The Wildca ts would go on a tear from there. Two touchdown runs by McNeil (43 and 13) and a one-yard touchdown run by Kareem Kennedy on fourth-and-goal gave the Wildcats a 28-7 advantage at half-time. It didn’t stop there. Arthur Kennedy got in on the fun with a 20-yard touchdown run. Chafin’s extra point kick made it 35-7.
The Wolves were down but not out. A 22-yard touchdown run by Tyshawn Harris cut the Wildcats’ lead to 35-13. But North Gaston’s offense would not be stopped. On the first play on the ensuing drive, McNeil extended the Wildcats’ lead with a 51-yard touchdown run. Lincolnton, however, would answer with a long run of their own a few plays later. Harris cut the Wildcats lead to 42-19 with an 82-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed though.
Late in the third quarter, the Wildcats became their own worst enemy with penalties backing them up. North Gaston was forced to punt for the first time early in the fourth quarter. The Wolves seized the opportunity and capped off the drive with another score. McClain connected with Hollis for another touchdown pass, this time from 15 yards out. The two connected on the two-point conversion. But that would be as close as Lincolnton would get.
North Gaston put the nail in the coffin with a five-yard run by Kareem Kennedy. Michael Chafin was 7-for-7 on extra point kicks. McNeil led the Wildcats with 235 yards (179 rushing and 56 passing) and the four rushing touchdowns. The Kennedys combined for 155 yards with Arthur scoring one touchdown and Kareem scoring two. Tyshawn Harris led the Wolves with 224 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Terrell McClain amassed 122 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“It was a great game. Our team is getting better. Our offensively, we’re getting better. Defensively, we’re getting better.” said North Gaston head coach Mike Patton “We got to learn when we get a big lead like we had tonight to continue to play with intensity and not make mistakes. We did that in the second half a little bit.”
“Lincolnton is a good team. They’re always well-coached and they are always going to play to the final whistle. That’s what we told our kids at half-time. They’re not going to lay down.”
“I think the offense is slowing down a little bit more for him now to the point where he’s making better decisions. He’s taking what the defense gives him and I think that’s a natural thing that happens in this offense.” Patton said of his quarterback McNeil and his performance “That’s only his fourth game at starting quarterback. He’s getting better and starting to make better decisions.”
“We just didn’t do the little things that we need to do to become a good football team.” said Lincolnton head coach Ledford Gibson “Too many little mistakes, turnovers, blown assignments, missed tackles, missed blocks. It’s a lot of little mistakes that we made that if we are going to become a good football team that we have to correct. We didn’t quit. That’s one thing I was proud of them for is that they didn’t come out and they didn’t give up. They clawed back and they tried. It’s just silly little things that we’re not doing well right now.”
Both teams start conference play next week. North Gaston (2-2) will host Hunter Huss (2-2). Lincolnton (2-2) will travel to Newton-Conover (3-0).