Weddington relies on strong defense and defeats Charlotte Catholic 24-0.

Weddington relies on strong defense and defeats Charlotte Catholic 24-0.

After a slow start, the first-ranked Weddington Warriors have advanced to the fourth round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state playoffs with a decisive victory against (24) Charlotte Catholic on Friday evening.

Following a first quarter where neither team scored, Weddington went on to secure a 37-7 victory.

The defense for Weddington was responsible for igniting the offense. In the beginning of the second quarter, Will Mathieson intercepted a pass from Charlotte Catholic, giving the Warriors possession at the Cougars’ 45yard line.

As a result of that turnover, Brady Ritter was able to make a seven-yard run and score a touchdown, giving Weddington an early 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

Charlotte Catholic’s defense scored a safety at the two-minute mark, increasing their lead to 9-0 on a future drive.

During the Warriors’ next offensive play, they were fortunate enough to score points. Tyler Budge passed to Javon Barber on the side, who managed to get past the defense but then fumbled on the 7-yard line. However, the ball ultimately bounced into the end zone where it was recovered by Ian McDermaid for a touchdown for Weddington.

At the end of the first half, Weddington was ahead with a score of 16-0.

In the middle of the third quarter, the Warriors gained a three-point advantage. Budge finished a drive with a two-yard run resulting in a score, increasing the lead to 23-0.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Budge successfully threw a long pass to Keenan Jackson for a 47-yard gain, increasing their lead to 30-0. Shortly after, Budge made another touchdown pass to Jonathan Manley, extending Weddington’s lead to 37-0.

Charlotte Catholic didn’t score until the 2:45 mark of the fourth quarter when Jack Larsen caught a pass for a touchdown, reducing the gap to 37-7. However, Weddington was able to hold onto their lead and secure the win by running out the clock.

Next Friday, Weddington (11-2) will welcome either the victorious team of (4) Grimsley and (5) Hough to the fourth round of the state playoffs.

The season for Charlotte Catholic concludes with a final record of 9 wins and 4 losses.