Weddington and Independence met Friday night as teams headed in opposite directions. The Patriots entered the game 7-0 on the season and ranked first in the region while the Warriors limped in at 0-8. Weddington had allowed 30 or more points in each of its games and the Patriots have scored 40 or more in [singlepic=259,240,160,,right]every contest so far this year. The streaks remained intact Friday as Independence cruised to a 41-14 victory.
“They do not have the overall talent that we do, but they were able to keep it close,” said Independence head coach Tom Knotts.
Anthony Carrothers led the Patriot attack by completing 25 of 30 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns. Harold Blythe controlled the ground game and finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries. Independence amassed 454 yards of total offense for the game. Lawrence Martin paced all receivers with eight catches for 129 yards. Kyle Gregg had three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown and Michael Rhynes had a receiving touchdown and also a 66 yard kick return for a score.
Jayme Watson anchored the defense and finished with a sack and 11 tackles. The Patriots gave up only 162 yards to the Warriors for the game.
The decisive moment came late in the first half with the Patriots up 20-7. Warrior quarterback Anthony Boone threw a pass into the end zone that was picked off by Victor Hampton. Hampton returned the pick 42 yards and set up a 72 yard drive that lasted just 29 seconds, capped off by a 12 yard touchdown run from Blythe, and gave Independence a 27-7 lead going into halftime.
“That was a big turning point in the game, it could have easily been 20-14,” said Knotts. “We were bound to get a turnover or a sack somewhere the way they were throwing the ball, and I guess this was our time for one.”
The Warriors opened the second half with a successful on-sides kick, but the Patriot defense held and were able to coast to the victory.
“To their credit they were able to keep the game close with their ball control offense and throwing the ball,” said Knotts.
Boone was the bright spot for Weddington and completed 16 of 27 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown despite throwing three interceptions. He also ran 10 times for 20 yards and handled the punting and some of the kick returning duties. The Patriots will begin preparing for East Mecklenburg this week, and still have a showdown with Butler at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte awaiting them Nov. 7.
“East Meck is a great defensive football team and they will come out and play us hard,” Knotts said. “They played us well last year and we will have our hands full with them.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF rahpix.com