Championship Central

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Grimsley Overpowers Gibbons, 28-8, in First Title Win Since 1960


CHAPEL HILL – The Grimsley Whirlies defense came to play, forcing four turnovers and limiting Cardinal Gibbons to 250 yards of total offense on their way to a 28-8 victory in the 4A State Championship Game. The Whirlies collected the program’s first State Championship since the name of the school changed from Greensboro High to Grimsley in 1962.

In what appeared to settle into a defensive struggle in the early going, the game’s Most Valuable Player, as selected by the media, was Grimsley QB Alonza Barnett who opened the scoring on a five-yard touchdown run with 1:27 to go in the opening quarter. Barnett’s run helped the Whirlies capitalize on the first of the Crusaders’ turnovers, plunging into the endzone to cap a four-play, 26-yard drive.

Gibbons was able to win the field position battle with an outstanding punt by Carter Gray that pinned the Whirlies down inside their own one yard line to start the second quarter. The Crusader defense managed to put some pressure on Barnett who was called for intentional grounding on a throw from the endzone, forcing a safety and putting the Crusaders on the board in the early minutes of the second quarter.

After the safety, the two teams traded possessions until Connor Clark was intercepted by Nate Crawford with less than a minute to play in the half. Crawford returned the pick all the way to the Gibbons 24. On the second play of the late first-half drive, Barnett found Lawson Albright in the back of the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown to stretch Grimsley’s lead to 14-2.

Barnett finished the game with 87 yards through the air and one touchdown pass, netting 30 yards on the ground to go with his ice-breaking touchdown run. He took great care of the football, not throwing an interception on his 17 pass attempts.

Jeiel Melton powered the Grimsley ground game, racking up 116 yards and a touchdown in the game on his way to being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the Whirlies.   Tamoryer Thompson led the way for the Whirlies defense, picking up 3.5 tackles in the game including a pair of sacks, and recording two additional quarterback pressures. Thompson was selected as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for Grimsley.

Donovan Shepard was the bell cow for the Crusader offense, named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for Gibbons as he led the team with 124 rushing yards and added a 15 yard reception out of the backfield. Shepard did not find the endzone but made several key runs to keep Crusader drives alive and help move the offense forward against a stingy Grimsley front. Jake Ladd was selected as the Crusaders Most Outstanding Defensive Player, tallying three tackles and two fumble recoveries in the game.

Cardinal Gibbons wrapped up the season 9-1. The Crusaders were 6-0 in CAP-7 4A play. Gibbons secured the program’s second straight Regional Title.

Grimsley finished the season 10-0. The Whirlies were 4-0 in Metro 4A play. They won the program’s second regional title and appeared in the State Championship Game for the first time since 2005. Grimsley won the school’s first State Football Championships since winning the 4A Championship in 1960 when the school was then named Greensboro High.

The NCHSAA is committed to recognizing and promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to highlight individuals from each State Championship event who exemplify the ideals of outstanding sportsmanship. The 2020-2021 4A Sportsmanship Award recipients were Brendan Charnot from Cardinal Gibbons and Clifton Buckrham from Grimsley.

 

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

1:27 – GRIM – A. Barnett 5 yard run (J. Henry kick good) – GRIM 7-0 (4 plays, 26 yards, 2:21)

Second Quarter

10:43 – CG – Team Safety (Intentional Grounding in the Endzone) – GRIM 7-2

0:17 – GRIM – L. Albright 11 yard pass from A. Barnett (J. Henry kick good) – GRIM 14-2 (2 plays, 24 yards, 0:27)

Third Quarter

No Scoring

Fourth Quarter

8:03 – GRIM – J. Melton 9 yard run (J. Henry kick good) – GRIM 21-2 (11 plays, 92 yards, 4:45)

7:24 – CG – M. Shotwell 41 yard pass from C. Clark (B. Biestek pass failed) – GRIM 21-8 (2 plays, 54 yards, 0:30)

4:37 – GRIM – C. Curtain 38 yard interception return (J. Henry kick good) – GRIM 28-8





Story courtesy of the NCHSAA

Charlotte Catholic Wins 4th Straight State Title


RALEIGH – Behind tough offensive line play, the Charlotte Catholic Cougars won their fourth straight state championship, this one a 14-7 tilt over the Havelock Rams.

Charlotte Catholic was paced on offense by freshman running back Ryan Henley, who led the squad with 86 yards on the ground. 

Havelock’s Kamron Hoover was a standout on both sides of the ball for the Rams. The senior had nine receptions on offense and an interception on defense.

Charlotte Catholic’s Liam Barbee was named as the game’s most valuable player. The senior middle linebacker had thirteen tackles and was a force in the backfield for most of the night.



Scoring Summary
Team Qtr Clock Score Type Play Drive Score
CC 1 07:29 TD PASS Franek, A 36 yd pass from Neel, P
PAT kick by Jones, J (GOOD) 9/73/4:31 0-7
HA 2 11:23 TD RUSH Edmonds, K 1 yd rush
PAT kick by Ferry, W (GOOD) 6/63/2:15 7-7
CC 2 09:50 TD PASS Larsen, J 20 yd pass from Boyle, S
PAT kick by Jones, J (GOOD) 6/81/1:24 7-14

Mount Tabor Claims 3AA Crown in Chapel Hill


CHAPEL HILL – Lance Patterson was a man on a mission. The junior wide receiver and defensive back from Mount Tabor was always around the football, offensively and defensively, leading the Spartans past Cleveland 24-16 on his way to being named the 3AA Football Championship Most Valuable Player and claiming the school’s first football State Championship. 

Patterson broke the ice early as Tyress McIntyre found him wide open for a 70-yard scoring strike with 6:55 left in the first quarter to put Mount Tabor in front 7-0. The touchdown catch was one of three total touchdowns on the night for Patterson, who also scored on a seven-yard run late in the second quarter to put the Spartans in front 14-7 at halftime.  McIntyre was selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the game for the Spartans, throwing for 164 yards and a score while rushing for 21 yards.

MVP Patterson was outstanding defensively as well, scooping up a Cleveland fumble on the opening possession of the second half and sprinting 31 yards for a touchdown to put the Spartans in front 21-7. As Cleveland began to mount a drive to answer the score, Patterson came up with a huge interception down the right sideline, thwarting any building momentum Cleveland had managed. 

After bringing pressure on a punt from the endzone with 3:58 to go in the game, Cleveland earned a safety, cutting the Tabor lead to 24-16. The Rams took the ensuing possession down the field into the red zone before the drive stalled out, turning the ball over on downs to the Spartans and essentially ending the Cleveland chances for a comeback. Jamari Slade led the Mount Tabor defense, picking up four tackles and two of them for a loss on his way to being named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for Mount Tabor. 

Cleveland kept the game close all night with the Rams defense coming up with several stops deep in their own territory in the first half that could have put the game out of reach. Deonte Lewis was a leader defensively for Cleveland, racking up five total tackles on the night including 3.5 for a loss. He was named the Most Outstanding Player defensively for Cleveland.

Skyler Locklear did his best to keep Cleveland in touch with the Spartans, as the junior QB tossed for 189 yards and a score during the game. Locklear added 18 yards on the ground and extended several plays, making tough throws in traffic to the sideline regularly. He was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the game for the Rams.  

Locklear did not have both touchdown passes for Cleveland, as he was knocked from the game when his helmet came off on a first down scramble in the red zone. Then on second down from the Spartan 18, the Rams went to the Wildcat package and freshman Cameron Goins came in, tossing a fade route into the corner finding Carter Griffith who made a great contested catch to tie the game at 7 with 8:05 to go in the first half.

Cleveland wrapped up the season 10-1. The Rams were 5-0 in Greater Neuse 3A play, winning the conference championship. The Rams secured the school’s first Regional Football Championship and appeared in the State Championship Game for the first time in program history.

Mt. Tabor finished the season 11-0. The Spartans were 5-0 in Piedmont Triad 3A play, winning the conference championship. They were Regional Champions for the third time in program history and the first time since 2007 and won the school’s first Football State Championship. 

The NCHSAA is committed to recognizing and promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to highlight individuals from each State Championship event who exemplify the ideals of outstanding sportsmanship. The 2020-2021 3AA Sportsmanship Award recipients were Kaden Hall from Cleveland and Javouse Chambers from Mt. Tabor.

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

6:55 – MT – L. Patterson 70 yard TD pass from T. McIntyre (E. Trinh kick good) – MT 7-0 (2 plays, 63 yards, 0:50)

Second Quarter

8:05 – CLE – C. Griffith 18 yard TD pass from C. Goins (S. Zayyad kick good) – Tied 7-7 (8 plays, 97 yards, 8:38)

0:29 – MT – L. Patterson 7 yard TD run (E. Trinh kick good) – MT 14-7 (8 plays, 55 yards, 2:08)

Third Quarter

11:04 – MT – L. Patterson 31 yard fumble recovery for TD (E. Trihn kick good) – MT 21-7 

4:36 – CLE – N. Roccia 30 yard TD pass from S. Locklear (S. Zayyad kick good) – MT 21-14 (8 plays, 70 yards, 3:30)

Fourth Quarter

11:07 – MT – E. Trinh 27 yard FG good – MT 24-14 (11 plays, 62 yards, 4:30)

3:58 – CLE – Team Safety – MT 24-16




Story courtesy of the NCHSAA

Salisbury Tops St. Pauls for 2AA Title


RALEIGH – Salisbury won the school’s fourth football State Championship by rushing past St. Pauls 42-14. Hornets QB Vance Honeycutt collected the game’s MVP honors scoring four touchdowns on the ground and throwing for another in the game.

The Hornets started fast, with Honeycutt cashing in on their first possession on a four-yard touchdown run after a nine-play, 70-yard drive. The next Salisbury possession found paydirt as well when Honeycutt capped off a five-play, 55-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown dash to go up 14-0. 

St. Pauls battled back in the latter stages of the first quarter as the Bulldogs got on the board when Waltay Jackson hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mikail Breeden with 3:05 to go in the first quarter. After recovering a Hornet fumble, St. Pauls marched six plays and 28 yards to tie the game at 14 when Daekwon Payne recovered a loose ball in the endzone after a two-yard run by Demonta Williams.

Salisbury got a pair of touchdowns in the closing minutes of the second quarter, one on a 17 yard run from JyMikaah Wells and a ten-yard scoring sprint by Honeycutt to take a 28-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Honeycutt played a hand in both second-half touchdowns for the Hornets, ripping off a six-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and throwing for another finding Jalon Walker from 25 yards out through the air for another. Honeycutt wrapped up the night with 105 yards through the air and 110 yards on the ground. 

JyMikaah Wells was the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the game for Salisbury, winning the award with 144 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Nicholas Hall was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the Hornets, racking up 10 tackles including 1.5 tackles for a loss from his defensive line spot.

The Bulldogs’ Waltay Jackson was the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player award winner. Jackson caught 10 passes for 72 yards and a score. Elston Powell was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the game, making eight tackles in the game. 

Salisbury wrapped up the season 8-2-0. The Hornets were 4-2 in Central Carolina 2A play. The Hornets secured the program’s second straight Regional Title, appearing in the State Championship game for the fifth time in school history.

St. Pauls finished the season 8-1. The Bulldogs were 5-0 in Three Rivers 1A/2A play, winning the conference championship. They were Regional Champions for the first time in program history after earning a berth in the regional finals for the fourth time. Vance Honeycutt 

The NCHSAA is committed to recognizing and promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to highlight individuals from each State Championship event who exemplify the ideals of outstanding sportsmanship. The 2020-2021 2AA Sportsmanship Award recipients were Eric Washington, III from St. Pauls and Christian Morgan from Salisbury.


SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

8:07 - SAL – V. Honeycutt 4 yard TD run (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 7-0 (9 plays, 70 yards, 2:31)

5:21 – SAL – V. Honeycutt 5 yard TD run (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 14-0 (5 plays, 44 yards, 1:13)

3:05 – SP – W. Jackson 14 yard pass TD from M. Breeden (A. Hajran kick good) – SAL 14-7 (7 plays, 55 yards, 2:09)

Second Quarter

11:54 – SP – D. Williams 2 yard run and fumble recovery for TD by D. Payne (A. Hajran kick good) – Tied 14-14 (6 plays, 28 yards, 2:06)

5:23 – SAL – J. Wells 17 yard TD run (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 21-14 (8 plays, 62 yards, 2:51 – SAL – V. Honeycutt 10 yard TD run (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 28-14 (5 plays, 57 yards, 1:18)

Third Quarter

1:47 – SAL – V. Honeycutt 6 yard TD run (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 35-14 (7 plays, 99 yards, 2:08)

Fourth Quarter

10:28 – SAL – J. Walker 25 yard TD pass from V. Honeycutt (W. Robbins kick good) – SAL 42-14 (4 plays, 36 yards, 1:32)




Story courtesy of the NCHSAA