Championship Central

The state championship matchups have been set for all eight North Carolina classifications. Check back here throughout the week and on Saturday for updates from the North Carolina high school football championship games.

2017 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Carolina Gridiron is proud to announce the 2017 preseason All-Gridiron team. Congratulations to each of the players that were selected and best wishes for a successful 2017 season.

Check Out The Weekly Top 15 This Season

CarolinaGridiron.com releases Top 15 Rankings every week. Be sure to check back each Thursday duing the season to see where your favorite team is ranked.

College Football in North Carolina

Carolina Gridiron has expanded coverage to all Division I, II and III college football teams in the state of North Carolina. See how your favorite college team is doing on the gridiron this season.

Scrimmages and Jamborees

With your help, we are able to yearly put together the most comprehensive statewide high school football jamboree/scrimmage list in North Carolina. Be sure to check back each year for more scrimmages and jamborees.

Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings

The final 2017 Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings have been released. Congratulations to Mallard Creek, Charlotte Catholic, East Duplin, and Mount Airy for finishing #1 in their classifications.

Catholic Rides Running Game to 3A Crown

DURHAM – Charlotte Catholic rushed for 272 yards on their way to the 3A state championship on Saturday. The win was the Cougars' fifth in school history. Milan Howard's 160 rushing yards were enough to garner the game's most valuable player award.

Both teams exchanged long scoring drives in the first quarter as Chris Walton found Paul Neel to open up an early lead for Charlotte Catholic and Havelock responded with a Khalil Barrett run to tie the game at 7 after the end of one quarter.

Walton added a rushing touchdown in the second quarter and Havelock immediately responded with a Zack Sabdo touchdown pass to take a 14-13 lead. The score stayed like this until sophomore Lamagea McDowell hit pay dirt twice to finish out the scoring.


Championship Game Awards

East (Havelock) Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Welton Spottsville
East Most Outstanding Offensive Player – Zach Sabdo

West (Charlotte Catholic) Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Chase Foley
West Most Outstanding Offensive Player – Lamagea McDowell

Championship MVP – Milan Howard

Wake Forest Posts Shutout in Second Straight Title Win

WINSTON-SALEM –John Jiles hauled in a 20-yard pass in the end zone with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter which ended up being the go-ahead score for Wake Forest, giving the Cougars their second straight 4AA state championship, 14-0, over Mallard Creek. This was the third time these two teams have matched up the state title game, but the first time Wake Forest was able to top its Charlotte foe.

Devon Lawrence led Wake Forest with 135 yards rushing but found himself bottled up for most of the first half of the game. Fellow running back Marquis Dunn broke through for a 54-yard score with 3 minutes left in the game and Lawrence added a late score to seal the scoring for the Cougars and get Wake Forest back to the type of running stats that the Wake Forest faithful are used to seeing.

Mallard Creek's Nasjzae Bryant tried to get the Maverick offense moving, but the Wake Forest defense stood tall throughout the game. Bryant's 100-plus yard day was minimized by poor snaps and other miscues that kept the Mavericks out of the end zone.

Both quarterbacks were limited in passing action, possibly as a result of the inclement weather. The Wake Forest defense was stifling and only allowed 112 yards of offense by Mallard Creek. Javon Terry played a role in this by picking off a pass and tallying a couple tackles.

With the win, Wake Forest became the first team from Wake County to win back-to-back titles since Raleigh High School won three straight in 1912 to 1915.


Championship Game Awards


West (Mallard Creek) Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Jacob Roberts
West (Mallard Creek) Most Outstanding Offensive Player – Nasjzae Bryant

East (Wake Forest) Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Javon Terry
East (Wake Forest) Most Outstanding Offensive Player – John Jiles

Championship MVP – Wake Forest – Devon Lawrence

Cherokee Defeats North Duplin to Win 1A Title

RALEIGH – The Cherokee Braves won their first football championship on Saturday with a 21-13 win over North Duplin in 1A action at Carter-Finley Stadium. Quarterback Tye Mintz led the Braves with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns and was named the Most Valuable Player of the game.

Also moving the ball well for Cherokee was Isaiah Evans, who rushed for 112 yards on 19 carries. Evans's 11-yard scamper with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winning score and the Braves' defense withheld a late North Duplin rally and held on for the victory.

The Rebels were able to move the ball well throughout the game, but were plagued by turnovers. William Archer and Kenny Sheppard each scored for North Duplin in an effort that fell just a bit short.


Click the image for stats from the game.

4AA Preview: Wake Forest vs. Mallard Creek

The 3:00 game at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem features two undefeated 4AA teams in Wake Forest and Mallard Creek. These two teams have met in the title game twice before with Mallard Creek victorious both times, in 2013 and 2014, but Wake Forest broke through last year and defeated Page in the title game. The Cougars come into this matchup with the targets on their backs as the defending 4AA state champion.

BB&T Field


Wake Forest has a fairly balanced offensive attack, averaging 238 yards on the ground and 134 yards through the air. Leading the rushing attack for the Cougars is senior running back Devin Lawrence, who has found the end zone 32 times this season. Quarterback Chris James has passed for over 1800 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Coach Reggie Lucas is especially proud of his defense, which has held eight opponents to ten points or less this season and has posted three shutouts.

The Mavericks with Mallard Creek of played one of the toughest schedules in North Carolina this season with two state finalists and two regional finalists on the slate of games. And the Mavericks had to do it with almost entirely new line up. Coach Mike Palmieri wasn't sure how his team was going to be on the field this season with 19 new starters, but after 14 games it's clear to see in that they're back to playing the type of Mallard Creek football that won three straight state titles between 2013 and 2015.