Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 17

Its state championship weekend and 16 teams are hoping for the state’s biggest prize at stadiums in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Winston-Salem. This is the 97th annual NCHSAA state championship in football. Each of the teams involved are to be commended for their efforts and achievements this season. Although only 8 will be crowned state champions, every team playing this week is a winner.

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week

Voting for the Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week resulted in one game receiving 33% of the votes cast. The Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 17 – Championship Weekend – is the battle for the 4A Championship between Davie County and Durham Hillside.

Western Regional Champ Davie County comes into the game with a 9-6 record and is appearing in their first title game. The War Eagles started the season 0-3 and are averaging 20 points on offense using a multiple spread formation. Quarterback Carson Herndon leads the offense with over 2300 yards passing and 19 touchdowns. Running backs Stephon Smoot and Jacob Barber have combined for almost 1300 yards rushing while wide receiver Joe Watson has scored 12 times while amassing over 1000 receiving yards. On defense, defensive back Alex Newman and linebacker Jared Barber lead a War Eagle defense giving up 22 points a game. Although Davie only had a 5-6 record at the beginning of the playoffs, their strength of schedule was the second toughest in the state. The War Eagles played traditional powers West Rowan, Greenville Rose, Thomasville, and Salisbury in their nonconference schedule. Davie played tough teams Winston-Salem Mount Tabor and North Davidson in conference, losing both games. Davie had the last laugh by returning the favor and beating both teams in the first two rounds of the playoffs.



Coaches Corner – Davie coach Doug Illing had the following to say about his team, “it has been full circle…started off 0-3 then 1-4… after overcoming injuries and moving people around on the OL we began to mess and play together at the right time…” Coach Illing speaks so highly of his team and “their belief in eachother and this team is the reason we are playing on Saturday…they never gave up or gave in to a losing season of 5-6 going into the playoffs.” Illing also went on to talk about the season. “After finishing the season 5-6 and getting beat 52-28 in the last game against North Davidson, we had to play ND in the first round and we are down 10-0 at half and come back and beat them 35-10… then have to play Mt tabor who beat us 34-0 three weeks prior and we beat them in OT 30-29…. so that got us going in the playoffs playing with a lot of confidence….” Thanks Coach Illing for providing this information.

Coming into the game with a perfect 15-0 record are the Eastern Regional Champions, the Hillside Hornets from Durham. Coach Antonio King has led Hillside to their first championship game appearance in his first season as head coach of the Hornets. The Hornets were regional runners-up two years ago losing to Fayetteville Byrd in a defensive struggle 9-7. The Hornets utilize a West Coast style offense that has dominated many defenses while scoring 40 points a game. Quarterback Vad Lee is the key to the Hornet’s offense throwing for almost 3000 yards this season and 23 touchdowns. Other key players on offense include running back Jamaal Williams (1177 yards, 10 TD) and receiver Shawn Malloy (26 receptions, 9 TD). The Hornets’ defense has shut down opposing offenses allowing only 10 points a game. Defensive tackle Anthony Talley, safety Meyer Krah, linebacker Lee Williams and defensive ends Jamal Marcus and Treshawn Council (ECU recruit) anchor a defense that has registered three shutouts this season, including one in the playoffs.



Coaches Corner – No information received from the Hillside coaching staff yet.


This has the makings of a really good game, matching the undefeated Hornets versus the never say quit War Eagles. With both teams making their first appearance in the state title game, I’m sure the fans will be out in droves at Wake Forest’s BB&T Field. Follow the game action on our Twitter, @NCGridiron.


The official CGI prediction: Hillside 27 Davie County 17




(Helmets courtesy of mghelmets.com and are not the property of Carolina Gridiron)