The Weddington defense stood tall in a dominating win over Monroe in a Southern Carolina Conference game on Oct. 26.
Weddington turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the game — a fumble and an interception in the span of six plays — but the Warriors stopped Monroe on fourth down both times and the offense then kicked it into gear, scoring 41 straight points in what turned out to be a 51-14 win on senior night.
Weddington fumbled on the first play of the game and quarterback Whitner Litton threw an interception with 8 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first quarter, but the Warriors clicked on all cylinders the rest of the way.
Weddington finished with 417 yards of offense in a game that saw a running clock over the last 11 minutes. The Weddington defense was equally impressive as they held the Redhawks to 283 yards of offense, including just 79 yards in the first half.
The defense also came up with a fumble and an interception. Weddington is giving up just 13 points a game and has surrendered just 35 points in the last four games.
“The defense was unbelievable, and they have been doing that all year,” said Weddington coach Andy Capone. “They got pressure on Monroe’s quarterback and that made him uncomfortable. Monroe has a good offense and they put up a lot of points, but we were relentless on defense and we continue to get after it. I couldn’t be happier for our guys on defense.”
Capone said the two fourth-down stops to start the game changed its complexion.
“That killed momentum early,” Capone said. “Our defense came up huge early. It got the momentum back on our side and then we started rolling offensively.”
Weddington rolled up 306 yards of offense in the first half where the Warriors scored 35 points the final 9:41, including 14 points the final 1:18, for a commanding 38-0 lead at halftime.
The backbreaker was a scoop and score by Weddington defender Trevor McGee. Weddington sophomore Joe Zovistoski stripped Monroe quarterback Trey Shepherd from behind and McGee picked up the fumble and raced 16 yards for the touchdown. Alec Mock also had an interception on the second play of the second half that set up a 29-yard field goal by Ian Williams that upped the Weddington lead to 41-0.
“Those were huge plays,” Capone said. “It is big anytime you get a defensive touchdown.”
Litton finished 11-of-19 passing for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Litton, who has passed for 1,281 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year, threw touchdown passes of 42 and 24 yards to senior Max Brimigion, who finished with five catches for 130 yards. Brimigion has 30 catches for 610 yards and six touchdowns this season.
“Whitner is doing an outstanding job,” Capone said. “I think he put a lot of pressure on himself because it was senior night but I told him to just settle in and do what he has been doing. The last four games since he has been back he is throwing the heck out of the ball. Hopefully, he will really hit his stride in the playoffs.”
Litton also hit Chazton Jordan for a 54-yard touchdown on a tunnel screen and Capone told the senior receiver on the sidelines just before a Monroe punt to be ready for the play.
“Chaz can run,” Capone said. “We told Chaz to make a play, and he made one. He ran away from people, and that was awesome. We expect bigger things out of Chaz as we move into the playoffs.”
Will Shipley led the ground attack with 120 yards on 18 carries. The sophomore now has rushed 129 times for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is averaging 6.6 yards a carry.
Shipley also tossed his second touchdown of the year when he hit his older brother, James Shipley, for a two-yard touchdown pass out of a Wildcat formation that gave the Warriors a 38-0 lead at halftime. Will Shipley also hit James Shipley for a touchdown in the season opener against Ardrey Kell.
Weddington (9-1, 5-1 SCC) closes out the regular season on the road at Cuthbertson on Nov. 2. Monroe (5-5, 2-4) hosts Parkwood on Nov. 2.