A.L. Brown used to reign supreme in its geographic region, and especially so after former former Butler state champion coach Mike Newsome, who left the Bulldogs for the Wonders nearly a decade ago, took over in Kannapolis.
Since coming to Kannapolis, Newsome has rarely — if ever — taken a beating like his team faced Friday as Hickory Ridge throttled the Wonders, 48-14.
“I was a little nervous coming into the game (with us) 2-2 and them 3-0,” Hickory Ridge coach Jupiter Wilson said. “Our kids rose to the challenge and were ready to go from the start. Once we got going, I tried to keep it going. We have a lot of depth.”
The rivals have caught up to each other since coach Wilson arrived to lead the Bulls, but the teams hadn’t played in nearly a decade — when they each scored well over 100 points in their final two games against each other.
This time, the Ragin’ Bulls raced out to a 45-7 halftime advantage. Randall Fisher, Jalen Harris, Sabin McLaughlin Jr., Elijah Kendrick, Christian Hamilton and Jamari Rodgers-Freeman, who scored on a fumble recovery, all scored first-half touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Alex Bentley (18-22, 170 yards, 2 TDs in the first half) was nearly perfect leading his team to the huge halftime lead.
McLaughlin led the Bulls with six catches for 66 yards while Fischer toted the ball 11 times for 61 yards.
“We’re a championship team,” junior linebacker Kyle Perry said. ”All week, we talked about stopping the run. We gave up a bunch of yards the past few weeks, but we came out here and we stepped up.”
It was a complete win for for Bulls’ Wilson, whose team improved to 3-2, and 1-0 in conference.
“I think the biggest thing is sometimes I second guess myself. We play a hard non-conference schedule,” Wilson said after losing by just a touchdown to defending 4A champion Chambers last week. “I told them, ‘guys, you can be really good this year. You just have to go out there and do it.’
“The guys were just ready to go play ball.”