Lake Norman High had all the answers with its back against the wall.
The Wildcats twice recovered from double-digit deficits to beat rival Hough 35-34 Friday on the Huskies’ home field, scoring the game-winning touchdown on quarterback Cole Ladowski’s 6-yard run with 1 minute, 10 seconds left.
Lake Norman (3-0) trailed 34-21 in the fourth quarter but rallied behind Ladowski’s 18-yard pass to Austin Robinson with 6:10 left and Ladowski’s draw up the middle. Ladowski finished with 239 yards total offense, including 204 passing on 19-of-33 attempts and a pair of scores.
Hough (2-1), No. 2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, couldn’t close despite a brilliant game by running back Titus Fields, who rushed for 134 yards and three scores on five carries. His 55-yard touchdown run pushed the Huskies to a 27-21 advantage and Andrew Dziuk’s 11-yard run put the Huskies up 13.
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Hough threatened to blow the game open early with first-quarter scoring runs of 16 and 53 yards by Fields for a 14-0 lead before the Wildcats responded. Lake Norman forced a 14-14 halftime tie on an 8-yard run by Cole Jackson and 19-yard pass from Ladowski to Robinson.
Hough feasted on its rushing attack, piling up 153 yards in the first half, with Fields gaining 69 on two carries.
Records: Lake Norman is 3-0 and Hough is 2-1.
Worth mentioning: Fields ran the ball twice in the first half, but scored both times, accounting for 69 yards total. Hough rolled up 174 yards before the break, with 153 on the ground. . ...Lake Norman’s Jackson carried the ball 14 times in the first half for 39 yards. Quarterback Ladowski hit 10-of-16 first-half passes for 119 yards and a score.
Lake Norman; 0; 14; 7; 14;-;35
Hough; 14; 0; 13; 7;-;34
H-Titus Fields 16 run (Zach Stearns kick)
H-Fields 53 run (Stearns kick)
LN-Cole Jackson 8 run (John McCue kick)
LN-Austin Robinson 19 pass from Cole Ladowski (McCue kick)
H-Cameron Evans 10 pass from Jackson Gibbs (kick missed)
LN-Darien Wells 32 run (McCue kick)
H-Fields 55 run (Stearns kick)
H-Andrew Dziuk 11 run (Stearns kick)
LN-Robinson 18 pass from Ladowski (McCue kick)
LN-Ladowski 6 run (McCue kick)