Weddington High School started the 2023 football season with a mistake, then spent the rest of its first game looking like a team that is very much a state title contender.
Weddington, which beat Cox Mill 54-3 Thursday afternoon, fumbled and gave up a score on its opening possession at Memorial Stadium.
After Cox Mill kicked a field goal, Weddington, No. 7 in The Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 poll, found its gear.
The Warriors took advantage of several Cox Mill turnovers, including a pick-6 from Caleb Hill, and found plenty of openings in the Cox Mill defense to score 47 straight first-half points.
It was the first high school football game in North Carolina this season, but Weddington looked in mid-season form.
Just don’t say that to Warriors head coach Andy Capone, who improved to 64-6 in his career at the school.
“It’s a long weekend and hopefully our kids enjoy it for three days,” Capone said, “but Monday, we’re back to work. We’re going to turn on the film and they have to watch some stuff we screwed up on and, you know, we’ve just got to get it fixed.. This is just game one, and we’ve got nine more in the regular season, and hopefully a deep (playoff) run. If we’re just happy with our first win of the year, then we’re not going to be where we need to be.”
Thursday’s win gave Capone a chance to see all of his players, including new Weddington star Keenan Jackson — a UNC-bound wide receiver who transferred from nearly Cuthbertson High School. Jackson caught a touchdown pass from starting quarterback Tyler Budge.
Weddington led 33-3 with nine minutes left in the first half and 40-3 with nearly seven minutes left. And the Warriors — a least in the first half — just kept pushing.
Weddington (1-0) plays at Ardrey Kell next week. Cox Mill (0-1) hosts N.C. 3A power Kings Mountain.