Prep Football: Carson 28, North Iredell 7
By Adam Houston
OLIN ó Brandon Sloop was the motor of Carsonís offense Friday against North Iredell. Sloop, a 185-pound freshman, carried the ball 34 times for 118 yards and a touchdown in the Cougarsí 28-7 win over the Raiders in the regular-season finale.
He was able to move the pile or bounce it outside for small gains and big plays against the Raidersí defense.
ěThatís who he is,î Carson coach Mark Woody said. ěHeís just a freshman and is about as tough as they come.î
Sloopís lone touchdown was a 1-yard run with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left in the first quarter that cut the Raidersí lead to 7-6.
The Cougars took control of the game early in the second half. Austin McNeil, who was 5 of 9 for 143 yards and two touchdowns, hooked up with K.J. Pressley less than three minutes into the third quarter on a slant pass that went 82 yards up the middle for a 20-6 lead. Later in the period, Dontae Gilbert threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Ben Gragg.
Fumbles plagued both teams on a slick night. The Cougars lost three of their six fumbles, and the Raiders lost the ball both times it hit the ground.
North Iredellís offense showed big-play capability early in the game. Kemuel Brown ran 55 yards on the first play from scrimmage. He put the Raiders up 7-0 less than four minutes into the game with a 47-yard touchdown catch on a swing pass from Jacob Queen.
Queen had a rough night passing the ball for the Raiders. At one point, he missed 11 straight attempts and was picked off on one. The Cougars converted that turnover into a 12-yard touchdown pass from McNeil to Greg Tonnesen with 22 seconds left in the second quarter.
ěThe things that hurt us tonight are the things weíve fought all year,î North Iredell head coach Chris Davidson said. ě(Those are) drive-killing turnovers, mental errors, missed assignments, being in the place to make a play and not having the confidence to pull the trigger.î
Queen finished the game 3 of 16 for 119 yards. Brown led the Raidersí ground game with 87 yards on 15 carries.
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