Weddington is trying to let everyone know it’s got one of the state’s best high school football teams.
The word may spread after the Warriors’ 16-6 victory over three-time North Carolina private school champs Charlotte Christian during Saturday’s Union County Gridiron Clash.
Weddington (3-0) – No. 8 in the Sweet 16 – dominated the 12th-ranked Knights (1-2) for three quarters and a good portion of the fourth, and did so on both sides of the ball.
“Charlotte Christian is a very good football program,” Warriors coach Tim Carson said. “This just tells us that we’ve got a good football team at Weddington, and our team is just as good as those at the private schools.”
Grayson Willingham threw for 144 yards and one touchdown – a 21-yarder to Mark Tyulyu midway through the first quarter – and Keith Duncan hit field goals of 33, 23 and 45 yards.
But it was on defense where the Warriors shined, especially in the first half. They held Charlotte Christian to just two first downs and 29 total yards in 16 plays. Meanwhile, Weddington’s offense was on the field for 39 plays, had 159 total yards and 12 first downs.
The Knights turned things around in the second half, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that they broke the shutout, scoring on John Turley’s 2-yard pass to Jonathan Durham.
“The way I look at it, it was two halves of football,” Charlotte Christian coach Jason Estep said. “They beat us in the first half 13-0, we beat them in the second half 6-3.
“We’ve got to put four quarters of football together. That’s the only positive we can take out of it. We just didn’t come ready to play in the first half.”
South Mecklenburg 34, Porter Ridge 0: The Sabres celebrated their first week in the Observer’s Sweet 16 rankings with another decisive road win Saturday over the Pirates.
South Mecklenburg (3-0) – ranked No. 16 in the Sweet 16 – turned a pair of Porter Ridge (0-2) fumbles into touchdowns in the first half, and the Sabres’ defense recorded their first shutout since Oct. 25, 2013.
“We gave a couple (shutouts) away last year that we thought we had a chance on,” South Mecklenburg coach Rocky White said. “Our guys were really, really tested today. That was a great effort on their part.”
Antonio Wallace threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns – an 8-yarder to Travis Prince in the second quarter, and an 18-yarder to Moryah Johnson in the third – as the Sabres easily overcame three turnovers with their defense.
Outside of junior back Mason Mills (26 carries, 130 yards), Porter Ridge’s offense did little against South Mecklenburg, which forced five turnovers. Two of those – fumble recoveries by Nigel Brown and DeAngelo Blair-Young – led to scores.
Monroe 45, Hunter Huss 0: Braxton Knotts scored four touchdowns in the first half and the Redhawks’ defense shut down the winless Huskies (0-3) to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Knotts scored on runs of 5, 23 and 4 yards, and had a 50-yard punt return in the first half as Monroe bolted to a 38-0 halftime lead.