Northwest Cabarrus rolls over Carson, 49-0
NW Cabarrus too much for Carson
By Marny Hendrick
CHINA GROVE — The Northwest Cabarrus football team is as good as advertised, maybe even better.
The Trojans scored seemingly at will in the early going and cruised to a 49-0 non-conference win over Carson here Friday night. Senior quarterback Nick Wilds-Lawing passed for 254 and four touchdowns while Tyrese (Shady) Blake ran for two scores and posted 150 yards of total offense to lead NWC to the lopsided win.
The visitors’ defense was equally impressive as the Trojans (3-0) held Carson (1-2) to 56 rushing yards, 72 passing yards and picked off a pair of passes. It was the second consecutive shutout loss suffered by the Cougars.
“We wanted to come out and execute well and specifically, work on some things through the air with Nick and some of our receivers,”“said winning head coach Brandon Gentry. “Defensively, we wanted to fix some stuff we messed up last week and we were able to do that. It is good to be able to execute our stuff tonight.”
Execution was the operative word for the game as the Trojans used just two pass plays to cover 55 yards, scoring a touchdown on its opening possession of the game. Wilds-Lawing hit Bryson Mason for 17 yards then found Marquan Williams wide open for the 28-yard scoring pass at 9:02 of the first period. CP Pyle blocked the extra point for Carson to keep it at 6-0 — but not for long.
Carson was forced to punt on the next possession and Cam Saunders broke free for a 39-yard return to put NWC in business at the Cougars’ 20. Wilds-Lawing ran it to the 5-yard line, then Blake punched it in for a 13-0 lead.
After another punt, the Trojans marched 70 yards in just five plays to expand the lead to 20-0 at 2:55 of the first period. Blake took a screen pass for 20 yards, then Williams picked up 28 more on a pass reception. Wilds-Lawing hit Saunders on a 5-yard crossing route to cap the scoring drive.
The scoring parade continued on the next NWC possession, as Blake broke multiple tackles after a short pass reception and raced 59 yards to the Carson 8. LJ Currie scored on the next play to make it 27-0.
The Trojans closed out the first half with its fifth score in as many possessions. Currie picked off a pass by Carson quarterback Alex London at the Cougar 48. Six plays later, Wilds-Lawing found Saunders on the left side of the end zone for a 34-0 lead.
Another interception just before the half by Saunders halted the best Carson drive of the half. London connected with AJ Jackson at the Trojans 34-yard line, but Currie then picked off London to end the threat. The Cougars’ quarterback was apparently injured on the play and did not return in the second half.
Despite the big first-half deficit and the bigger final score, Carson head coach Daniel Crosby sounded a positive note afterwards.
“Yeah, they are good,” Crosby said, of the Trojans, “They are just that good and we knew it coming in. They are a top-five team in the state (3A) and that is our goal. That is where we want to be. I am proud as heck of our guys. We showed fight and I know we will get better.”
After intermission, the Trojans did not miss a beat, as Wilds-Lawing connected on three passes including a 15-yarder to Mason for the touchdown. He then hit big tight end Karsen Perkins for a two-point conversion pass and a 42-0 lead. That margin, by state football rules, initiated a running clock for the rest of the contest.
It was also the parting shot for Wilds-Lawing as he closed out his four-TD passing night on the play. Afterwards, the 6-3, 177-pound junior wanted to talk about the team and not his own achievements.
“We have a bunch of weapons, coming into this season,” he said. “We rep every week, we watch film, we find holes and we just execute.” The game gives Wilds-Lawing 610 passing yards and 10 scoring passes after just three games.
“When Nick is on like that, we can be tough to beat,” Gentry noted.
The Trojans closed out the scoring in the fourth period with Blake at quarterback — in the shotgun. He directed a 43-yard drive after a short punt and scored from the 2-yard line, with 9:49 remaining in the game. Blake finished a well-balanced game with 55 rushing yards, 95 receiving yards and two scoring runs.
Carson put together their deepest drive of the night, late in the fourth quarter, with sophomore Hunter Burris at quarterback and junior Alex Stirewalt at running back.
Stirewalt ran the ball five straight times to reach the NWC 35, but a dead-ball personal foul pushed the ball back to midfield. The Cougars tried to keep the drive alive on 4th and 17, as Burris hit Jake Harris for 10 yards, down to the 28. But it was well short of the first down, allowing the Trojans to run out the clock.
“We did some good things tonight, but we had some injuries that held us back in the second half,” Crosby said. “We just have to keep grinding it and try to get better every day.”
The Cougars will try to rebound next Friday night with a trip to county rival North Rowan. Northwest Cabarrus, meanwhile, will face a stiff challenge at home when 3A power Marvin Ridge comes to town. “It is going to be a big step up for us,” Gentry said, of the Marvin Ridge game. “But that is the kind of challenge we want to face.”