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(Notes, minutiae and other tidbits of information about the eight games of the 96th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state football championships on December 11-12, 2009
• OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: A couple of players put up some big numbers with great individual performances in the NCHSAA football championships.
Quarterback Tyrell Houghton of Reidsville completed 16 of 24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns and ran 13 times for 49 to lead Reidsville past Newton-Conover 28-6 at Kenan Stadium in the 2-AA championship game. Houston was named the Wendy's Most Valuable Player for his efforts.
Kevin Parks of West Rowan was limited to a season low 154 yards (how is that for a season low?) as he was the Wendy's MVP as the Falcons downed Eastern Alamance 28-21 for the 3-A title at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Parks, the NCHSAA's all-time leading rusher, unofficially ended his career with an amazing 10,911 career rushing yards, shattering Toney Baker of Jamestown Ragsdale's previous mark as the only two running backs ever to best the 10,000-yard barrier. Parks finished the season with a single-season state record of 3,794 rushing yards and will further his career at the University of Virginia.
In terms of durability, Aaron Crumbley of Belmont South Point demonstrated it in the Red Raiders' 42-28 victory over South Johnston in the 3-AA championship contest. Crumbley, the Wendy's MVP in that one, carried a whopping 38 times for 122 yards and five touchdowns in the victory.
• DOMINATING THE BALL: South Point had a huge edge in time of possession in its game with South Johnston for the 3-AA crown, keeping the ball away from the Trojans' high powered offense. The Red Raiders ran a whopping 82 plays-- the most ever in the 20-year neutral site history--and held the football for an amazing 33:47 to 14:11 for South Johnston. In the second half, South Point owned the ball for a whopping 18:24 to just 5:36 for South Johnston.
• ANOTHER 3000 YARD RUSHER: Casey Randolph of Mountain Heritage carried the ball 30 times for 106 yards as his team fell to Tarboro in the 2-A championship game at Kenan Stadium. That gave Randolph a total for the season of 3,055 yards. Mountain Heritage enjoyed its best year ever, finishing as state runners-up and 13-3 overall.
• TELEVISION: All eight of the NCHSAA state football championship games are now available on Time Warner Cable systems across these state. Time Warner digital subscribers may go to channel 1234 to download any of the games for free and watch them at their convenience. The NCHSAA volleyball championships from earlier in the fall are also available for viewing.
The Jack Britt-David Butler game was televised live across the state on Time Warner Cable systems.
• LONG PLAY: A.J. Little of Albemarle broke loose for a 94-yard scoring run in the Bulldogs' 45-21 victory over Southwest Onslow in the 1-AA title game at BB&T field. That tied the longest scoring run of scrimmage in the 20-year history of the NCHSAA championships at neutral sites. In 2004, Bryan Haywood of Southside rambled 94 yards against Swain County.
• WEST WINS THIS TIME: The West representative won five of the eight state football championships this year, with Wallace-Rose Hill, Tarboro and Reidsville winning from the Eastern side of the brackets in their respective classifications. Last year the West team won six of eight and in 2007 it was the East having tremendous success, winning seven of the eight titles. Only Lincolnton, the 2-A West representative, broke through for the Western squads by winning the 2-A title 28-14 over previously undefeated South Columbus in 2007.
• IMPRESSIVE STATS: David Butler quarterback Christian LeMay had a big game in leading the Bulldogs to their initial NCHSAA football title as Butler downed Fayetteville Jack Britt 48-17 at Carter-Finley Stadium in a game that was tied at 17-all late in the first half. LeMay connected on 17 of 26 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the state final, earning the Wendy's Most Valuable Player honor giving him a total of 3,296 yards passing on the season. Perhaps more impressive, however, is that LeMay fired 44 touchdown passes on the year and had only two (2!) intercepted.
• WILD GAME: Perhaps the wildest game of the championship weekend was the 1-A championship that went into overtime as Wallace-Rose Hill upended previously unbeaten and defending state champion Mount Airy 38-37 at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. In OT from the 10-yard line after a 30-30 deadlock in regulation, Mount Airy went first and scored and kicked the extra point to go up 37-30. Wallace then got the ball, scored on a fourth-down one-yard run by Dawan McKenzie, and then elected to go for two and Omar Carr ran it in to end the game. Wallace-Rose Hill converted on three of five fourth down conversions while Mount Airy had an impressive 10 for 15 in the third down conversion category.
• TITLE SPONSOR: For the fifth year in a row, BB&T served as the title sponsor of the NCHSAA football championship. Every player on each winning team received a special commemorative hat and all of the schools in the championships were supplied with championship helmet stickers for the game. Representatives of BB&T were on hand at each title game to assist in the awards ceremonies.
• FAMILIAR WITH CHAMPIONSHIPS: Reidsville has had a remarkable program through the years, as the Rams played in a amazing 20th state championship football game all-time and now have earned 15 championships: 1930, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1943 (co-champs), 1945, 1950, 1954, 2002, 2003, 2007 2008 and 2009. In addition, Reidsville captured three regional titles (1963, 69, ’70) when there was no overall state championship and the furthest a team could go was to the regional championship game.
• PERFECT: A total of four football teams out of the entire NCHSAA membership finished the season undefeated: Albemarle, Reidsville, West Rowan and Matthews David Butler. Reidsville is working on a 48-game winning streak, tied for the third longest all-time in NCHSAA history.
• LOTS OF RADIO: a total of 19 different play-by-play originations were done by radio stations at the eight NCHSAA championship games.