Tonight's preview: Northwest Cabarrus at Carson

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: NW Cabarrus 0-0; Carson 1-0
Series: Northwest leads 3-0
Last meeting: Trojans won 21-7 in 2008 when both were in the NPC
Last week: Northwest did not play; Carson beat North Rowan 16-6 with defense
Next week: Northwest will play at South Rowan; Carson will play at Hickory Ridge
Game notes: This is the opener for Northwest, and it should be an edge for the Cougars that they already have a game under their belts.
It shapes up as a defensive battle. Northwest’s passion is always defense, and the Trojans allowed just 11 points a game in their conference (SPC) games in 2010.
Carson was defense-oriented on opening night, limiting North Rowan to a measly 31 passing yards and 65 yards rushing.
Linebacker T.J. Smith led the Cougars defensively, and Carson has a strong secondary that includes Dontae Gilbert, Connor Bridges and Zach Blythe.
Carson’s offensive output against North (219 net yards) was below the standards set by last season’s Shaun Warren-fueled juggernaut, but two TD passes thrown by Austin McNeil to K.J. Pressley were enough to get the win. Pressley, a junior, could be the county’s top receiver.
Northwest should win the kicking game against anyone. Clemson commitment Bradley Pinion booms punts, puts kickoffs in the end zone and can drill long-range field goals.
Offensively, Northwest has numerous skill guys back in QB Colby Williford, receivers E.J. Rhinehart and Will England, big tight end Weston Smith and running backs John Edmond and Jalen Caldwell.
On paper, the Trojans look a little better, but this shapes us as the best game of the night.