Saturday, December 9, 2023

Reidsville Secures Record Setting NCHSAA 20th State Championship

RALEIGH – In a game between titans both looking for a return to championship glory, the Reidsville Rams emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle against the Clinton Dark Horses to claim the NCHSAA 2A State Championship. The Rams' explosive offense, coupled with a stalwart defense, propelled them to a 28-18 triumph that extended their NCHSAA-leading record of twenty state championships.

From the opening kickoff, the Rams set the tone for the evening, taking charge with a methodical drive culminating in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Al Lee to Dionte Neal. The Dark Horses responded with a 23-yard field goal from Sumner Brandt, signaling their intent to stay in contention.

The Rams, however, were undeterred. Quarterback Al Lee orchestrated a masterful 18-yard touchdown connection to Kendre Harrison, widening the gap to 14-3 before the end of the first quarter.

As the game progressed into the third quarter, Clinton rallied with a powerful 1-yard rushing touchdown from Amaris Williams, narrowing the Rams' lead to 14-10. Reidsville answered back swiftly, with Lee once again finding Harrison for a 24-yard touchdown reception, restoring the Rams' dominance at 21-10.

The climax of the game occurred in the fourth quarter when Al Lee delivered a 45-yard touchdown pass to Cam'ron Jones, securing a commanding lead for the Rams. Although Clinton fought back with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Nydarion Blackwell to Amaris Williams, the Rams' earlier surge proved insurmountable.

A standout moment in the game was a crucial onside kick by Nydarion Blackwell, reclaiming possession for Clinton. However, the Rams' defense stood firm, denying the Dark Horses an opportunity to capitalize on the turnover.

The game was not short on drama, with key plays punctuating the contest. Jariel Cobb's ground prowess for Reidsville, coupled with timely receptions from Neal, Harrison, and Jones, showcased the Rams' offensive diversity. On the defensive side, Aidan Mansfield's stellar performance, including nine total tackles, played a pivotal role in stifling the Dark Horses' advances.

Clinton's efforts were led by the dynamic duo of Robinson Josiah and Amaris Williams, who consistently found gaps in the Rams' defense. Despite their resilience, penalties and the Rams' formidable defense prevented Clinton from fully closing the scoring gap.

In the end, the Reidsville Rams hoisted the championship trophy, their 28-18 triumph a testament to their skill, teamwork, and unyielding determination. As the teams met at midfield for the trophy ceremony and the Reidsville faithful erupted in celebration, the Rams etched their names into the storied history of North Carolina high school football, savoring a well-deserved 2A state championship victory.