-2 record for the 3rd straight year. The Wonders were knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals by Charlotte Catholic. Second year head coach Mike Newsome has 5 starters back on offense and 4 on defense. Senior Keenan Medley is the starting quarterback after playing running back in 2011. Medley has thrown for over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns to go with over 300 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on the ground. The backfield returns the reigning SPC Offensive Player of the Year in senior Kalif Phillips. Phillips has rushed for over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. Senior Keeon Johnson, committed to the University of Virginia, will lineup at wide receiver for the Wonders. The offensive line will be anchored by the 6’7” Brandon Parker at left tackle. The defense will be led by senior J.P. Lott at safety. The secondary includes Kenon Jones, Daveon Perry and Johnny Delahoussaey. The Wonders enter Friday night’s game with an 8-2 record. They will need to win if they wish to defend their South Piedmont Conference championship. The Wonders sit just 1 game back of Hickory Ridge in the standings heading into the last game of the season. Brown has won or claimed a share of the SPC title the past 5 years.

The Concord Spiders are looking poised to match last year’s results. The Spiders went 10-4 and made it to the state quarterfinals for the 2nd year in a row before losing to West Rowan, a state finalist. Senior B.J. Beecher is back to lead the high-flying Spider offense. The 6’7” quarterback passed for almost 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns a season ago in an offense that averaged over 33 points a game. So far in 2012, he has passed for over 2,400 yards and 29 touchdowns. Much of the success in the passing game this season is due to the fact that all 3 impact receivers returned along with a much experienced Parker Swaringen at tight end. Seniors Alex Asbury, Swaringen and Zosh Heilig have combined for 19 touchdowns this season and more than 1,700 yards receiving. Sophomores Rocky Reid and Terry Cassel lead the Spider running attack. Reid has rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season to go with his 13 touchdowns on the ground. The 6’7” 330 pound senior Gerald Carr will anchor the offensive line, while senior Kendall Bost mans the D-line. The linebacking unit will be led by returning juniors Jerry Burk and Logan Sedergren. Seniors Xavier Thompson and Rion Gibson are back to patrol the secondary for the Spiders. The 8-2 Spiders are looking to end the season with huge win against the Wonders to rebound after last weekend’s thrilling loss to Hickory Ridge.

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