“This is big, it’s what it’s all about. That’s what Cougar Coach Butch Carter says of tonight’s battle against undefeated Lake Norman.
Truth be told, the two game homestand that begins tonight against the North Piedmont Conference’s other two 4A schools, Lake Norman and Mooresville will determine where the Cougars will finish in the league and what kind of playoff seeding they will be granted.
Lake Norman rolls into Taylorsville at 7-0 including an impressive win over South Iredell last week when they stifled the Vikings offense 28-20. The Wildcats trailed that game 20-7 before they took over. Lake Norman also owns a win over highly regarded Hough earlier in the season. This year’s team is a bit different than in year’s past. The difference is an improved defense and a more balanced offense. Lake Norman is allowing only 15 points per game and Coach Carter says their ability to run the ball has helped them on the defensive side of the ball. Carter says “They can run it well and we already know about their passing but they can run it and control the clock keeping their defense off the field.”. Quarterback Cole Ladowski (yep, he is Josh’s brother) has thrown for over a thousand yards and 7 touchdowns. He spreads the air attack to at least a half dozen targets. Cole Jackson leads the Wildcat ground game with 895 yards and 13 touchdowns. The defense is physical and is led by linebacker Max Thornhill who has 73 tackles.
For the Cougars, “We’re going to do what we do, we’re good at it , it’s what we are” according to Carter. The high powered offense is led by Bryson Godfrey, Devon Weiss, Jacob Parson, and Gunnar Anderson. ACHS has already passed the point total scored last year when the 2015 team set a school record. Godfrey enters the night with 942 yards on the ground and 9 touchdowns and is the team’s top receiver with 305 yards and another 4 scores. When the going gets tough though the Cougars like to lean on junior Devon Weiss who has 16 touchdowns and 804 yards including many, many, yards after contact. Weiss also has caught 3 td passes from quarterback Gunnar Anderson. Anderson has passed for 839 yards and 11 td’s and has yet to throw a pick in 7 games. Parson is averaging an eye-popping 20 yards per carry.
The key tonight might be is how many stops the Cougar defense can force against Lake Norman. The defense is getting better but how much so ? Tonight, we find out. Linebackers Levi Childers and Tejuen Calhoun lead the team in tackles but the front 3 of Cody Blankenship, Caleb Dula, and Isaac Chapman have been rock solid all year. It’s their play that occupies blockers and allows the linebackers to make plays.
As Coach Carter said “This is big, it’s what it’s all about”
Kickoff is 7:30 at Glenn Wilson Field at Cougar Stadium. The “Countdown to Cougar Kick-off “goes on the air and around the world online at 6:30.