Defending Region 3-AAAA champion Clover had a little more riding on the 37th Herald Football Jamboree Friday.
The Blue Eagles open the season a day earlier than most teams, with their first game at Wilson Thursday. According to the way Clover looked in a dominating 13-0 win over Weddington (N.C.) in the Jamboree, it appears the Eagles are more than ready to start the year.
Clover's methodical offense controlled the clock with its wing-T formations and the Blue Eagles' defense completely shut down the Warriors. Weddington ran only 13 plays, compared to 39 for the Blue Eagles.
"This team has a lot of potential," Clover coach Jet Turner said. "With a senior quarterback and much of our team returning from a year ago, we can be a good football club. Since this was our first time under the lights, I am very pleased with our effort."
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Weddington gained only one first down during the two 12-minute quarters and had 16 yards of offense.
While never flashy, the Blue Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards for an easy score on Ricky Moore's 6-yard touchdown run. Despite a missed extra point, Clover took command of the game.
The drive was 16 plays and burned nearly seven minutes off the clock. Weddington never recovered.
The ensuing kickoff landed in the end zone and Weddington began its opening possession at the 20-yard line. Two plays netted a loss of three yards for the Warriors until quarterback Anthony Boone nearly scrambled for a first down.
He was pounded by Moore, in at linebacker, a yard short.
Boone's run was Weddington's longest offensive play and was the closest the Warriors got to a first down until they finally picked up one with 6:44 left in the second period.
Clover added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter on a pretty 3-yard run from Chris Douglas to the left side of the end zone. Brandon Humphries added the extra point to cap the scoring.
Other than several timing miscues by Clover's offense and a couple of fumbles, the Blue Eagles looked poised to once again make some noise in the regular season.
"No team is going to give us anything, but if we give the effort we did tonight we will win a lot of football games," Turner said. "We'll work on fine-tuning our timing before Thursday's game, but we are ready."
Quarterback Matt Endicott was likewise optimistic.
"Wilson is a good football club and has a lot of players returning from a team that gave us a great game last year," Endicott said. "We'll do the best we can, but hopefully we can get the season off on the right foot Thursday night."