Kannapolis Browns offense was held scoreless Friday but the Wonders still managed a home victory.
Senior defensive back Kenon Jones recovered a Weddington Warriors fumble in the end zone in the second quarter and Nate Williams added the extra point for the games only points as Brown escaped with a 7-0 non-conference win.
Two more key defensive plays in the fourth quarter and sophomore running back Sandon McCoys workmans effort helped keep Weddington in check as the Warriors foiled two late scoring chances.
We felt like all pre-season and spring football that our defense was mature, said Kannapolis coach Mike Newsome. Were so young on offense, we felt like (the defense) would have to carry us throughout the whole season until we matured some on offense. That definitely showed tonight.
Kannapolis scored its touchdown by virtue of some unusual events.
Midway through the second period, Weddington lined up to punt from its own 34-yard line. The Wonders Daveon Perry returned the kick to his own 47 but the play was negated by off-setting penalties.
On the second punt attempt, the snap sailed into the end zone. Punter Keith Duncan tracked it down and booted a last-second effort toward a crowd of players 20 yards away. The ball made contact with both teams and officials ruled it Kannapolis ball at the Weddington 14.
After a few short gains, the Wonders faced fourth-and-one at the 5. Casey Walker ran right but was quickly dragged down for a four-yard loss and Kannapolis lost the ball on downs
On the next play, Weddingtons Omar Boyd took a handoff right but was stripped of the ball, which bounced into the end zone. Jones recovered it at the bottom of a pile for his first career defensive touchdown.
My man got the strip, said Jones. I got down and got that ball.
McCoy rushed for 62 of his game-high 108 yards in the second half when Brown was trying to pad its lead as well as keep the ball away from Weddingtons offense. He finished with 28 carries, 17 which came after halftime.
Both teams had short field goal attempts blocked in the second half. Additionally, the Wonders had first-and-goal at the Warriors 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. But three carries netted minus 14 yards and an incomplete pass on fourth down ended the drive.
On the ensuing drive, quarterback Jeff Welch (14-31, 180 yards) completed 4-5 passes for 49 yards to help Weddington reach the Kannapolis 34. But Khari Wilkes interception at his own 8-yard line ended the Warriors threat.
Weddingtons Jack Jenkins recovered a Brown fumble at the Wonders 19 with one minute, 14 seconds remaining. But Jamel Logans sack on fourth down sealed Kannapolis win. Logan had three of Browns seven sacks.
The Warriorss best first half scoring chance fizzled inside the Kannapolis red zone in the first quarter. Two pass completions from Welch to Stone Marcham helped Weddington reach the 16-yard line but an incompletion on fourth-and-three ended the drive.
[Joe Habina, 704-699-8327]
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