Weddington football photo

Weddington football coach Andy Capone praised the play of his swarming defense after they forced four turnovers and had six QB sacks in Friday’s first-round playoff win. The Southern Carolina 4A Conference champions, who are on a seven-game winning streak, improved to 10-1.

WEDDINGTON — The No. 3 seed Weddington High football team cruised in the first round of the 4A state playoffs Friday, defeating North Mecklenburg, 35-6.

The Warriors totaled more than 300 yards of offense, but it was Weddington’s defense that dominated the field Friday. Head coach Andy Capone’s team forced four turnovers and had six sacks.

“We have to be good in all three phases of the game, and our defense has continued to get better, and we’re still getting better on that side,” Capone said. “They do a great job of running to the football and tackling well, playing hard and giving us a chance to get off the field and give the offense more possessions. They continue to get better.”

Weddington opened the scoring early in the first quarter on a short run by senior Kyle Parsons, but the second period is where the Warriors did most of their damage.

After connecting with junior Zymill Patterson on a 4-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, senior quarterback Grady Brosterhous found the end zone again a few minutes later on a 3-yard completion to Landyn Backey.

For the season, Brostehous has completed 159-of-255 attempts (62.4%) for 1,889 yards, 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

“I think it always helps because (we) have a lot of experience ...” Capons said. “There’s always a level that’s ratcheted up in the playoffs, and I think our kids understand every week that it’s do or die. It’s win or go home. I think they prepare a little harder, and I think the intensity is ratcheted up a little bit.”

The Warriors will need to be firing on all cylinders this Friday when they host Southern Carolina Conference rival Marvin Ridge in the second round of the 4A state tournament.

These two teams met two weeks ago, with Weddington escaping with a 23-18 win. Marvin Ridge rallied to make the game close in the final minutes.

Capone said this time around his team his team will need to lock in for all 48 minutes to come out with a win.

“(Marvin Ridge is) not going to quit,” Capone said. “Coach (Aubrey) Carter and his staff have done a great job, and they’re a good football team. It’s always hard to beat a team twice. You hear that a lot. We have to play four quarters of football.

“Two weeks ago, we probably played 44 minutes of good football. We can’t have that, especially in the playoffs. It’s win or go home. For us, it’s going to be starting fast and finishing faster. If we’re up, we have to make sure we finish it. And if we’re down, we have to just continue to fight.”