Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 17 - Postgame Wrap-up

Winston-Salem, N.C.
December 11, 2010

On a brisk, chilly day at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, the Davie County War Eagles, this year’s Cinderella story, faced off against the Hillside Hornets of Durham for the 4A crown in the 97th annual NCHSAA football championships. A crowd of almost 11,000 was on hand to witness two teams each fighting for their first state title in football.

Davie won the opening toss, deferring their option to the second half, but the day went downhill quickly for the War Eagles. Although having the support of nearly 7,000 orange-clad fans cheering them on, Davie could only muster 24 yards on 12 offensive plays in the first quarter against a speedy and aggressive Hornet defense. Georgia Tech commit Vad Lee was the star of the first period, throwing for two touchdowns and 100 yards on only three passes while also rushing for 36 yards. Not wanting to be let out of the scoring, Hornet defensive lineman Ronald Thompson picked off and ill-advised Davie pass and returned it thirty yards for a touchdown. With only 6:17 elapsed in the first quarter, Hillside had accumulated a commanding 20-0 lead over the War Eagles.

The second quarter was much like the first, with Hillside moving the ball up and down the field on a defense that had yet to acclimate itself to the high octane Hornet offense. Davie didn’t help itself with a botched punt deep in its own end, giving Hillside the ball at the Davie 21. Three plays later and Hillside was in the end zone with a 28-0 lead. The War Eagles finally were able to mount a sustained drive in the second quarter, moving 47 yards in seven plays, but the drive stalled out on a failed fourth down conversion in Hillside territory. Hillside, showing they were not just a quick strike team, mounted their own drive, going 75 yards in eight plays and scoring another touchdown, this time an 11 yard run by Jamaal Williams. After forcing a three and out, the Hornet offense was back to work and moved methodically down the field with another episode of the Vad Lee show. Lee accounted for 42 of the 54 yards on the drive along with the 11 yard touchdown pass to Jarrell Jones.

Both teams came out in the second half with something to prove. Hillside wanted to win their first football title, while Davie wanted to show people they belonged in the title game. Most of the action in the third quarter consisted of both teams trading offensive drives and turnovers, resulting in no points.

The fourth quarter began with Davie trying desperately to maintain a full drive and scoring on the Hornet defense for the first time. Eating up the clock with a steady diet of Stephon Smoot runs, the War Eagles were able to make it into Hillside territory but were once again unable to convert on a fourth down play, giving the ball back to the Hornets. Hillside, not willing to sit on the ball, gave it back to Davie with an interception deep in Davie territory, working just as well as a punt. The game ended with Davie unable to score on Hillside in spite of making it all the way down to the Hornet 4 yard line.

Cheers of “I go to Hillside, H-H-S!” came from the band as the clock began to wind down. Gatorade streamed down coach Antonio King’s back as his team celebrated their first state championship in football. The large orange crowd on the Davie side thanked their War Eagles for a great season as they accepted the runner-up trophy at midfield. But, an enormous roar came from the Hillside faithful as the team was handed the championship trophy and banner during the postgame awards ceremony. Davie’s Alex Newman and Jacob Barber represented the War Eagles, winning the outstanding defensive and offensive players for the Western Regional champions. For the state champions, Ronald Thompson was outstanding defensive player and Jamaal Williams was the outstanding offensive player. The Wendy’s Most Valuable Player for the 4A championship was Hillside quarterback Vad Lee, who finished the day with 264 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Hillside 20 20 0 0 40
Davie 0 0 0 0 0

Scoring Summary
1st Quarter
9:39 Hillside – Aquez Willis 40 yard pass from Vad Lee (Vad Lee pass failed)
7:28 Hillside – Shawn Malloy 57 yard pass from Vad Lee (Jamaal Williams pass from Vad Lee)
5:52 Hillside – Ronald Thompson 30 yard interception return (F. Adujua kick failed)
2nd Quarter
10:01 Hillside – Jamaal Williams 32 yard run (D. Watson pass from Vad Lee)
2:50 Hillside – Jamaal Williams 11 yard run (F. Adujua kick failed)
0:33 Hillside – Jarrell Jones 11 yard pass from Vad Lee (Vad Lee pass failed)