There were plenty of mistakes on both sides of the field on Friday night when Ardrey Kell hosted Weddington.
The Warriors capitalized on more than the Knights and came away with a 31-28 win in the season opener for both teams.
“It was interesting to see what kind of fight our kids had, being so young,” Weddington (1-0) head coach Tim Carson said. “Nobody gave up. Both teams didn’t. It was just a dog fight back and forth, lot of mistakes on both sides. We were just lucky enough to capitalize on more than they did.”
The teams threw three interceptions each and there were plenty of penalties on both sides.
“Obviously you get real disappointed when you don’t win, but when you turn the ball over and you jump offsides and you make those type of mistakes, you’re never going to give yourself a chance to win against an extremely well-coached and good team like Weddington,” Ardrey Kell coach Adam Hastings said.
Weddington scored first with 8:11 left in the first quarter when Mitchel Carson blocked an Ardrey Kell punt, picked it up on a bounce and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
“We got two punts blocked ... one for six (points); it’s huge for us,” Carson said. “Special teams is going to make a big difference.”
The Warriors stretched the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter with a 27-yard pass from David Bayha to Brooks McCament that capped a 15-play, 68-yard scoring drive.
But the Knights (0-1) took advantage of Warrior turnovers in the second quarter to even the score at half.
An Elijah Scott interception set up a 38-yard touchdown pass from Bryce McGinley to David Zeitouni.
Then Ardrey Kell’s Matt Messler intercepted a Bayha pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-14 going into halftime.
Weddington opened the second half with 14 unanswered points.
Chris Trevisan intercepted Ardrey Kell’s first pass of the half, and the Warriors scored on a 13-yard pass from Bayha to Joe Bensch.
After an Ardrey Kell punt, Weddington took four plays to score on a 32-yard pass from Bayha to Zach Goins and extend the lead to 28-14.
Ardrey Kell answered with a quick drive of it’s own, going 80 yards in five plays and scoring on a 10-yard pass from McGinley to Josh German.
A 39-yard field goal by Keith Duncan gave Weddington a 31-21 lead with 9 minutes, 10 seconds left in the game.
Weddington starting quarterback Bayha left the game in the second half with a rib injury, according to Carson, and was replaced by Grayson Willingham.
Ardrey Kell still had a chance to win or tie at the end. The Knights scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on a Javon Hopkins run with 5:58 left and forced a Weddington punt.
The Knights got the ball back deep in their own territory with about a minute left and no timeouts, but only got to their own 39-yard line before time ran out.
“Hopefully our guys can look and see that we’re doing some good things. We’ve just got to clean it up,” Hastings said. “You get games that are messy (early in the season), and you have to clean stuff up.”
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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