Thursday, December 7, 2023

NCHSAA 1A State Championship Preview: Mount Airy vs. Tarboro

This Saturday at 12 p.m., the NCHSAA 1A State Championship will see a thrilling face-off between Mount Airy High School and Tarboro High School at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Despite the 211 miles separating these schools, Chapel Hill proves to be an ideal meeting spot, being 113 miles from Mount Airy and 101 miles from Tarboro.

Last Week’s Highlights

In the 1A Regional Championships, Mount Airy, the West No. 2 Seed, traveled to No. 1 Seed Robbinsville and scored 13 unanswered points to claim a 27-16 win. This victory has given the Granite Bears the opportunity to defend their 2022 state championship. The Bears now hold a 5-6 record in Regional Finals since 1972.

On the other hand, East No. 1 Seed Tarboro defeated No. 2 Seed West Columbus 49-12 in the Regional Championship. Mason Satterfield and Caiden Everette were the stars of the match, with Satterfield running for three touchdowns and Everette rushing for 111 yards and two scores. The Vikings now have a 14-3 record in Regional Finals and have won an East Regional Championship for eight consecutive years.

Team Rankings, Records, & History

The two teams come into this week’s game having held the top two spots in the Carolina Gridiron Top 15 since the preseason rankings were announced. In the 2022 NCHSAA 1A state championship, Mount Airy defeated Tarboro with a score of 20-7. This victory marked Mount Airy’s eighth state title and their first since 2008. The win over Tarboro was the first championship chapter in Mount Airy’s history book in 14 years. Before that, Mount Airy’s last state championship came in 2008 in a 37-14 rout over Williamston in the 1A title. On the other hand, Tarboro has won nine state titles overall in school history (1965, 1984, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018, 2020-21, 2021).

Scoring Averages

Tarboro has an average score of 44.2 points per game, with most points scored in the first half. Mount Airy, on the other hand, has a higher average of 52.5 points per game, with a significant number of points also scored in the first half.

Team Stat Comparison

Both teams have unblemished records and impressive stats on both sides of the ball. Tarboro (13-0) scored a total of 575 points while conceding only 91 this season while Mount Airy (15-0) has amassed 788 points while only giving up 88 in quest to defend their title. Mount Airy leads in rushing yards per game (376.0), passing yards per game (56.0), and total yards per game (432.0). Tarboro, however, has a higher average of tackles per game (67.8) and sacks per game (1.5).

Team Leaders

Tarboro’s Mason Satterfield leads in rushing yards per game (87.1) and total yards per game (95.2), while Omarion Lewis leads in passing yards per game (26.9). Cam’ron Harper and Tyler Powell lead in tackles per game (8.1) and sacks per game (0.5) respectively.

For Mount Airy, Tyler Mason leads in rushing yards per game (138.7) and total yards per game (138.7), while Ian Gallimore leads in passing yards per game (41.4) and tackles per game (10.1). Deric Dandy leads in sacks per game (0.9).

Final Thoughts

With both teams undefeated this season and boasting impressive stats, this championship game promises to be a thrilling encounter. Will the Granite Bears successfully defend their title, or will the Vikings extend their winning streak in the East Regional Championship to the state level? Tune in this Saturday to find out!