CHINA GROVE – Nick Wilds-Lawing threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns as Cream of Cabarrus top-ranked Northwest Cabarrus earned a leisurely 49-0 non-conference football victory at Carson Friday.
The Trojans scored on their first five possessions to take a 34-0 halftime lead. Northwest Cabarrus’ first two touchdown drives each lasted just two plays, with Marquan Williams making an acrobatic 28-yard scoring catch and running back Tyrese “Shady” Blake easily crossing the goal line on a 5-yard run.
Wilds-Lawing connected on his first eight passing attempts and had 236 yards by halftime. The senior quarterback had also out-rushed Blake in the first half, 26 yards to 16 yards.
But Blake put up his biggest numbers catching the ball. He finished with 93 yards and a touchdown, and his 57-yard catch-and-run reached the Carson 8-yard line and set up Northwest Cabarrus’ fourth scoring possession, which also lasted just two plays.
“We knew it would be tough for (Carson) to stop us,” said Trojans coach Brandon Gentry. “So we wanted to be efficient in some areas … We wanted to work on some stuff that we hadn’t had a chance to run yet because we had been winning big in the first two games. So we made a concise effort to go out there with the passing game specifically.”
The Northwest Cabarrus defense held the Cougars to 122 yards, but 39 of them came after the Trojans built a 42-0 lead early in the third quarter to induce a running clock for the rest of the game.
Carson suffered its second straight shutout after opening the season with a big win over South Rowan.
“We’re not worried about our record right now,” said Carson coach Daniel Crosby, who spent seven years as an assistant coach between Central Cabarrus and Cox Mill. “We’re focused on getting better every day and working hard in the weight room … and making sure we are being the best we can be every day.”
Northwest Cabarrus 3-0 overall, 0-0 South Piedmont 3A; Carson 1-2, 0-0 North Piedmont 3A
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
Blake’s 57-yard pass reception in the second quarter was Northwest Cabarrus’ longest play of the game, but it came at a time when the game already felt out of reach.
The Trojans registered their first two touchdowns so quickly – both on shorter possessions -- that it took a longer scoring drive to assure Northwest Cabarrus’ tap-out of Carson. Cam Saunders’ 5-yard touchdown catch completed a six-play, 70-yard drive, which was the Trojans’ longest of the game.
On the score, Wilds-Lawing had so much time to spot his receiver getting open that it seemed like he was orchestrating the play as it developed. Seeing Williams slip his defender by two yards or more in the back of the end zone confirmed just how predictable the game’s outcome would be.
-- Wilds-Lawing completed 15 of 17 pass attempts and finished with 273 yards while closing out his night with a little more than nine minutes left in the third quarter.
“Every game you get to take something away,” said the senior quarterback. “You get way more reps, way more mental reps. “You just have to have fun for the community and for yourself.”
-- Blake, a 2,300-yard rusher last season, carried 11 times for 47 yards. Three carries came as the backup quarterback in the second half after the game was out of reach. He added 93 receiving yards for 140 total yards.
-- Middle linebacker L.J. Currie intercepted two passes in the first half. On offense, he had three carries for 18 yards and scored an 8-yard touchdown.
-- Saunders and Bryson Mason each caught five passes. Saunders had 49 yards and two scores while Mason had 75 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 20 yards.
-- The Cougars’ biggest offensive play came on Michael Altmann’s circus-like, 20-yard reception on a third-and-17 play in the second quarter. He totaled three catches for 37 yards.
-- The Carson marching band was at least 85-members strong. That’s an impressive number of musicians for a high school band nowadays.
-- The Carson offense crossed midfield just once in the first half and once in the second. The deepest the Cougars reached was the Northwest Cabarrus 35 in the second quarter.
-- Currie, K.J. Pierce, Karsen Perkins, Andre Hill, Patrick Dixon, and Trajon Truesdale were among the Trojans’ defensive standouts.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
Northwest Cabarrus plays host to Marvin Ridge in a non-conference game next Friday, while Carson stays in county and visits North Rowan.
NW Cabarrus 20 14 8 7 -- 49
Carson 0 0 0 0 -- 0
NW – Marquan Williams 28 pass from Nick Wilds-Lawing (kick blocked)
NW – Tyrese Blake 5 run (Tyler Grayson kick)
NW – Cam Saunders 5 pass from Wilds-Lawing (Grayson kick)
NW – L.J. Currie 5 run (Grayson kick)
NW – Saunders 14 pass from Wilds-Lawing (Grayson kick)
NW – Bryson Mason 15 pass from Wilds-Lawing (Grayson kick)
NW – Blake 2 run (Ezekial Senegal kick)