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CHAPEL HILL—James Hopper rambled for 192 yards rushing and scored all four of his team’s touchdowns to lead Seventy-First to a 28-7 victory over Douglas Byrd in a battle of Fayetteville schools in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A football championship game at Kenan Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Hopper, the Wendy’s Most Valuable Player for the game, helped veteran coach Bob Paroli to earn his first state championship.
Byrd had cut a 14-0 halftime deficit to 14-7 when Malcolm Rowe capped a 55-yard, 11-play drive on a six-yard scoring run with 3:46 to go in the third quarter. But Hopper scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game away.
Rowe led Byrd with 53 yards rushing in 13 tries, but completed just four of 21 passes and had three picked off. Seventy-First did not complete a pass on the day.
The Falcons finished with a 14-2 mark while Douglas Byrd wound up 12-4 overall. The two had met during the regular season in a Mid-Southeastern Conference game with Seventy-First coming out on top 27-14.
REIDSVILLE DOWNS EAST LINCOLN FOR 2-AA CROWN
RALEIGH – Reidsville won its 32nd consecutive game and earned its second straight North Carolina High School Athletic Association state football championship as the Rams downed East Lincoln 24-7 in the 2-AA title game at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams completed a perfect 16-0 season in a defensive oriented contest. In fact, the Wendy’s Most Valuable Player was Reidsville defensive lineman Damien Lee, who was on a total of 10 tackles.
Reidsville led 14-7 at the half, added a field goal and then Mike Stacey ran in a fumble recovery for a touchdown to put the game away.
East Lincoln quarterback Josh Wilson led the way for the Mustangs (14-2), rushing for 76 yards and completing 10 of 25 passes for 171 yards. E.J. Foster led Reidsville’s rushers with 59 yards.
WEST ROWAN CRUISES PAST WEST CRAVEN 35-7 FOR 3-A CHAMPIONSHIP
WINSTON-SALEM -- West Rowan completed its best season in school history as the Falcons cruised by previously unbeaten West Craven 35-7 to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A football championship at BB&T Field on Saturday afternoon.
Kevin Parks rushed for 219 yards on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the way for West Rowan, which got off to a great start when he burst 81 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The winners rolled up 327 yards rushing on the day.
West Craven quarterback Brian Mooring completed 25 of 47 passes for 224 yards and a score but was intercepted four times.
West Rowan won its 14th straight game to finish at 15-1 overall, with its only loss to 4-A Davie County. West Craven ended the year at 15-1 after 15 consecutive victories.
DUDLEY WINS SECOND STRAIGHT TITLE, BEATS KANNAPOLIS BROWN IN 3-AA BATTLE
WINSTON-SALEM -- Ricky Lewis rushed for 160 yards and J.R. Peterson ran for 147 more in a potent rushing attack as the Panthers of Dudley defeated Kannapolis A.L. Brown 34-18 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-AA football championship at BB&T Field on Saturday.
Lewis was named the Wendy’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year and scored two touchdowns while Peterson also scored twice. Dudley rambled for 355 yards on the ground and a strong Panther defense limited Brown to just 32 net yards rushing.
The Panthers led just 8-6 after one quarter and then reeled off 28 unanswered points to carry a 34-6 advantage into the final period.
Dudley won its 21st consecutive game and captured its second straight NCHSAA title. The Panthers were in the finals for the fourth time in the last seven years. Brown ended 13-3.
MOUNT AIRY STORMS BACK TO WIN 1-A CHAMPIONSHIP OVER WILLIAMSTON
RALEIGH — Mount Airy stormed back from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Williamston 37-14 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-A football championship at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.
Aaron Wheeler rushed for a touchdown and passed for another score Saturday, earning the Wendhy’s Most Valuable Player award as the Granite Bears completed a perfect 16-0 record and won their first state championship in 60 years.
Wheeler completed 9 of 15 passes for 124 yards and rushed 12 times for 101 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that put Mount Airy ahead 17-14.
Emery Griggs had thrown two TD passes to Kareem Bell to give Williamston the early lead. However, the Tigers managed just 50 of their 145 yards of total offense in the final three quarters.
Williamston ended the season 10-6 overall.
THOMASVILLE RUNS PAST EAST BLADEN FOR 1-AA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
RALEIGH – John Hinson-Brady ran for 144 yards and three touchdowns as Thomasville sprinted to a 42-13 victory over East Bladen in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-AA football championship on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Hinson-Brady was named the Wendy’s Most Valuable Player of the championship as he helped the Bulldogs jump to a 21-0 lead.
D.J. McLendon added nine receptions for 179 yards and two scores for Thomasville, while Chris Brooks completed 10 of 12 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
East Bladen closed to 21-13 early in the third quarter after a 57-yard touchdown run and an 18-yard touchdown catch, both by James Hatcher, before Thomasville took control.
Thomasville earned its seventh NCHSAA football championship in 10 trips to the final game and fourth title in the last five years. The Bulldogs finished 16-0 while East Bladen, in its first championship game since 1973, ended 14-2.