Friday, December 9, 2022

New Bern Rushes Past Grimsley for 4A Title

CHAPEL HILL – New Bern and Grimsley came into Friday night’s game with matching 15-0 records. The vaunted New Bern offense showed up at Kenan Stadium sporting three different thousand-yard yard rushers and looked to power their way to another title on the ground. The Bears were successful in this quest, rushing for 394 yards and never attempting a pass on their way to a 40-28 win to clinch the 4A state championship.

New Bern struck first with a six-play, sixty-four-yard drive, all on the ground. Senior running back Chamir Wright capped off the drive with a twenty-two tard scamper around the left side of the line. The Bears looked to try and put the game away early after No’Tavien Green wrestled a pass from a Grimsley receiver and returned the interception into Whirlies territory. Aronne Herring punched it in five plays later to give New Bern a 13-0 lead.

A ninety-eight-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Terrell Anderson got the Grimsley on their feet and the Whirlies defense stepped up on the next drive, stopping the Bears for the first time on the evening. A five-play, fifty-one-yard drive, finished off with a thirty-yard Ryan Stephens rushing touchdown gave the Whirlies their first lead of the night. The lead was short-lived, though, as New Bern’s Chamir Wright found the end zone a second time, and the New Bern defense held on a fourth down to end the half.

After forcing a three-and-out to start the second half, Aronne Herring exploded on the next play, racing sixty-six yards for the score. Just like the first half, when it looked like New Bern was poised to take a three-score lead, the Grimsley defense stepped up again, forcing a fumble on a fourth down and returning into New Bern territory. Mitchell Summers’s six-yard score made it a one-score game going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter began with a bang as New Bern quarterback Damaree Tucker ran the option keeper for a twenty-three-yard touchdown. In what seemed to be a pattern on the evening, the Bears were knocking on the door for a score again, but the Grimsley defense stuffed New Bern at the one-yard line. The Whirlies were ninety-nine yards away from the end zone, but undeterred. When Terrell Anderson got behind the New Bern defense and hauled in the Ryan Stephens pass, the junior receiver raced eighty-five yards for the score, keeping the Whirlies fans on the edge of their seats. New Bern had the final say, a thirty-six-yard score by Bears quarterback Tucker, his second of the night.

MVP – No'Tavien Green

Grimsley Def. MOP – Keshaun Jones

Grimsley Off. MOP – #22 Mitchell Summers

New Bern Def. MOP – KJ Sampson

New Bern Off. MOP – Aronne Herring