2021 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Carolina Gridiron is pleased to announce the 2021 preseason All-Gridiron team. Congratulations to each of the players chosen and best wishes for a successful 2021 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 is expanding coverage of all college football teams in the state of North Carolina this season. See how your favorite college team is doing on the gridiron this year.

Carolina Gridiron Media Pick'Em

This season, Carolina Gridiron is launching a new media pick ‘em contest featuring some of the state’s top sports media. Each week, we will select a slate of ten games from across the state of North Carolina with a mix of high school and college games being thrown in.

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. Thank you to all who have helped put together past lists and we are looking forward to next season.

Championship Central

Relive the unique experience that was the Spring 2021 North Carolina high school football state championships. Check back later this fall for more state championship news and updates.

App State Rocks the Sun Belt With Win Over #14 Coastal Carolina

BOONE – Sun Belt Conference football was on display Wednesday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, North Carolina. For two teams who have only played eight times, it certainly felt like a rivalry game in front of a sellout crowd of 31,061. The two teams lived up the high billing for the game, combining for over nine hundred yards of total offense and fifty-seven points. In the end, it was App State who found victory after a hard-fought game, winning 30-27 over the #14 team in the country.



Coastal came out swinging in the first quarter, showing off their balanced offense and taking a 14-0 lead with a one-yard Shermari Jones run and a seventy-four-yard catch and run by Kameron Brown. By the end of the first quarter, the Mountaineers had found their footing and went on their own long scoring drive, capping it off with a one-yard Camerun Peoples run. Sensing a shift in momentum in favor of the home team, App State head coach Shaun Clark decided to roll the dice and go for the onside kick. The Mountaineers recovered and, three plays later, a streaking Malik Williams had raced forty-seven yards to hit pay dirt and the two teams found themselves knotted at 14 midway through the second quarter.

Rolling the dice only worked once for the Mountaineers in the first half, though, as a fourth-down attempt near midfield was stopped and the Chanticleers took advantage of the short field, retaking the lead with a fifty-yard field goal by Massimo Biscardi. Biscardi added another field goal as halftime struck to give the visitors a 20-14 lead at intermission.

The third quarter was filled with big offensive plays and long scoring drives for both teams. App State was the first to find the end zone after Chase Brice hit Corey Sutton in the shadow of the Mountaineers' new end zone facility to give the home team the lead for the first time on the evening. Coastal responded five minutes later with Shermari Jones's second one-yard scoring run on the night. Seeing his opposing counterpart score twice, App State's Camerun Peoples decided he wanted to be in on multi-score action as well. The junior running back, who finished with fifty-eight hard-fough yards on the night, scampered in from forty-three yards out to tie the game. A bad snap on the PAT attempt kept the game tied heading into the final stanza.

When Chase Brice found Corey Sutton between two defenders, the senior receiver fought his way to get the Mountaineers in the red zone. When it looked like the App State offense was poised to finally break through, a fumble gave the ball back to the Chanticleers inside their own ten-yard line. The App State defense held firm, forcing another Coastal punt. Chandler Staton got the play the part of the hero, kicking a twenty-four-yard field goal as time expired to give the Mountaineers their first win over a ranked opponent since transitioning to FBS.

Malik Williams was a beast for the Mountaineers on the night. The senior wide receiver had 206 receiving yards on the night, a program-best since moving to FBS. Fellow senior Corey Sutton added 113 yards as well. The App State rushing attack gained 228 yards seemingly by committee. Nate Noel led the Mountaineers with eighty-two yards. On defense, D'Marco Jackson was all over the field for the home team, leading the team with eleven tackles. Jackson's tackles were easily helped by Caleb Spurlin, who seemed to be in the backfield for much of the second half.

Next Week
Coastal plays their second straight weekday game, hosting Troy on Thursday night while App State (4-2) hosts ULM for homecoming on Saturday, October 30.


Campbell Devours Gardner-Webb in Inaugural BBQ Bowl

BOILING SPRINGS – It was the inaugural BBQ bowl between Big South rivals Gardner-Webb and Campbell taking place at Spangler Stadium on Friday night. At stake were bragging rights and a catered barbecue meal for the winning squad. Both teams traded offensive and defensive blows for three and a half quarters, knotted at 28 with four minutes left on the clock. Campbell stepped up on both sides of the ball over the last four minutes, finding the end zone twice on their way to a 42-28 win, and claimed the right to take the brand new trophy back to Buies Creek for the next year.

The Meat

After both teams started slowly, trading punts and turnovers, it was Campbell who broke onto the scoreboard first. Capping an eight-play drive, Bryant Barr (Eastern Guilford) punched it in from two yards out to give the Camels an early 7-0 lead. It was the Gardner-Webb defense that got the Runnin' Bulldogs on the scoreboard first with linebacker William McRainey (West Brunswick) picking up a fumble and racing seventy-one yards to the house for the scoop-and-score to tie the game at 7-7.

The second quarter saw both teams turning on their offenses. Wiley Hartley, on fire since stepping into the starting quarterback role due to injury, threw the first of his two touchdown passes early in the quarter, finding Caleb Snead in the back of the end zone. Gardner-Webb struck back quickly with Narii Gaither rushing for fifty-five of his game-high 150 yards on the way to the end zone to tie the game again. Gardner-Webb then went on to take the lead on a one-yard pass from Bailey Fisher to Bryson Duckworth to seemingly give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 21-14 halftime lead, but Campbell was able to go seventy-five yards in only fifty-two seconds with Hartley finding Julian Hill (Pine Forest) over the middle for a thirty-nine-yard score to cap off the quick drive to send the game into the half at 21-21.

Both teams' running backs found the end zone during the third quarter. Narii Gaither rushed twenty-two yards for his second score of the night to give Gardner-Webb a 28-21 lead, but Bryant Barr would not let Camels go without a score, punching the ball in from a yard out, his second of the night, and setting up what would be a momentous fourth quarter. Barr added the go-ahead score, his third of the night, at the 3:53 mark to give the Camels a 35-28 lead. After the Campbell defense held Gardner-Webb on fourth down, CJ Freeman's twenty-three-yard scamper sealed the deal and secure the 42-28 win for the visitors.

The Sides

  • Bryant Barr's ninety-seven yards and three touchdowns were both career highs.
  • Caleb Snead hauled in ten receptions on the night, tying his own school record.
  • Wiley Hartley was 26/41 on passing for 265 yards.
  • Narii Gaither now has two 150 yard rushing games this season.
  • William McRainey led Gardner-Webb with thirteen total tackles to go along with his scoop-and-score.
  • Campbell led the time of possession battle, 36:54 to 23:06.

The Dessert

North Carolina barbecue legend Bob Garner was on hand to debut the new trophy at halftime and Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander had the privilege of handing over the trophy to the victorious Camels in a postgame ceremony.

What's Next on the Menu?

Campbell (3-2, 2-0) will host #25 Monmouth next Saturday at Barker-Lane Stadium while Gardner-Webb (2-4, 0-2) has an open week before hosting Robert Morris at Spangler Stadium for Homecoming on October 23.


#8 Wingate Rides Huge Second Quarter to 35-17 Victory at Limestone

GAFFNEY, SC – The eighth-ranked Wingate University Bulldogs trailed 14-0 in the opening quarter Saturday afternoon, but responded by scoring the next 28 points and 35 of the final 38 points of the contest en route to a 35-17 victory at Limestone University in South Atlantic Conference football action. Wingate improves to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the SAC, while the Saints fall to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in league play. This is the fourth time in the last six seasons the 'Dogs have started a season 5-0.

Wingate RB Nijere Peoples (Photo Credit: Wingate Athletics)

KEY STATS

  • Wingate had 465 yards of offense; Limestone had 311 yards
  • The 'Dogs had 261 passing yards and 204 rushing yards
  • Limestone had 174 passing yards and 137 rushing yards
  • The Bulldogs held a 25-17 advantage in first downs
  • The Saints had the only two turnovers of the day; one fumble and one interception
  • The 'Dogs held the ball for 40:38 on the afternoon
  • Wingate converted eight-of-14 third downs
  • The Bulldogs scored on five of six red zone opportunities
  • WU had the only four sacks of the afternoon
  • Limestone went five-for-12 on third down while scoring on two-of-three red zone trips

KEY BULLDOGS

  • Shaw Crocker completed 20 of 29 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns
  • Kamal Desor had seven catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns
  • RJ Mobley hauled in six receptions for 94 yards
  • Ra'Quan Simmons added four catches for 63 yards
  • Trevor Grant had a three-yard TD grab
  • Nijere Peoples ran for 86 yards and a touchdown
  • Kalen Clark added 86 rushing yards on 13 carries
  • Alexander Wilson added 17 rushing yards and a touchdown
  • Tre Morrison piled up eight tackles, two TFLs, and two pass break-ups
  • Davon Gilmore added eight stops with a pair of TFLs
  • Marquise Fleming had seven tackles, two TFLs, a sack, and a forced fumble
  • Raymond Owens collected five tackles with a sack
  • Justin Armwood had two tackles and an interception
  • Sirod Cook registered three tackles, a TFL, and a fumble recovery
  • Jordon Anderson added a sack for the Bulldogs
  • McLean Robertson made all five PATs
  • Ethan Evans averaged 37 yards per punt on a pair of punts, putting both inside the 20. He also had two touchbacks on six kickoffs

FIRST QUARTER

  • Limestone scored on both drives in the opening quarter to race out to a 14-0 lead
  • Jerkoya Patton's 17-yard run on third and goal gave the Saints a two-score lead with four minutes left

SECOND QUARTER

  • The Bulldogs outscored Limestone 28-0 in the second quarter
  • A 13-play, 75-yard drive got Wingate on the board
  • Crocker hit Wilson for 10 yards on fourth and three to keep the drive alive
  • Peoples scored from four yards out to get Wingate on the board
  • A four-play, 70-yard drive tied it
  • Clark's 29-yard run started the drive, while a 16-yard Desor catch got it to the LU 10
  • Crocker hit Grant from three yards out to tie it
  • Wingate added a four-play, 60-yard drive to take the lead
  • Crocker hit Mobley for 42 yards to start the drive, getting it inside the Limestone 20
  • Crocker connected with Desor from five yards out to give the Bulldogs the lead
  • WU capped the quarter with an 11-play, 88-yard drive
  • Crocker's 16-yard scramble on third and seven kept the drive alive
  • He hit Desor for 14 yards and Simmons for 30 yards to get it to the Limestone 14
  • Crocker found Desor in the end zone again to cap the 28-point quarter

SECOND HALF

  • A Fleming sack and Cook recovery around midfield halted Limestone's first drive
  • Wingate's drive was halted inside the LU five on downs
  • Austin Kemp capped a 74-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal to make it 28-17
  • The Bulldogs took a 35-17 lead with a 32-yard drive midway through the fourth
  • Evans pinned the Saints inside their own 10, then the defense forced a three-and-out
  • The Limestone punt went just 22 yards, setting WU up at the LU 32
  • Wilson got the ball to the one with a four-yard run
  • He scored on the next play to put Wingate on top by 18
  • Armwood's interception on the ensuing drive halted the Limestone drive at the WU 30

UP NEXT

  • Wingate is on the road for two more weeks
  • The Bulldogs are at Barton at 4 p.m. next week
  • The road trip ends at UVA Wise Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.
  • The 'Dogs return home Oct. 30 to host Lenoir-Rhyne at 6 p.m.








Story courtesy of Wingate Athletics

Chowan Unable to Overcome Mistakes in Top-25 Loss to Bowie State


MURFREESBORO – In a top-25 match up the Chowan Football team came up short against Bowie State in a CIAA North Division clash on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The Chowan defense held Bowie State to 112 yards of total offense while racking up five sacks.  The Hawks defense set the single-season record for sacks with 28.0 on the season.

Basilio Fernandez led the Hawks with 13 total tackles.  Rafiq Abdul-Wahid posted eight tackles with 1.5 sacks.  Gilberto Ortiz added eight tackles, three TFLs, and a sack.

Imeek Watkins led the Hawks with four catches for 55 yards and 23 yards rushing.  Tyrek McNeil added 41 yards on the ground.

Both quarterbacks posted 50% completions for less than 70 yards each.

The Hawks had two fumbles and 11 penalties.


HOW IT HAPPENED

First Quarter:

The Hawks defense forced a punt on the opening drive as Rafiq Abdul-Wahid registered a sack on third down.

Bryce Witt started the drive with a seven-yard rush.  Laurence King added a 17-yard rush to put the Hawks close to the red zone.  Jude McAtamney connected from 40 yards out to put the Hawks up 3-0.

Once again, the Chowan defense held strong picking up another sack, this time by Montre Moore and Gilberto Ortiz to force a punt.

The swarming Bowie State defense would post a strip-sack and return the fumble for a 33-yard touchdown to take the lead 7-3.

On the next drive, Bryce Witt connected with Imeek Watkins for a first down reception and moved the ball to the other side of the field on a roughing the passer flag.  Witt found Watkins again for 23 yards before the drive stalled.

Second Quarter:

Bowie State would be forced to punt as Gilberto Ortiz and Rafiq Abdul-Wahid teamed up for a sack.

The Hawks would move the ball on their next drive as Imeek Watkins rushed for 23 yards and added 13 yards on a penalty to move the ball into the red zone.  A holding call and false start moved the Hawks backward forcing a field goal attempt.  Jude McAtamney missed from 40 yards out to the right but was given a second chance after a penalty.  McAtamney put the ball through the uprights but was called no good.

Third Quarter:

The Hawks would move the ball down the field on the opening drive of the half but would turn the ball over on a fumble.

The defense would hold strong to force a punt that would trickle down to the Chowan 11.  Both teams had to punt on their following drives.

Fourth Quarter:

Bowie State was aided on a pair of personal foul penalties by the Hawks to put the Bulldogs in the red zone.  The Bulldogs added an insurance touchdown with 4:47 remaining, 14-3.

Bryce Witt connected with Imeek Watkins for a touchdown before a pair of sacks ended the drive.


UP NEXT

Chowan will look to bounce back as the Hawks take on Virginia Union in a CIAA Northern Division contest on Saturday, October 16.  The Hawks will celebrate Homecoming with kickoff slated for 1pm. 






Story courtesy of Chowan Athletics