North Piedmont week 10 football preview

North Piedmont week 10 football preview


North Piedmont week 10 football preview


Mooresville has dominated their opponents in 2014.

Mooresville has dominated their opponents in 2014.

The North Piedmont Conference championship will run through Mooresville. The two strongest teams in the league both call “Race City, USA” home, and the Mooresville Blue Devils and Lake Norman Wildcats appear to be on a collision course for the NPC crown. As a split conference with 4A and 3A schools, the 3A race is currently wide open with three weeks left to play. South Iredell and North Lincoln currently sit in the two guaranteed spots, but with the entire conference separated by just 2.5 games, anything can change between now and mid-November.

Let’s take a look at the NPC matchups this week.

North Lincoln (5-3, 2-2) at Lake Norman (7-1, 4-0)

In what appears to be a contrast of styles, Lake Norman will host North Lincoln. The visiting Knights run the ball effectively, and if the coaching staff had their way, the Knights would never have to put the ball in the air. North Lincoln enters this game averaging 269 yards per game on the ground, and average 21 points per game. Richard Jackson leads North Lincoln with 822 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. If the Knights are going to win this game, they will need a huge effort from Jackson on Friday night.

Lake Norman returns home following a 55-34 victory at West Iredell last week. The Wildcats’ prolific offense has shown its strength the last few weeks, and quarterback Josh Ladowski is the catalyst for Lake Norman. Ladowski has already racked up over 2000 yards with 24 touchdowns in just eight games. The Lake Norman signal caller went 11-15 for 290 yards and 3 TDs last week at West Iredell. Lake Norman’s receiving corps is tops in the conference, with Corey Joyner, Dylan Galbo, and Baker White all being in the top five for receiving yards. Joyner leads the group with 740 yards and 8 touchdowns.

If North Lincoln is going to have a shot in this game, they’ll need a mistake-free performance offensively to keep the potent Lake Norman attack on the sideline.

USA TODAY High School Sports Predictor: Lake Norman 34, North Lincoln 14

Alexander Central (3-5, 1-3) at South Iredell (5-3, 3-1)

In a pivotal 3A matchup, Alexander Central will travel to Statesville and face the South Iredell Vikings. Alexander Central comes into this game averaging a healthy 308 yards per game rushing, and will hope to move the ball against an inconsistent South Iredell squad. The Cougars snapped a three-game losing skid last week with a 21-17 victory over Statesville. The Cougars dropped three straight games against 4A competition, and their schedule still offers them an opportunity to get into the playoffs if they can close out on a hot streak. Landon Hammer leads Alexander Central with 744 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. His ability to protect the ball and avoid mistakes will be crucial for the Cougars’ upset bid.

The most inconsistent team in the North Piedmont might be South Iredell. The Vikings rebounded with a 39-14 victory against North Iredell last week. Chris Holmes currently leads the conference with 1293 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. In last week’s victory, Holmes rushed for 255 yards and three scores. South Iredell’s offensive line should have no issues opening holes against Alexander Central’s defensive front. Jared Bradley leads the conference with 87 tackles, and Josh King leads South Iredell with 3 sacks.

This game will be decided in the trenches, and the winner of this game will almost certainly win the turnover battle while playing keep away on offense.

USA TODAY High School Sports Predictor: South Iredell 28, Alexander Central 24

West Iredell (2-6, 0-4) at Mooresville (8-0, 4-0)

Mooresville will host West Iredell in the biggest mismatch in the conference this week. The Blue Devils have absolutely demolished their competition this season, outscoring their opponents 340-82. Led by senior running back Akease Rankin’s 939 yards and 16 touchdowns, the Blue Devils have pounded the ball against any opposition. Hal Capps has his team focused and primed for a deep run in the 4A playoffs. Quarterback Tommy Bullock has guided the Blue Devils’ offense with few troubles this season, rushing for 667 yards and 12 touchdowns in addition to 658 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Mooresville’s defense is led up front by Jamil Dukes’ 5 sacks. Teammates Tyler Deihl and Jack Coughlin have 4.0 sacks apiece, as the Blue Devils have smothered opposing quarterbacks all season long.

West Iredell snapped a 21-game losing streak at Bunker Hill, but after a short-lived two game win streak, the Warriors have dropped four straight. West Iredell’s defense has struggled to slow down their opponents, allowing 49.5 points per game in conference play. Quarterback Montana David is third in the NPC with 1106 yards and 10 TDs, but he also has 11 INTs. Senior receiver Preston Harrison leads West Iredell with 1039 yards from scrimmage with 7 touchdowns.

Mooresville remains the favorite to win the NPC, and should have no problems feasting on West Iredell’s porous defense.

USA TODAY High School Sports Predictor: Mooresville 56, West Iredell 14

North Iredell (5-3, 1-3) at Statesville (4-4, 1-3)

Following a 5-0 start, the North Iredell Raiders visit Statesville looking for a much-needed victory. North Iredell has dropped three-straight conference games, being outscored 122-32 along the way. Sandy Grinton’s team is now on the outside looking in for the playoffs, and Friday’s game will go a long way in determining if North Iredell can sneak into the postseason. North Iredell’s defense will have to find a way to slow down Statesville quarterback Travis Ramseur if they plan on stealing the win.

Statesville quarterback Travis Ramseur has struggled in 2014. Following an impressive 2013 campaign that saw him pass for over 3300 yards, Ramseur has only managed 1314 yards passing in 2014. Ramseur has scored 16 total touchdowns, a far cry from last season’s 43. The Greyhounds have lost three of their last four games, and the offense has struggled in that time. Despite struggling against Lake Norman and Mooresville, look for the Greyhounds to get back on track against North Iredell. Travis Ramseur’s ability to make plays will prove to be too much for North Iredell to stop.

USA TODAY High School Sports Predictor: Statesville 35, North Iredell 14


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