Friday Night Preview: Lake Norman at A.L. Brown

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2008

*Time: 7:30 p.m.
*Records: Lake Norman 7-4; A.L. Brown 9-2
*Bracket: 3AA
*Seeds: No. 13 Lake Norman vs. No. 4 A.L. Brown
*Series: A.L. Brown leads 2-0
*Last meeting: Wonders prevailed 23-7 in 2005
*Last week: Lake Norman looked sharp in a dominating 33-7 victory against Northwest Cabarrus; A.L. Brown crushed Concord 56-6
nNext week: Winner takes on either No. 12 Marvin Ridge (6-5) or No. 5 Gastonia Forestview (8-3)
*Home and road splits: Lake Norman is 4-1 on the road; A.L. Brown is 5-0 at home
*Game notes: The Wonders could have gotten an easier draw.
Lake Norman has made a habit of playing its ‘A’ game against ‘A’ opponents. The Wildcats were stopped at the goal line late in regulation and eventually lost to West Rowan in overtime. That was West’s only close game in the NPC.
Wonder coaches will also mention Lake Norman beat a Mooresville team that beat the Wonders and that the Wildcats manhandled Northwest Cabarrus in the trenches last week.
Lake Norman, which is diverse on offense and very stingy against the run on defense, is led by defensive lineman/fullback Dirqual Ellis, who is related to the Ellises on West Rowan’s coaching staff.
Lake Norman lost to Carson (3-8) and South Rowan (5-6) at home, but it’s been an excellent road team. It’s only loss was at West.
Brown is healthier than usual for this time of year and has outscored its last two overmatched foes 108-6. QB Jamill Lott and strong safety Xavier Watson get better each week.
A.L. Brown’s last first-round playoff loss was a 35-34 setback to Glenn in 1993. That streak isn’t likely to end tonight.