Photo: Mark Sward swardpics.com

With a showdown against Independence lurking next week, could it be that the Butler Bulldogs would overlook a winless Weddington team heading into Friday night’s game? Not this time. The Bulldogs proved they are one of the best teams in the state by overpowering Weddington 57-14.

The Warriors received the opening kickoff at their own six-yard line. The ball was fielded by Kyle Bryant who broke a few tackles and sprinted his way 94-yards for a touchdown to open the game, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. So the Warriors quickly led 7-0 when the Bulldog offense took over.

With the ball on their 45-year line on the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs made three consecutive first downs via the running game. Then on a first and 10 from the 14-yard line sophomore quarterback Christian LeMay hit wide receiver Nate Charest on a slant route for a touchdown. With the Kyle Searles extra point the game was tied 7-7.  After a quick three and out for the Warriors, the Bulldogs took over on the Weddington 44 yard line. A few big plays later they were on the three-yard line where were Anthony Short took a handoff and plowed his way into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point was missed as the lead for Butler grew to 13-7.

That was just the beginning for the explosive Butler offense. With the Warrior offense unable to move the ball, Butler continued to get excellent field position. On the next two possessions running back Markel Moore would score two touchdowns, the first from inside the five and the second an impressive 35-yard
scamper to the end zone. The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 47-14 going into halftime, thanks to a dominating performance both in the air and on the ground.

Quarterback Christian LeMay was perfect throwing the ball, completing all 9 pass attempts for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Coach Mike Newsome said his young quarterback is improving as he learns the system.

“He is getting better and better every game,” Newsome said. “He’s learning the game on offense and each day he’s recognizing the defenses better and knowing where the open zones are.”

Of LeMay’s nine completions, three went to Charest who had 52-yards receiving and a touchdown. Charest also recorded the lone interception for the Butler defense, his eighth of the season. Not to be outdone, the outstanding running back tandem of Markel Moore and Anthony Short combined for over 160 yards and four touchdowns. The starters sat for the second half.

When asked about next week’s showdown with Independence, Newsome said his team will be prepared.

“This game allowed us to work on some things. We just have to keep our kids level headed. The intensity we shouldn’t have to worry about, our guys will be ready”.

Butler, now 10-0, will face the Independence Patriots at Memorial Stadium next week in one of the most anticipated match-ups in recent history.