Coming into the season, Sumner coach Keith Ross was excited about the potential of a high-powered offense led by junior tailback Connor Wedington.
The Spartans running back didn’t disappoint, doing a little of everything to accumulate 242 total yards as Sumner defeated old foe Franklin Pierce, 58-13, in a nonleague game.
His start Friday night at Franklin Pierce High was what Wedington was hoping for.
“I’m just hoping for a good season and (helping) the team win — it’s just keep grinding,” Wedington said. “Our (offensive) line was great and our defense played great tonight.”
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“He’s a grinder … when (Franklin Pierce) started to tire out, Connor just started to break off his big runs,” Ross said.
Wedington put Sumner on the board early in the contest after the Spartan line opened a clear lane for his 23-yard scoring scamper.
Wedington finished with 109 yards rushing on nine carries, adding a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The junior also finished with a 63-yard interception on defense.
“I wasn’t going to run it out,” Wedington said of his interception in the end zone. “But I saw green in front of me ... I definitely wanted the pick this game — hoping to return it.”
Sumner didn’t let up after their first score as Tre Weed took back an interception from Franklin Pierce quarterback Willie Patterson seconds later to push the Spartans’ first-quarter lead to 14-0.
Wedington’s backfield mate Josh Riley didn’t miss out on Sumner’s scoring. The senior speedster finished with two touchdowns (60 and 5) to finish with 96 yards.
“It felt good to show that I can be a weapon on offense too,” Riley said.
Although the loss stings for the moment, Franklin Pierce coach Mickey Ahrens believes what he saw from his Cardinals was enough to move beyond Friday night’s loss.
“You know I was honestly really impressed with our guys, as they kept on fighting and kept the energy up,” Ahrens said. “I was happy with (Patterson), especially being down with such a (deficit).”
Patterson finished with 95 yard throwing (10 of 18 attempts) and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 58 yards.