Weddington wins NCHSAA 3AA Football Championship 27-14

Weddington Warriors State Champions. (NCHSAA)

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The Weddington Warriors scored first, and struck often, as they continued to overwhelm their opponents in the state championship tournament.  They defeated Southeast Guilford 27-14 to claim the school’s second state football championship title.

James Shipley starred offensively and defensively for the West Regional Champions in the biggest game of his young career.  He had an interception and a return that set up a fourth quarter touchdown for the Warriors.  He also connected on a 50 yard scoring pass on a reverse play, including an 8 yard catch or a touchdown as a wide receiver.  Overall, he had 10 receptions for 113 yards and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

The Falcons from Southeast Guilford opening drive stalled and they were forced to punt.  James Shipley returned the punt to the Falcon 37 yard line to set up their first score.  After a procedure penalty, the Warriors quarterback Whitner Litton connected with wide receiver Max Brimigion down the sideline for a 42 yard touchdown to take a quick 7-0 lead.

On the Warriors second possession they put together a sustained 64 yard drive in seven plays.  On a reserve play after taking the hand off, James Shipley would pull up, and toss a long pass to his brother Will Shipley who was wide open down the left sideline for the second touchdown putting the Warriors up 14-0 early in the football game.

In the second quarter, Shipley found pay dirt again when he caught an 8 yard pass reception from Litton with 8:52 remaining in the first half to give the boys from Weddington a commanding 20-0 advantage.  The PAT was blocked which gave the Falcons something to celebrate.  The Falcons mounted their best scoring effort primarily on the ground with their rushing game, however, the stalled and had to attempt a 44 yard field goal that went wide.

In the third quarter the Falcons would get their first score when they recovered a Warrior fumble on their own 36 yard line.  In just four plays quarterback Ryan Douglas would score from 12 yards out on a nice scamper to make the score 20-7 midway through the quarter.

In the fourth quarter Shipley intercepted a pass and returned it to the Falcon five yard line.  Two plays later, his brother Will Shipley would break into the end zone on a one yard plunge to put the Warriors up 27-7 with 11:01 remaining in the contest.

The Falcons would add another score late in the fourth quarter on an 83 yard pass reception from Douglas to Tyler Hoff who caught the pass in full stride and took it to the house.

The Weddington QB Whitner Litton was named the Warriors, Most Outstanding Offensive  Player with a total of 172 yards passing and two touchdowns, while completing 67% of his passing attempts.  Eamon Murphy was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the Warriors with 9 solo tackles including a pass interception.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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