Weddington enters playoffs on roll after blanking Cuthbertson 45-0

Weddington's Branson McGee (8) stops Cuthbertson's Jayden Jennings. (Photo by Ashleigh Mock)

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By the Numbers

1 Weddington forced one fumble

2 Weddington intercepted two Cuthbertson passes

3 Two different players combined for three touchdown passes for the Warriors

4 Weddington has four shutouts this season

A balanced offensive attack and a stingy defense was a winning combination for Weddington High in the regular season finale on Nov. 3

Weddington’s defense pitched its second-straight shutout and the offense rolled up 359 yards of offense — 204 passing and 155 rushing — as the Warriors defeated rival Cuthbertson High 45-0 in a Southern Carolina Conference game.

Weddington, the defending Class 3AA state champions, will start defense of its state title on Friday, Nov. 10 when they face Hickory (6-5) at home in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Weddington held Cuthbertson to 261 yards of offense, including just 91 yards rushing, as the Warriors recorded their second-straight shutout and the fourth of the season. Weddington (8-3 overall, 5-2 SCC) has shutouts in its last three victories and they have outscored their opponents 79-0 the last two weeks.

The defense also got in on the scoring when Chase Turner intercepted a Cuthbertson (4-7, 3-4) pass and raced 55 yards for a touchdown that gave the Warriors a 45-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Cuthbertson averaged just 2.9 yards a carry and Weddington coach Tim Carson said that was one of the keys to the victory.

“I think we took the run away early,” Carson said. “We didn’t give up the big play and we shut down their running game for the most part. We played pretty well defensively.”

Weddington also played pretty well on the offensive side of the football. Quarterback Whitner Litton was 11-of-18 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Dusty Mercer also got in in the passing game when he threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Max Brimigion after getting a lateral from Litton six seconds before halftime that gave the Warriors a 24-0 lead at the break.

Mercer evaded several Cuthbertson defenders and found a wide open Brimigion for the touchdown just before halftime.

“Dusty got away from a defender and he was able to throw it up and Max was there,” Carson said.

Brimigion had six catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns and the junior now owns the school single-season record for receptions yards in a season with 1,175 yards on 53 catches. Against Cuthbertson, Brimigion had touchdown catches of 33, 50 and 35 yards.

“Max is having a special season for us,” Carson said. “Max is a heck of a football player. We are fortunate to have him here and he makes some big plays for us.”

Freshman Will Shipley led the Weddington rushing attack with 118 yards on 11 carries. Shipley’s 55-yard touchdown with 2 minutes, 46 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 38-0 lead.

“The offensive line did a great job, and we were able to run the ball a little bit,” Carson said. “They came to play. In the end, we got some rushing yards and we needed that.”

“It’s win or go home,” Carson said. “The kids have been there before.”

Cuthbertson (4-7) also qualified for the playoffs and the Cavaliers will travel to Alexander Central on Friday.

Scoring Summary

Weddington 45

Cuthbertson 0

Cuthbertson 0 0 0 0 — 0

Weddington 7 17 14 7 — 45

First Quarter

WHS — Litton 5 run (Williams kick), 7:12

Second Quarter

WHS — Williams 27 FG, 9:12

WHS — Brimigion 33 pass from Litton (Williams kick), 1:12

WHS — Brimigion 50 pass from Mercer (Williams kick), 6.3

Third Quarter

WHS — Brimigion 35 pass from Litton (Williams kick), 6:18

WHS — W. Shipley 55 run (Williams kick), 2:46

Fourth Quarter

WHS — Chase Turner 55 Int. return (Williams kick), 11:40

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at