CONCORD - On the Northwest Cabarrus football team’s first offensive play against Jay M. Robinson Friday night, the Trojans scored on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Wilds-Lawing to Cam Saunders.
That play would set the tone for the entire game, as the Trojans and Bulldogs combined for nearly 100 points and more than 950 yards, with Northwest Cabarrus winning on the road, 62-35, at Bulldog Stadium.
The Trojans are the No. 1 team in the Independent Tribune’s Cream of Cabarrus Football Rankings.
The first half was the Wilds-Lawing Show, as the senior threw for 152 yards and three touchdowns. On the second drive, Wilds-Lawing hit Bryson Mason for a 25-yard touchdown pass to take an early 13-0 lead.
“Nick did a great job going through his progressions and hitting his spots, and the protection was awesome,” said Trojans coach Brandon Gentry. “He didn't have to scramble around that much. He was scanning the field, making his reads and hitting his second and third progressions.”
The Trojans took a 27-0 lead in the second quarter after L.J. Currie’s 25-yard touchdown run and a short 1-yard pitch pass to Andre Hill from Wilds-Lawing capped off by a Kamari Manns interception return.
Trailing 27-7, the Bulldogs offense got going in the second half, scoring four touchdowns on their first five possessions after the intermission, highlighted by a pair of Kam Robinson touchdown passes to Joshua Grant Jr. and Terrance Chapman.
“In the first half, we didn’t play well offensively, but I felt like in the second half we turned things around and put some things together had some good drives,” said Bulldogs coach Rich Williams. “We just executed better.”
However, the Bulldogs still had no answer for the Trojans offense. The second half was a rushing show. Currie rushed for 167 yards that half, scoring 53, 29 and two-yard touchdowns.
Bryson Mason added 63 rushing yards and a touchdown, and George Miller-Duncan had 62 yards and a touchdown.
Since both teams were trading touchdowns in the second half, the Bulldogs never got closer than 20 points. Despite such an offensive showing, Gentry wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance. The Trojans committed four holding penalties, multiple unsportsmanlike penalties and many other penalties.
“We’re undisciplined,” Gentry said. “It’s called accountability. We have to be held accountable for the things we do wrong. It can’t slide, it can’t be overlooked. We have to correct it at practice instantly. We have to grow and get better.”
Northwest Cabarrus 7-0 overall, 2-0 3A South Piedmont 3A Conference; Jay M. Robinson 1-6, 0-1 3A South Piedmont
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
Stifled for much of the first half, the Bulldogs scored their first touchdown with 45 seconds left in the second quarter on a wild play.
Near midfield, quarterback Kam Robinson threw a dart to Zimuzo Ozodigwe. It went through the hands of one Trojan, was tipped by another Trojans defender, and fell into the wide receiver’s hands.
Ozodigwe immediately shed one tackler with a spin move, and then he headed for the end zone. He followed one blocker, broke another tackle near the goal line and kept his balance long enough, stumbling in for the score.
The touchdown trimmed Northwest’s lead to 27-7 going into halftime and gave the Bulldogs some offensive momentum.
-- Wilds-Lawing connected with six different receivers, totaling 172 yards on 12-for-18 passing and three touchdowns.
-- On offense, Currie had 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he had two sacks.
-- Manns had an interception, running it all the way back to the 1-yard to set up an easy touchdown.
Jay M. Robinson
-- Chapman caught only two passes, but both were touchdowns (six and 67 yards).
-- Grant caught three passes for 103 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown.
-- Kam Robinson had 266 yards on 10-for-20 passing and three touchdowns, all longer than 50 yards.
-- The Trojans offense had 570 total yards, and it was a strong balance between rushing and passing. When the Trojans make their playoff run, the ability to score in either fashion could be pivotal if one aspect of the offense struggles.
-- As mentioned earlier, penalties hurt the Trojans. They had close to 100 yards in penalties, including three holding penalties that erased 20-plus yard plays. If they want to make a deep playoff run, that has to be fixed
-- Jay M. Robinson hadn’t scored more than two touchdowns all year, and it broke out for four in the second half. If the offense can roll this success into their next game, the Bulldogs could make some noise in the conference.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
Northwest Cabarrus travels to Central Cabarrus Friday, and Jay M. Robinson faces Concord on the road.
Northwest Cabarrus 13 14 28 7 — 62
Jay M. Robinson 0 7 14 14 — 35
NW - Cam Saunders 33 pass from Nick Wilds-Lawing (Ezekial Senegal kick)
NW - Bryson Mason 25 pass from Wilds-Lawing (kick failed)
NW – L.J. Currie 25 run (Senegal kick)
NW - Andre Hill 1 pass from Wilds-Lawing (Senegal kick)
JMR - Zimuzo Ozodigwe 54 pass from Kam Robinson (Braden Hamilton kick)
NW - George Miller-Duncan 1 run (Senegal kick)
JMR - Joshua Grant Jr., 54 pass from Robinson (Hamilton kick)
NW - Currie 53 run (Senegal kick)
JMR - Terrance Chapman 6 pass from Robinson (Hamilton kick)
NW - Currie 29 run (Senegal kick)
NW - Bryson Mason 1 rush (Senegal kick)
JMR - Chapman 67 pass from Robinson (Hamilton kick)
JMR - Josiah Jackson 30 run (Hamilton kick)
NW - Currie 2 run (Senegal kick)