(Notes, minutiae and other tidbits of information about the eight games of the 98th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state football championships on December 2-3, 2011
• TELEVISION: All eight of the NCHSAA state football championship games are now available on Time Warner Cable systems across the state. Time Warner digital subscribers may go to channel 199 or 1047 to download any of the games for free and watch them at their convenience. The games are available on Carolina On Demand on Time Warner Cable systems across the state.
Time Warner actually pulled off something that had not been done before for high school sports in North Carolina. TWC a telecast all 8 NCHSAA football championship games live, either on Time Warner Cable on a special events channel or on News 14 Carolina. In addition, all eight games were streamed live on news14.com.
• OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES: Todd Gurley II of Tarboro was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2-A championship game at Carter-Finley Stadium as the Vikings outscored Lincolnton 39-36 in one of the wildest title games in recent memory. Gurley carried the ball 21 times for 242 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Tarboro to the title. That is the seventh best individual rushing performance in the almost 25 years of NCHSAA championships at neutral sites.
Running back T.J. Logan of Northern Guilford also had a big day in leading the Nighthawks to their second consecutive 3-AA crown over Crest, this time by a 31-7 count at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. Logan had 204 yards rushing in 29 carries and rushed for four touchdowns and also caught a team-leading four passes for 39 yards, including a 19-yard TD pass from quarterback Daniel Downing.
Quarterback James Summers of Page helped propel his Pirates to a 35-21 victory over Garner in the 4-AA final at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. Summers ran for 116 yards in 14 attempts, including a long run of 55 yards, and completed 11 of 16 passes for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Juwan Moye of Garner had an excellent game in a losing effort, with 139 yards on the ground and two touchdowns and he also caught four passes for 66 yards.
Kwashaun Quick of Scotland paced the Fighting Scots to their 42-16 win over Porter Ridge in the 4-A championship game as Scotland scored 35 second-half points. Quick earned the 4-A MVP by completing nine of 15 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 52 yards in eight carries.
• EAST/WEST DEADLOCK: For the second year in a row the state championships were evenly split between Eastern and Western champions, with each side earning four titles. The West representative won the 1-A, 1-AA, 2-AA and 4-AA titles this year while the East took the crowns in 2-A, 3-A, 3-AA, and 4-A. The West representative won five of the eight state football championships in 2009, while in 2008 the West team won six of eight. 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.
• FROM THE SAME CONFERENCE: Murphy and Swain County made it two state champions from the same conference with their performances over the weekend. Murphy downed Jones Senior 21-6 in the 1-A final and Swain County upended Ayden-Grifton 20-14 for the 1-AA championship, giving the Smoky Mountain Conference two state football crowns.
Swain won its eighth NCHSAA football title in 10 championship appearances while Murphy upped its championship game record to 6-2 in its eight appearances.
That’s the fourth time in the last 10 years two teams from the same conference have earned state titles. In 2008, Fayetteville Seventy-First won the 4-A and Richmond Senior took the 4-AA titles in 2008, both from the Mid-Southeastern Conference; Western Alamance captured the 3-A and Greensboro Dudley took the 3-AA gridiron titles in 2007, both from the Triad Conference; and Burlington Cummings took the 2-A state title and Reidsville the 2-AA from the North State Conference.
• SPONSOR: For the seventh 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 knit 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.
In addition, NCHSAA corporate partner UnderArmour provided the championship teams with commemorative T-shirts.
• PERFECT: A total of four football teams out of the entire NCHSAA membership finished the season undefeated: Havelock, West Stokes, Scotland and Greensboro Page.
• SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Another special award was presented at halftime of the 1-AA championship in Raleigh, based on performances from an event held in November in the Capital City.
The Carolina Cup goes to the varsity-level team that earns the highest cumulative score in the NCHSAA invitational cheerleading championships, regardless of the division in which it competes. Cheer, Ltd., an NCHSAA corporate partner, established the Carolina Cup in 2005 to recognize annually the top high school varsity cheerleading team in the state. This year the winner of the Cup was Cardinal Gibbons High School of Raleigh, which won the large varsity division this year and its score of 130.75 was the highest in the event.
Scotty Marshburn of Cheer, Ltd, and NCHSAA vice president Dr. Stewart Hobbs, superintendent of the Yadkin County schools, presented the 2011 Cup to coach Jennifer Marks and the cheerleaders at Cardinal Gibbons.
• LOTS OF RADIO: a total of 21 different play-by-play originations were done by radio stations at the eight NCHSAA championship games.