North Lincoln suffered their first loss at the Dungeon on Friday night, losing to the Charlotte Catholic Cougars 35-6.
Charlotte Catholic, who lost to Bandys deep in the 2A State Playoffs in 2003, were just too much for second-year Knights.
The Cougars scored on a 37-yard pass play to open the scoring. Then it became the is Nick Starcevic show.
The 6â€™3â€ 225 pound Starcevic, a UNC signee, plowed his way to four touchdowns on the night. His first touchdown came in the first quarter on a 30-yard run with his second TD coming later in the same quarter making the score 22-0.
Starcevic continued to do damage in the second quarter scoring on a 17-yard run. His final touchdown of the night came through the air on a 13-yard reception.
North Lincolnâ€™s head coach Lonnie Custer was blown away by Starcevic raving of his ability.
â€œHeâ€™s big-time. All the accolades that he has, he definitely deserves. Heâ€™s a great player and he plays extremely hard,â€ he said.
The Knightsâ€™ lone bright spot was Mooresville-transfer Peter Chalkus. Chalkus, who has emerged as a special teamsâ€™ weapon due to his strong leg this time made his mark on defense.
In the fourth quarter, Chalkus scooped up a fumble from his corner position and jetted 55-yards for Northâ€™s only score of the night.
Trent â€˜Aceâ€™ Hopkins was not given much a chance to get into rhythm with Cougar defenders constantly getting pressure on him.
â€œWe had a real tough time with their front seven, so we didnâ€™t have a lot of time to throw the ball,â€ Custer said.
Despite the first loss on the season, the Knights did outscore Catholic in 6-0 in second half.
â€œWe got to see what a great team looks like and we have a long way to go before weâ€™re there. I told them to fly around and have fun and I thought they came out and competed really well in the second half,â€ Custer said.
The coach was impressed with, not only the fundamental play on the field, but the way the Cougars handle their whole program.
â€œThey were everything I thought they would be and more. They are just a very, very good high school football team and probably the classiest team Iâ€™ve ever faced. The way they run their program is a testament to Jim Oddo and his coaching staff,â€ Custer said.
North will face a hungry 0-3 East Lincoln team this week. Custer believes itâ€™s good facing a county team after a tough loss.
â€œComing off a tough loss, we have our county rivals, so motivation and focus is not going to be a problem.â€
The Knights are now 2-1 on the season.
by John Mark Brooks