WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Thomas Lempereur booted three field goals to make the difference for South Point in a 16-7 victory over Rocky Mount, winning the 3A State Championship and claiming the school’s fifth football state championship. The victory for the Red Raiders avenged an overtime loss in last year’s 3A State Championship to Rocky Mount.
South Point opened the scoring as Lempereur converted a 29-yard field goal to break the ice with 3:32 to go in the opening quarter. It took the remainder of the half for either team to break through again as Rocky Mount got a 25-yard touchdown pass from Shabios Lynch to Shyheim Battle with just eight seconds remaining in the half to pick up a 7-3 lead at the break.
Lempereur drew the Red Raiders within one as he knocked a 36-yard field goal through with 8:16 remaining in the third, making the score 7-6. The Red Raider defense then forced a fumble which Tanner Canterberry recovered at the Gryphon 23 yardline.
The Red Raiders cashed in six plays later as quarterback Scottie Lee found Ray Grier from seven yards out for a score with 4:39 to go in the third quarter giving South Point a 13-7 lead.
Defenses controlled the remainder of the game as the only score came off of a 25-yard Lempereur field goal with 3:06 to play. South Point’s defense was dominant on the day holding the Gryphon offense to just 118 yards of total offense while forcing a fumble and an interception on the game.
Rocky Mount completed the season 13-3, finishing second in the Big East 3A Conference behind Southern Nash, a team they knocked out of the playoffs in the second round. The Gryphons made the school’s seventh appearance in an NCHSAA Football Championship all-time.
South Point’s Jake Alexander was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as he rushed for 135 yards on 28 carries. The Red Raiders finished the season 12-4, second place in the Big South 2A/3A Conference. South Point claimed the school’s fourth state title all time in five appearances.