STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Friday night's matchup between North Iredell and West Iredell was about more than bragging rights or wins and losses.
The winless West Iredell Warriors were playing for a sick teammate, junior Dalton Edwards. Edwards was diagnosed with an undisclosed illness Friday and broke the news to his teammates just two hours before kickoff.
West Iredell scored on its opening possession as Preston Harrison, wearing No. 33 in honor of his teammate Edwards, went 68 yards for a 6-0 Warriors advantage.
North Iredell then tallied the next 20 points on touchdowns by Garrett Harshbarger, Marquel Mullins and Nick Malavet. West Iredell would get within 20-14 late in the second quarter on a perfectly executed hook and lateral, resulting in Harrison's second touchdown of the game.
But, the second half belonged to the Raiders. North Iredell improves to 4-1 on the season, with a 54-28 victory over West Iredell.
"Our kids keep getting better and better every week and our coaches have done a great job getting them ready." North Iredell coach Sandy Grinton said.
"Slowly but surely we're getting there."
"Their character level is incredible and we talk about it every day," West Iredell head coach Mike Natoli said. "There's not another team in America that I'd want to coach."
North Iredell takes on Mooresville next week, while West Iredell battles South Iredell.