Lake Norman High’s Wildcats have a couple of weeks to feel really good about themselves.
They ran their option rushing attack with efficiency and the defense was stout in a 40-8 win against West Charlotte on Friday at Garinger in the season opener for both teams. The Wildcats, who have a two-week window before their next game, pushed the Lions up and down the field with the running game, piling up 285 yards on 36 carries. The ground attack was so efficient, Lake Norman attempted only four passes, all in the first half.
Although the Wildcats were dominant, they were far from perfect. West Charlotte forced three fumbles, including a pair inside the 5-yard line to thwart potential scoring drives. Otherwise, Lake Norman did what it wanted at nearly every opportunity.
Wildcats quarterback Anthony Limon turned in an efficient effort with a pair of touchdown passes and a rush for a third score to kick-start Lake Norman’s dominance. After Limon opened the scoring with a 23-yard pass to Christian Taylor, West Charlotte responded with its best play of the game, a 50-yard strike from Joshua Mahatha to Anterius Carpenter that pulled the Lions ahead 8-6 early in the second quarter. After that, it was all Lake Norman.
The Wildcats reeled off 20 straight to lead 26-8 at the break, and kept it going in the second half by pounding West Charlotte on the ground. Nine Lake Norman players had a carry and four gained at least 40 yards, paced by Chrishon Shepard’s 61 yards on five tries.
Three who mattered
Anthony Limon, Lake Norman: The senior quarterback didn’t throw often, but made enough of them count for big plays. He completed 2-of-4 first-half attempts — his only tries in the game — for 92 yards and a pair of scores in addition to running for another. He finished with 148 yards total offense.
Crishon Shepard, Lake Norman: How’s this for first-half efficiency? Three carries: 17, 18 and 19 yards, with the 18-yarder going for a score. He finished with five carries for 61 yards
Anterius Carpenter, West Charlotte: The junior receiver tallied West Charlotte’s only score with a 50-yard reception that put his team ahead 8-6 briefly in the second quarter. He finished with 112 yards of total offense, including 81 receiving on four catches.
▪ Lake Norman is a veteran team and it showed in the second quarter. The Wildcats started fast, fell behind briefly, then reeled off 34 unanswered points to pull away.
▪ West Charlotte’s defense was overwhelmed, but did show some fight in the red zone, forcing a couple of Lake Norman fumbles as the Wildcats were poised to score. The Lions won the turnover battle 3-2, but one of their mistakes was an interception Brendan Wager returned 42 yards for a touchdown after a West Charlotte receiver bobbled the ball.
Lake Norman plays Mallard Creek Friday. West Charlotte travels to North Mecklenburg on March 5.
Lake Norman 6 20 7 7 — 40
West Charlotte 0 8 0 0 — 8
LN: Anthony Limon 23-yard pass to Christian Taylor (run failed)
WC: Joshua Mahatha 50-yard pass to Anterius Carpenter (Mahatha pass to Chancelor Morrow)
LN: Crishon Shepard 18-yard run (run failed)
LN: Limon 3-yard run (Nick McCue kick)
LN: Limon 69-yard pass to Jace Neely (McCue kick)
LN: Brendan Wagner 42-yard interception return (McCue kick)
LN: Charlie Hughes 14-yard run (McCue kick)