In dominating fashion once again, the #1 Weddington Warriors defeated #5 Northwest Cabarrus, 49-7, to advance to their second consecutive 3AA Western Regional final.
Earlier in the evening in Lincoln, Nebraska, Keith Duncan, the former Weddington kicker (2016) with ice in his veins, drilled a game-winning 48-yard field goal with one second left to win the game for his Iowa Hawkeyes over Nebraska.
In Weddington Stadium, his former team and defense put their opponent's high-scoring offense on ice.
Northwest Cabarrus came into Weddington with the most robust offense on paper the Warriors have faced thus far in the 2019 campaign. The Trojans were averaging 40-points per game behind a balanced attack.
After Weddington scored on their opening drive (eight-yard run by Will Shipley), the defense turned away the Trojans best drive of the night, and Shipley scored again on Weddington's second possession. This time a 73-yard burst to make the score 14-0 Warriors.
Weddington extended their lead to 21-0 late in the first quarter when Dusty Mercer hit Kambridge Tuttle in the end zone, putting the game quickly out of reach.
On NW Cabarrus' opening drive of the second quarter, junior defensive end, Joe Zovistoski recovered a fumble and dashed into the endzone, 28-0 Warriors.
The defense continued to smother Cabarrus in the second half.
On the Trojans' first possession of the third quarter, Weddington's junior defensive back Bryson Parker intercepted a pass setting up Shipley's third touchdown oF the night.
Three minutes later, senior linebacker Alec Mock picked a ball off over the middle and raced inside the Cabarrus five-yard line setting up another Weddington score.
The Warriors' football program traditionally has been built on defense, and the school has seen their share of some great defensive units over the years, but this squad is turning in historic numbers every week.
The prior defensive squads at Weddington were smart and decisive like this year's version, but what I think separates this group is the overall speed. Opponents are given little space to operate, and when they try to make a move one, two or three green jerseys are there to pounce.
Next up for #1 Weddington (14-0) is #2 Watauga (13-1) in 3AA Western Regional Final, the winner goes to the state championship game.