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Lake Norman downs Salisbury, 35-14

By Taylor Jedrzejek

sports@statesville.com

MOORESVILLE — It wasn’t a pretty win for Lake Norman, but it was a victory, nonetheless. The Wildcats, behind another stellar performance from Cole Jackson, ran past Salisbury, 35-14, Friday night at Lake Norman High School.

After receiving the opening kickoff, Lake Norman (4-0) went on a 14-play, 57-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Darien Wells’ 1-yard plunge into the end zone capped it off.

On the ensuing Hornets possession, Ryan Taylor picked off a Griffin Myers pass and returned it to the Salisbury 40. The interception set up another scoring drive for the Wildcats, this time ending with a Jackson 2-yard touchdown run. Lake Norman led 14-0 with 2:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Salisbury (1-3) found the end zone early in the second quarter when Trell Baker scored on sweep from 10 yards out to cut the lead in half, 14-7.

Lake Norman scored twice in the remaining 10 minutes of the second quarter. Cole Ladowski’s 1-yard quarterback sneak extended the Wildcat lead to 21-7, and Austin Robinson returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown to put the Wildcats on top, 28-7, heading into halftime.

Scoring resumed in the fourth quarter when Jackson scored his second rushing touchdown of the night to give the Wildcats a 35-7 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the game.

Salisbury followed up Lake Norman’s touchdown drive with one of its own, going 85 yards in 16 plays and eating up nearly nine minutes of game clock. Nate Austin pushed into the end zone from a yard away to cut the Lake Norman lead to 35-14 with 34 seconds left. The Hornets’ onside kick was unsuccessful and the Wildcats went into victory formation.

The Hornets got productive games on the ground from Austin and Cameron Horne. Austin finished with 50 yards and a score on 13 carries while Horne led the team in rushing with 51 yards on seven carries. The Salisbury defense held Lake Norman to just 281 yards of offense, well below its average of 379 yards per game.

Jackson once again led the way for Lake Norman on the ground, rushing for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and catching one pass for 22 yards. It was Jackson’s third 100-yard rushing performance in four games. Wells added 51 yards and a TD on nine carries.

Ladowski was 6 of 13 passing for 91 yards and once again did not turn the ball over. The Wildcat defense held the Hornets to just 185 total yards and forced two turnovers.

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