2016 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Carolina Gridiron is pleased to announce the 2016 preseason All-Gridiron team. Congratulations to each of the players chosen and best wishes for a successful 2016 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 and II 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 were able to once again put together the most comprehensive statewide high school football jamboree/scrimmage list in North Carolina. Be sure to check back in 2016 for more scrimmages and jamborees.

Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings

The 2016 Carolina Gridiron FAIR Rankings will be released a few weeks into the high school football season. Be sure to check back to see where your team stacks up against the rest of the state.

Reidsville Wins Their Sixteenth Title Convincingly, 58-12 over Edenton Holmes​

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Reidsville Rams captured the school’s 16th state championship to go along with three regional titles they won in the 1960’s when play didn’t culminate in a full state champion as they blew past John A. Holmes 58-12. Jaron Letterlough accounted for five touchdowns, four rushing and one receiving on his way to M.V.P. honors in the game.

Letterlough opened the scoring with a five yard run in the first quarter, then adding an 18-yard TD to put the Rams up 14-0 early. The Aces struck back with Keimon Bailey streaking for 55 yards and a score, but the point after failed and Holmes trailed 14-6.

Letterlough added a 45-yard touchdown reception and the Rams tacked on a pair of field goals in the second quarter while the Aces got a 7-yard touchdown run by Mitjanta Stanley to make the halftime score 27-12.

The second half was all Reidsville as Letterlough added an 18-yard touchdown run in the third to stretch the Rams lead to 34-12. He added another five-yard touchdown run to take the lead to 44-12 and cement his spot as the game’s M.V.P.

Letterlough was credited with 153 yards rushing on 15 carries, scoring four times on the ground. He added three catches for 47 yards and a receiving touchdown as well.

Reidsville’s Most Outstanding Offensive Performer award went to the kicker Brad Green who was 7 for 7 on the night for point after attempts and converted field goals from 21, 25 and 34 yards. The Rams' Most Outstanding Defensive Performer was Jaquan Hairson with two second half tackles and a fumble recovery in the second half. He added a sack and a forced fumble in the first half.

Reidsville Quarterback Tanner Wilson was steady all night completing 10 of 16 passes for 108 yards and a score.

The Aces finished the season 13-3 as the tri-champions of the Northeastern Coastal 2A Conference. They made their first appearance in an NCHSAA State Championship in the modern era (since 1972). Holmes was paced offensively by Bailey who had 14 carries for 81 yards and a score. He was the Aces Most Outstanding Offensive Performer. Zakeem Brooks was tapped as the Aces Most Outstanding Defensive Performer with seven tackles on the night to lead the team.

Reidsville completed a perfect 16-0 season, winning the Mid-State 2A conference and the program’s record-holding 16th championship. The Rams returned to the State Championship for the first time since winning the 2AA title over Newton-Conover in 2009.

Story courtesy of the NCHSAA

Dudley Dominant Over Cape Fear En Route to Their Fourth Championship

RALEIGH, N.C. – It didn’t take long, one minute to be exact, for the Dudley Panthers to seize control of the 4A State Championship Game against Cape Fear. Dudley took the reins on the third play from scrimmage as Hendon Hooker lofted a pass down the left sideline to Nigel Fitzgerald who hauled it in and sprinted 79 yards for the opening score and as he took off, so did the Panthers, never to look back.

Fitzgerald and Hooker connected one other time on the night as Hooker hit Fitzgerald on a seven-yard back shoulder throw in the end zone in the closing second of the first half as the Panthers stretched the lead to 34-0. Dudley went on to capture the school’s fourth championship in six appearances in an NCHSAA Championship game, knocking out Cape Fear 54-0.

Hendon Hooker was brilliant at quarterback for the Panthers. Hooker threw three touchdown passes in the first half alone. He accounted for six touchdowns in total, 3 on the ground and 3 in the air as he threw for 221 yards and rushed for another 89 yards on the night on his way to M.V.P. honors in the game, voted unanimously by the assembled media.

Zareik Rush had a two touchdown night for the Panthers as well, accounting for 120 yards rushing with scores of 25 and 52 yards.
The Dudley defense was solid as well, holding the balanced Cape Fear attack to just 108 yards on the night. Nigel Peele was named the Most Outstanding Performer on the defensive side of the ball with seven tackles on the night and a pass break up.

Cape Fear struggled mightily all night long with the Colts dual-threat quarterback Justice Galloway-Velasquez held under 100 yards of total offense on the night for the first time this season. Galloway-Velasquez was named the Colts Most Outstanding Offensive Performer with 110 yards through the air and -15 on the ground as he was under siege all night by the Dudley defense.

The Colts concluded their year 15-1, the best season in school history, winning 10 or more games for the first time in a year as a program. They were the undefeated champions of the Mid-South 4A Conference.

Dudley wrapped up their year at 15-1 on the season, finishing second in the All-Metro 4A behind Page who also reached a State Championship Final. The Panthers won their first State Championship since their 2013 victory over Scotland County in the 4A title game.

Story courtesy of the NCHSAA

Weddington Claims School’s First Football Title with 33-20 Win over Eastern Guilford

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Eastern Guilford took an early lead on the first play from scrimmage, but ultimately it was Weddington’s defense that won the day as the Warriors managed a a 33-20 victory in the 3AA State Title game. It was the school’s first football championship in two appearances in the finals.

The Wildcats struck first on an 80-yard touchdown pass to Nic Cheeley from Dominique Graves on the first play from scrimmage. Weddington struck back to tie the game on the final play of the first quarter when James Shipley hauled in a pass for 47 yards and a score from Warrior QB David Bayha.

Eastern Guilford took the lead back just three plays later when Bryant Barr went streaking 40 yards for a score to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead with 10:45 to play in the first half. The next two scores went to Weddington as Bayha found Max Brimigion from 47 yards out to tie the game at 14 with 8:57 to go in the half. Then Denzel Patton capped off a 9-play, 60-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors their first lead of the game with 3:04 to go in the half.

In the second half, Weddington extended the lead as Bayha threw his third and final touchdown of the game to Richie Laughlin, covering 27 yards and putting the Warriors up 27-14 with 4:07 to go in the third quarter after the point-after failed.
Then a short punt set the Warriors up with a short field and after four plays and 37 yards Chase Randolph found pay-dirt to give the Warriors a 33-14 advantage with 1:07 to go in the third.

Eastern Guilford tried to claw back into the game in the fourth quarter as Bryant Barr hit Zaccheus Milton for a 24-yard strike and score. The two-point conversion attempt failed leaving the Wildcats down 33-20 with 5:55 to go.
The Warriors won the ground battle offensively, rolling up 173 yards rushing while only allowing 105 by the Wildcats. Weddington held a 356 to 259-yard edge in total offense. Bayha was named the game’s M.V.P. with a 10 for 17 performance for 183 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also rushed 13 times for 74 yards on the afternoon.

Eastern Guilford concluded the year 15-1, champions of the Mid-State 3A Conference. The Wildcats made their first appearance in an NCHSAA Football State Championship game.

Weddington ended the year 13-3, champions of the Southern Carolina 3A Conference for the first time in school history. The State Title was Weddington’s first in two appearances in the State Finals.

Story courtesy of the NCHSAA

Wake Forest Claims Wake County’s First Football Title Since 1987 with 29-0 Win over Page

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Wake Forest Cougars defense led the way to make the school’s fourth appearance in the state championship game and defense dominated the day bringing the Cougars their first state championship with a 29-0 victory over Greensboro Page.

The Cougar defense held the explosive Page offense to just 142 yards of offense all day and forced four interceptions. The defense opened the day by forcing a three-and-out on the Pirates first offensive series. Then Wake Forest special teams came up big as Darius Hodge broke through and blocked the Pirate punt. The block was recovered by Thomas Murray who scooped up the ball at the Pirate 10 and scored to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead with 10:42 to go in the first quarter.

After another Pirate three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Wake Forest took over near midfield at their own 42, driving seven plays and cashing in on the good field position with a 2-yard Devon Lawrence touchdown run. The point after was blocked and the Cougars jumped in front 13-0 with 5:45 to go in the first.

The Pirate offense continued to struggle, as Wake Forest continued to force the pressure on Pirate quarterback Will Jones. Darius Hodge dominated the game from the linebacker spot making 17 tackles on the afternoon, including the blocked punt. He was named the game’s M.V.P. Seth Williams had two interceptions and was tapped as the Cougars Most Outstanding Defensive Performer.

The Cougar offense capitalized on good field position most of the night as Lawrence turned in a strong performance against the Pirates solid defensive front. Lawrence gained 77 yards on the ground, scoring two touchdowns rushing while throwing for another on a halfback pass to Lex Goodwin with 10:08 to play in the fourth, giving Wake Forest a 29-0 lead.

The Pirates completed their season 14-2 on the year and champions of the All-Metro 4A Conference. Javon Leake was named Page’s Most Outstanding Offensive Performer with 36 hard-earned yards on 18 carries.

Wake Forest finished the year unblemished at 16-0, they were the champions of the CAP 8 4A Conference. They claimed the school’s first championship and made their fourth appearance in the state finals, all since 2010. The win for Wake Forest was the first Football Championship for a team from Wake County since Garner won the title in 1987, snapping a 29-year drought.

Story courtesy of the NCHSAA