Red Raiders keep rolling
T.W. Andrews is looking very strong halfway through the regular season.
The Red Raiders (4-1) have won four straight since losing their opener against High Point Central. But more than that, it’s the way they’ve done it — by absolutely dominating teams like they did in beating North Surry 55-3 on Friday.
“We’re beginning to hit our stride on both sides of the ball,” coach Rodney McKoy said. “We played a tough early schedule, playing three straight 4A teams. So, you don’t anticipate playing those teams as well as we did.
“That really gave us some confidence, and now you’re seeing us hit our stride and really start to play — and on both sides of the ball. So, I’m pleased with the way things have shaped up.”
In its four wins, Andrews has scored 66 points against Southwest Guilford, 42 versus Grimsley, 61 against Bartlett Yancey and 55 versus North Surry. That’s 224 points, averaging 56 per game. Meanwhile, they’ve allowed just 16.
The running game, keyed by backs Marquell Cartwright and Rontei Wilkes, has been been an unstoppable force, which in turn allows the passing game, highlighted by quarterback Lamar Raynard and receiver Justin Lea, to thrive.
“Right now, we feel pretty good,” said Cartwright, a senior who ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns on just four carries Friday. “We’re right at where we’re supposed to be at this time in the season. But we still have room to get better.”
The Red Raiders’ defense has also been very stout, first limiting the opponent’s running game and then forcing its passing into making difficult decisions under pressure. And that’s a combination that could lead them deep into the playoffs.
But that’s still a long way away. For now, with a week off this upcoming Friday, Andrews is focused on beginning PAC-6 play next Friday at Providence Grove. Randleman — likely its toughest conference foe — will be the following week.
“I broke the season into the first half of the season, the conference and the playoffs,” McKoy said. “So, now the next five games will determine where we are in the playoffs. So, we have to take the same commitment and togetherness we’ve had in our first seven or seven weeks.”