Brown grinds out win
KANNAPOLIS — A.L. Brown fans got a rare glimpse at some good old fashioned smash-mouth football Friday night.
The Wonders defense did a lot of bending but never broke and continuously made the clutch plays all night. The effort produced a 7-0 non-conference victory over a talented Weddington team.
Actually neither defense allowed any points but Brown (2-1) was able to break through when defensive back Kenon Jones pounced on a loose football in the end zone midway in the second quarter. Although both team mounted some serious threats, that was all the scoring for the night.
Through the pre-season and early games, Wonder coach Mike Newsome knew his defense was more mature than his offense and would have to carry the team for a while. “They definitely showed that tonight by not only getting the shutout but they scored too.” Newsome said. “ That was a big win against a great football team”
Weddington (2-1) came in as defending champs of the 3-A Southern Carolina Conference and had outscored their opponents 66-19 in wins over Ardrey Kell and Forest Hills.
While they showed a potent passing attack (181 yards) behind senior quarterback Jeff Welch, Brown’s defense responded with two fumble recoveries (one for the score), seven sacks, a key interception late by Khari Wilkes, a blocked field goal by Malik Fowler and a big stop on fourth down at their 16 in the first half.
Late in the game Weddington drove from their own 18 to the Brown 26 and seemed poised to tie it. But a Welch pass over the middle was intercepted by Wilkes with 2:09 left. “I anticipated, jammed him a little bit then I saw the quarterback look towards me,” Wilkes said. “I knew I had to make a big play.”
The Warriors got a break by recovering a fumbled pitch at the Brown 19 with 1:21 left. But the home defense rose up again with two sacks including the game clincher by Jamel Logan on fourth down. It was the fourth sack of the game for the big defensive tackle.
The lone TD followed a strange sequence in which a Weddington punt snap sailed into the end zone and was pooch kicked out to the 14. The Wonders were stopped on downs at the nine but the defense rose up again, knocking the ball loose and into the end zone for Jones to grab for his first TD. “My man got the strip and I just got down and got that ball., “ Jones said. “We were playing for the turnover.”
Brown did have some offensive highlights especially from 14-year-old sophomorehalfback Sandon McCoy with 104 yards on 28 carries in his first varsity start. He also caught two passes for 34 yards. Quarterback Andrew Ramirez was an efficient 9 for 12 and 119 yards. Johnathan Bryant caught four passes for 44 yards.