TROUTMAN--Lake Norman erupted for 379 yards and 35 points in the first half Friday, breezing to a 49-21 victory over South Iredell.
The Wildcats had their fair share of success on the ground, but that triple-option based offense especially excelled when it went to the air. Junior quarterback Anthony Limon threw four touchdown passes covering 30, 55, 70 and 70 yards.
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"We're going to run the ball and throw for touchdowns in this offense," Lake Norman coach Jonathan Oliphant said. "We're not looking for that 5- or 10-yard pass."
Covering a lot of ground
Lake Norman had seven first-half plays that covered 20 or more yards, and five of those went for touchdowns. Grayson Morrow's 34-yard touchdown run propelled the Wildcats to a 28-7 lead with 3 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the half.
Kris Petroski got free and hauled in a pair of 70-yard touchdown passes during the second quarter. Both times he caught the ball down field and shed a would-be tackler on his way to the end zone.
"Big plays killed us," South Iredell coach Scott Miller said. "They were better than us in all aspects tonight: offense, defense and special teams."
Having an answer
Twice the Vikings trimmed a 21-point deficit to 14 late in the second quarter. Both times the Wildcats responded.
Justin Turner made a one-handed grab in the end zone, pulling the ball into his body before stepping out of bounds for a 43-yard TD reception from receiver-turned backup quarterback Cullen Smith. That got the Vikings on the scoreboard with 4:06 left in the half.
Lake Norman took a 28-7 lead with 3:31 remaining on Morrow's 34-yard scamper to paydirt.
Smith found Garrett Page in the end zone for a 11-yard TD strike with 1:06 left to get the Vikings back within 14 points.
Petroski's second 70-yard TD reception, with 20 seconds remaining, sent Lake Norman into the half with a 35-14 advantage.
Players of the Game
Limon and Lake Norman junior spur Bradley Wilson were named the N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance Offensive and Defensive Players of the Game, respectively.
Wilson keyed a defense that, with the exception of allowing a 43- and , 38-yard scoring play, shut down the Vikings offense.
Limon was 6 of 7 passing for 239 yards and the four touchdowns.
"Tonight we took what we could get," Limon said. "One-high safeties you throw to the seams."
Will Gordon carried the ball seven times for 67 yards, including an 11-yard TD run after Lake Norman recovered an onside kick to begin the third quarter.
Morrow's second scoring run of the night, an 11-yarder, lifted the Wildcats to a 49-14 lead midway through the third.
Smith finished with 79 yards on seven carries for the Vikings, with most of that coming on his 38-yard sprint to the end zone during the fourth quarter.
Lake Norman free safety Will Kobuszewski intercepted a pass.
South Iredell linebacker Kasey Rife factored into three tackles for losses.
The Vikings (1-2) travel to Taylorsville in Week 4 to take on Alexander Central (2-1), which squandered a 14-point, third-quarter lead Friday and lost 49-35 to Statesville.
The Wildcats (2-1) are back at home on Sept. 13 against North Iredell (0-3).
"I thought you played with a chip on your shoulder," Oliphant told his players in the post-game huddle following the South Iredell victory. "That team better show up next week."