High School Sports

Defense keys Weddington in 31-21 win over Crest

Weddington’s defense made a fourth-down stop near midfield, and the offense used the momentum to drive for the go-ahead touchdown in a 31-21 victory Wednesday night over visiting Boiling Springs Crest.

The meeting of unbeaten 3A state powers was decided when the Warriors (4-0) put together a five-minute-plus drive late in the fourth quarter. They scored on a 2-yard run by Wayne Dixie with 3:41 remaining.

Crest (3-1) made one final effort, marching to the Weddington 10. But a try for a field goal that would have cut the deficit to a touchdown went awry when the Chargers’ holder bobbled the snap.

“We needed a big play on fourth down and got it,” Weddington coach Andy Capone said. “That big play gave our offense a jolt. That final drive was really nice.”

That happened early in the fourth quarter. Crest had the ball at its 45, but quarterback Peyton Kemmerlin was stopped on fourth down. Weddington then drove for the go-ahead score, on an 8-yard run by Will Shipley.

Playing behind reserve quarterback Dante Casciola, a sophomore, Weddington battled back from two deficits.

Crest scored two third-quarter touchdowns and took a 21-17 lead late in the third quarter on a 40-yard run by Jamaud Geter.

But the Warriors took the lead on Shipley’s score after the fourth-down stop. That touchdown was set up by a 31-yard pass from Casciola to James Shipley.

Casciola also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Chazton Jordan.

Quarterback Peyton Kemmerlin scored two Crest touchdowns, including one on the final play of the first half.

Records: Crest is 3-1; Weddington is 4-0.

Three who mattered

Ian Williams (Weddington): Williams, the Warriors’ junior kicker, booted a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter. He also put all of his kickoffs in the end zone, except in two cases when Weddington had been backed up by penalties. And he punted four times for a 45-yard average.

Casciola (Weddington): Filling in for regular starter Whitner Litton, Casciola completed 12 of 20 passes for 157 yards.

Geter (Boiling Springs Crest): Geter carried eight times for 76 yards, most of those in the second half. He scored on a 20-yard touchdown run.

Worth mentioning

▪ Litton, Weddington’s starting quarterback, was not in uniform Wednesday night. Weddington officials did not specify a reason, saying they were complying with Union County Public School guidelines.

▪ Crest had beaten Weddington the past two seasons. Last year’s score was 20-19, in a game when kicking errors cost the Warriors.

▪ The teams were nearly even statistically, with Weddington outgaining Crest 272-261. The Warriors got 218 of their yards in the second half.

They said it

▪  “It was a back-and-forth game – just what I expected. These were two really good football teams, and this game was fun.” – Weddington coach Andy Capone.

What’s next

Crest opens Big South 3A play Sept. 21 (a week from Friday) at home against Gastonia Forestview; Weddington opens Southern Carolina 3A play Sept. 21 at Indian Trail Sun Valley.

Crest 0 7 14 0 - 21

Weddington 3 7 7 14 - 31

W - FG 52 Ian Williams

W - Dante Casciola 1 run (Williams kick)

C - Peyton Kemmerlin 1 run (Evan Davis kick)

C - Kemmerlin 3 run (Davis kick)

W - Chazton Jordan 22 pass from Casciola (Williams kick)

C - Jamaud Geter 40 run (Davis kick)

W - Will Shipley 8 run (Williams kick)

W - Wayne Dixie 2 run (Williams kick)