Blue Devils, Wildcats renew championship rivalry
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Monday, Dec. 23, 2013

Blue Devils, Wildcats renew championship rivalry

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/15/36/eFHIQ.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Kathleen Martin - COURTESY OF KATHLEEN MARTIN
    Lake Norman quarterback Josh Ladowski, the All Mooresville News’ player of the year for 2013.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/19/15/36/WIuKw.Em.138.jpeg|468
    Erica Singleton - Erica Singleton
    Mooresville football coach Hal Capps, the All Mooresville News coach of the year for 2013.
  • All Mooresville News Football Team

    OFFENSE

    QB: Josh Ladowski, Lake Norman, Jr.: A monster year for the North Piedmont 3A-4A offensive player of the year, who accounted for 5,276 yards total offense and 59 touchdowns this season.

    RB: Akease Rankin, Mooresville, Jr.: A breakout year for the all-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick, eclipsing the 2,000-yard mark with 2,155 yards on the ground and 20 touchdowns.

    RB: Michael Fisher, South Iredell, Sr.: Presbyterian commit had all-North Piedmont 3A-4A season, showing his versatility by shifting to running back for senior season.

    WR: Corey Joyner, Lake Norman, Jr.: With Ladowski, one of top offensive performers in the state, with 86 catches for 1,708 yards and 21 touchdowns.

    WR: Dylan Galbo, Lake Norman, Jr.: Also emerged as an all-North Piedmont 3A-4A playmaker in potent Wildcats offense with 599 yards receiving and five touchdowns.

    WR: Jeremy Carr, Bandys, Sr.: Made big plays for Trojans, averaging 26.5 yards per catch with 10 touchdowns.

    ATH: Justin Jones, Mooresville, Sr.: Blue Devils’ all-North Piedmont 3A-4A playmaker set the tone for the entire team, according to Capps. He had nine touchdowns this year as all-purpose threat.

    OL: Alex Gourley, South Iredell, Soph.: Two-time all-conference pick had 33 pancake blocks, invited to U.S. Army National Combine, getting major interest from East Carolina, N.C. State, Brigham Young and more, boasts 4.8 grade-point average.

    OL: Malik Flippen, South Iredell, Sr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick also big for Vikings with 15 pancakes.

    OL: Patrick Ryan, Lake Norman, Sr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A center anchored an athletic group that paved the way for 490 yards per game.

    OL: Robert Gibson, Lake Norman, Sr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick another big part of offensive line that helped produce 40 points per game.

    OL: Harrison Carlson, Lake Norman, Jr.: Underclassman was all-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick.

    OL: Qua Harris, Mooresville, Jr.: Blue Devils standout has 47 dominating blocks, was leader of offensive line, according to Capps.

    DEFENSE

    DL: Aquevious Johnson, South Iredell, Sr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A defensive end had major impact for Vikings’ defense with 14 sacks.

    DL: Tyler Diehl, Mooresville, Jr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A defensive tackle a major force in the middle for Blue Devils with 83 tackles, seven sacks.

    DL: Chase Stehling, North Lincoln, Sr.: 6-foot-5, 260-pound, all-North Piedmont 3A-4A performer had 95 tackles, six sacks.

    DL: Ralph Montgomery, Mooresville, Sr.: Versatile all-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick can play on line or at linebacker, had 91 tackles, also a four-year starter on Blue Devils basketball team.

    LB: Briggs Lunsford, South Iredell, Sr.: North Piedmont 3A-4A defensive player of the year was tackling machine, averaging 15 tackles per game.

    LB: Jon Jon King, South Iredell, Sr.: Another offense-wrecking all-North Piedmont 3A-4A player with 10.5 sacks.

    LB: Colton Medlin, Bandys, Sr.: Trojans’ leader had 109 tackles, 13 sacks, four fumble recoveries, also six touchdowns on offense as tight end-halfback, invited to play in National High School Senior All-Star Game in Dallas in February.

    LB: Jarett Schott, Lake Norman, Soph.: Underclassman had an all-North Piedmont 3A-4A season.

    LB: Jack Coughlin, Mooresville, Soph.: Underclassman had an all-North Piedmont 3A-4A season.

    DB: Avante Parham, Mooresvile, Sr.: Another all-North Piedmont 3A-4A playmaker at safety and linebacker for Blue Devils.

    DB: Luther Cannaday, Mooresville, Sr.: North Piedmont 3A-4A special teams player of the year had big impact in return game, had six interceptions for defense, also two kick returns for touchdowns.

    DB: Chris Ingram, Mooresville, Fr.: Capps calls this all-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick “the best freshman he’s ever coached.”

    DB: Louis Simms, Lake Norman, Jr.: All-North Piedmont 3A-4A pick had 56 tackles, five interceptions to lead Wildcats’ secondary.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    K: Travis Kiser, Bandys, Jr.: Trojans kicker made 11 of 15 field goals, including four over 40-plus yards.

    P: Thomas Bullock, Mooresville, Jr.: Blue Devils’ all-North Piedmont 3A-4A quarterback also averaged 36 yards per punt.

When Lake Norman and Mooresville High match up in any sport, there is a lot at stake.

But few times has it meant more during the schools’ decade-plus rivalry than when the Wildcats and Blue Devils met on the gridiron Nov. 8, with the North Piedmont 3A-4A conference title on the line.

The game lived up to the hype, as Mooresville held off Lake Norman 35-31 to win the league championship and earn a No. 1 seed in the 4A West playoffs.

While the Blue Devils were eventually was upset in the second round of the postseason by Southeast Guilford, they still finished with an 11-win season.

Lake Norman (8-4) had one of its best seasons in school history, winning seven of their final nine games to earn their first home playoff game. But the Wildcats lost to perennial state power Richmond Senior in the opening round of the playoffs.

South Iredell, the defending 2AA state champions coming into the season, also had a strong year in the first year in class 3A, going 8-4 and losing to Statesville in the first round of the playoffs.

All Mooresville News football coach of the year: Hal Capps, Mooresville – Capps came into this season believing his team had a new attitude after going 4-7 in 2012.

The North Piedmont 3A-4A coach of the year was right, as his team lost its second game of the season to former I-Meck 4A conference foe Hough, then reeled off 10 straight wins, winning the league title in the process.

Capps did it with a relatively young team, as key players like running back Akease Rankin, quarterback Tommy Bullock, defensive tackle Tyler Diehl, linebacker Jack Coughlin and cornerback Chris Ingram will be back to help the Blue Devils be a contender again in 2014.

All Mooresville News football player of the year: Josh Ladowski, Lake Norman – When Ladowski committed to play baseball at the University of North Carolina last summer, some wondered if he would still play football for the Wildcats.

But Ladowski not only played, he had a monster season, accounting for 5,276 total yards – he threw for 3,207 yards and ran for 2,069 – and 59 touchdowns to earn North Piedmont 3A-4A offensive player of the year honors.

Ladowski’s numbers were staggering, as he eclipsed 300-plus yards passing five times and averaged 172 yards rushing per game.

Ladowski has one more year, which will certainly put Lake Norman in the mix for a conference title and more next season.

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer for Mooresville News. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at jedwardsjr23@gmail.com.

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