The streak is dead.
In a battle of defending state champions, Weddington dominated Charlotte Catholic at home Friday, winning 45-0.
The Warriors (6-0, 2-0 Southern Carolinas), who won the N.C. 3AA state title last season, took advantage of a three interceptions and a Catholic fumble to get short fields and quick scores.
Catholic (2-3, 1-1), the reigning N.C. 3A state champion, lost a conference game for the first time since 2009. The Cougars had won 66 in a row.
“I told them I needed 48 minutes of fight and they gave it to me,” said Weddington coach Andy Capone. “I’m so proud of the kids and they played unbelievably hard. They responded very well and answered the call.”
Catholic has now lost three of its past four games, and the Cougars are having trouble scoring. They came into the game averaging 21.5 points per game, and that included scoring 82 points in blowout wins over South Mecklenburg and Monroe. In the three losses, Catholic has scored a total of three points and been shut out twice.
Weddington, meanwhile, extended its win streak to 16 games. The Warriors’ last loss was 20-0 at Charlotte Catholic last September.
Since then, the Warriors have been dominant. Their closest margin of victory has been 13 points.
Trailing in the all-time series against Charlotte Catholic 9-1 coming into the game, the Warriors beat Cougars for the first since 2004.
Weddington scored first after an interception gave it the ball at the Catholic 17-yard line. Will Shipley capped off the brief four-play drive with a 9-yard run, and the Warriors led 7-0.
After a three-and-out on the Cougars’ next drive, a poor punt set up Weddington at the Catholic 33-yard line. Ian Williams eventually made a 45-yard field goal.
A huge third quarter broke the game wide open as the Warriors put three touchdowns on the board.
Shipley scored twice in the quarter with a five-yard rushing TD and a 12-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Dante Casciola. Between was a score by Landyn Backey on a 20-yard touchdown grab from Weddington’s second quarterback, Dusty Mercer.
“Coming into this week we knew we could do this,” said Shipley. “We came into the week confident and we knew this would be the result.”
THREE WHO MATTERED:
Will Shipley, Weddington: Junior running back and five-star recruit rushed for a pair of touchdowns of five and nine yards, and hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass, while finishing with 94 yards on 15 carries.
Ian Williams, Weddington: Senior kicker nailed a 45-yard field goal, made all six extra point attempts and kicked off eight times and did not allow a runback.
Paul Neel, Catholic: Junior running back rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries, and had the Cougars’ longest offensive play from scrimmage on a 33-yard run in the second half.
THEY SAID IT:
We did win a state championship last season. They’re (Catholic) a great team and anytime you beat a great team it’s a big win and confidence booster for us.” Warriors’ coach Andy Capone when asked if Friday night’s 45-0 victory over Catholic was the biggest win of his coaching career was.
Charlotte Catholic didn’t get its initial first down until midway through the second quarter with eight minutes, 38 seconds left. The Cougars had only three first downs in the first half and just six for the game.
The Weddington defense has three shutouts on the season (losing a fourth on a blocked punt) in six games, while the Warriors have outscored their opponents 240 to 40.\u0009
The Warriors forced four turnovers on three interceptions and a fumble recovery. One of the Weddington interceptions was a 57-yard pick-six by defensive back Jaylen Newman.
Catholic will travel to Sun Valley next Friday while Weddington will be on the road in Monroe to take on Piedmont.
Charlotte Catholic 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Weddington 7 3 21 14 --45
W – Will Shipley 9 run; (Ian Williams kick)
W – Williams 45 field goal
W – Shipley 5 run: (Williams kick)
W – Landyn Backey 20 pass from Dusty Mercer: (Williams kick)
W – Shipley 5 pass from Mercer; (Williams kick)
W – Jaylen Newman 57 interception return for a touchdown
W – Kyle Parsons 66 run: (Williams kick)