2021 4A Football Championship | Cardinal Gibbons outlasts Chambers 14-2 for first State Championship
Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Final Stats (PDF)
RALEIGH, NC – Cardinal Gibbons struck first on a 34-yard pass when Connor Clark hit Maverick Shotwell on a beautiful back shoulder throw with 4:57 to go in the opening quarter. The touchdown broke the ice of a defensive slugfest and within minutes of the score going on the board, the heavens opened wide with buckets of sideways rain as a torrential downpour turned the field into a sloshy track and both teams had to battle 30-40 mile per hour winds.
The rain made the going slow for both teams, and Cardinal Gibbons early strike proved to be decisive, as the Crusaders held on to win the school’s first football State Championship 14-2 over the two-time defending state champions from Julius Chambers. Shotwell hauled in another back shoulder throw in the third, scoring from 74 yards out on that play, posting the only two touchdowns of the game on his way to being name the game’s Most Valuable Player.
The critical moments in the second quarter, with the game in the balance, saw Chambers’ running back Daylan Smothers break a 56-yard run with just under 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. He was tracked down by Blake Raphael, saving a touchdown and preserving a 7-0 Gibbons lead. Smothers was the Most Outstanding Offensive Performer for the Cougars. The momentum for Chambers was short-lived, however, as they fumbled the snap on the next play and the Crusaders recovered.
After an unsuccessful possession, the long snap to the Gibbons punter, Ethan Hastings, skipped along the ground and got past him, skidding along the Crusader end line with 7:28 to go in the second half. Hastings coolly booted the ball out the back of the endzone for a safety as several Cougars defenders neared the ball. Hastings’ decision saved a potential touchdown for Chambers and kept the Crusaders in front 7-2.
Julius Chambers finished the season 14-2 this year. The Cougars finished second in the Queen City 3A/4A with a record of 5-1. The Cougars won their fourth straight Western Regional Championship, appearing in their fourth State Championship Game all time.
Cardinal Gibbons wrapped up the season 14-2. The Crusaders were 5-0 as the champions of the CAP 6 4A. The Crusaders won their third straight Eastern Regional Championship and won their first State Championship.
The Crusader defense came up big numerous times, led by Will Mason who had eight tackles to lead Cardinal Gibbons. Mason was selected as the Crusaders’ Most Outstanding Defensive Performer. The Chambers defense was equally stingy, only allowing the two big passing plays to Shotwell. The Cougars were led by Chris Chalk who had nine tackles in the game to lead all players. He was selected as the Cougars Most Outstanding Defensive Performer.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with NC Farm Bureau to recognize two individuals from each state championship who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout the year. The NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 4A Football Championships were Jonathan Ward from Cardinal Gibbons and Zarion Jackson-Bass from Julius Chambers.
2021 2A Football Championship | Shelby downs Wallace-Rose Hill 55-34 behind Lee’s five TD passes
Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Final Stats (PDF)
RALEIGH, NC – After a back-and-forth first half, the Shelby passing attack on the arm of Daylin Lee who tossed five touchdown passes in the game, lifting the Golden Lions to a 55-34 victory over Wallace-Rose Hill in the 2A State Championship Game. Lee finished the game with 313 yards through the air and completed 20-26 passes and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as Shelby won their 12th NCHSAA State Championship.
After a week-long COVID scare that saw four Bulldogs players unable to make the trip due to positive tests, Wallace-Rose Hill jumped on the board first as the state’s leading rusher, Kanye Roberts, sprinted 56-yards for a score just two minutes into the game. Roberts carried the ball 26 times for 253 yards and five touchdowns as he was selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Performer for Wallace-Rose Hill.
Shelby answered Roberts’ opening salvo with a score of their own when Lee found Izay Bridges for a 22-yard score just a minute and a half later to tie the game. Later in the quarter the Lions marched 10 plays and 80 yards to score on a nine-yard strike to Demetrius Thompson to go up 14-7.
Roberts found paydirt twice in short order to start the second quarter, pushing the Bulldogs back in front 21-14 on touchdown runs of 2 and 27 yards, respectively. Shelby struck right back with a pair of scores of their own to surge in front 28-21 with 1:29 to go. Marquis Adams ran for a two-yard score, one of three touchdowns for Adams on his 42 yard night that earned him Most Outstanding Offensive Performer honors for Shelby. Lee added the second of those two scores with just 1:29 to go in the half, finding Ja’Keith Hamilton for a 16-yard score.
Despite the late score for Shelby, the first half fireworks were not done. Roberts ripped off a 35-yard run that ripped through the Golden Lion defense and came a point shy of tying the game at 28 after a missed kick by the Bulldogs with just 15 seconds left in the half. Even with little time remaining to mount a drive, the Lions slipped a pass from Lee to Bridges for a 56-yard score with just four seconds to go in the half and put Shelby up 34-27 at the break.
Shelby came out swinging in the third quarter as Adams went to work, accounting for three straight Shelby touchdowns. His first score came on a 42-yard pass from Lee just over a minute into the second half. He tacked on the next two touchdowns on the ground, cashing in from three and 32 yards out to put the Lions in front comfortably 55-27.
The Golden Lion defense was led by Malaki Hamrick. Hamrick was a rock in the Lion defense, racking up 14 tackles to lead the team and adding a sack in the game. He was selected as Shelby’s Most Outstanding Defensive Performer. The Bulldog defense was powered by Antwon Montgomery who accounted for a team-leading 8 tackles and was chosen as the Most Outstanding Defensive Performer for Wallace-Rose Hill.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with NC Farm Bureau to recognize two individuals from each state championship who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout the year. The NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 2A Football Championships were Oscar Iraheta from Wallace-Rose Hill and Luke Williams from Shelby.
2021 1A Football Championship | Tarboro rolls by Mitchell 28-7
Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Final Stats (PDF)
CHAPEL HILL, NC – Tarboro collected their second straight State Championship and eighth in program history rushing by Mitchell 28-7 to win the 1A State Championship. The Vikings got a pair of touchdowns and 132 yards rushing from Tobias Joyner who was named the 1A State Championship Game Most Valuable Player.
Trevon White also rushed for a pair of scores for the Vikings, scoring twice on 20 carries and 78 yards on his way to being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Performer for Tarboro. White opened the scoring on a three-yard touchdown run to cap off an 8-play, 51-yard drive with just 49 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Mitchell answered early in quarter two when Ty Turbyfill threw a jump pass to a wide open Gage Young in the left side of the endzone for an 8-yard score. Turbyfill’s toss tied the game at 7 with 9:23 to go in the half, and helped cement his selection as Most Outstanding Offensive Performer for the Mountaineers. He finished the game with 101 yards rushing on 30 carries and threw for 62 yards on 5-11 passing.
Tarboro threw a haymaker late in the first half as they Vikings capitalized on a short punt and short field. The Vikings marched 8 plays and 30 yards to cash in on a one yard touchdown run by White with just six seconds to play in the half. With White’s two TD’s in the bag, Tarboro went into the locker room up 14-7.
The Vikings turned to Joyner in the second half, and he took a handoff 35 yards to end Tarboro’s first drive of the second half with a touchdown and a 21-7 lead just 2:02 into the third quarter. Joyner iced the game late as he sprinted 38 yards to paydirt with 2:12 to go in the game, pushing the Tarboro lead to 28-7.
The Mitchell defense stood up firm against the Viking ground game, holding the vaunted Tarboro “T” to just 243 yards on 50 carries. Enrique Huaroco was selected as the Most Outstanding Defensive Performer for the Mountaineers, leading the team with 11 tackles and forcing a fumble in the game. Tarboro’s defensive efforts were led by Treheem Daniels with 14 tackles, including one for loss, as he was selected as the Most Outstanding Defensive Performer for the Vikings.
Mitchell finished the season 13-3. The Mountaineers were 6-0 as the champions of the Western Highlands 1A/2A. Mitchell won the school’s second Western Regional Championship and appeared in the State Championship for the second time in school history.
Tarboro wrapped up the year 14-1 rebounding from a week one loss to Rocky Mount to win 14 straight games. The Vikings were 5-0 in conference play, winning the Four Rivers 1A. The Vikings won the program’s 8th state title and appeared in the State Championship Game for the 12th time in school history. The Vikings have won State Championships in four of the last five seasons.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with NC Farm Bureau to recognize two individuals from each state championship who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout the year. The NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 1A Football Championships were Amari Battle from Tarboro and Xander Gardner from Mitchell.
2021 3A Football Championship | Dudley blasts J.H. Rose 69-40
Friday, December 10, 2021 | Final Stats (PDF)
CHAPEL HILL, NC – In the highest scoring neutral site State Championship Game in history, the Dudley Panthers blasted J.H. Rose 69-40 to win the school’s seventh Football State Championship and fifth title in NCHSAA play. The Panthers were led by quarterback Jahmier Slade who rushed for 98 yards and three touchdowns and throwing for two more with 115 yards passing on his way to winning MVP honors for the game.
Dudley scored the most points of any single team in a neutral site State Championship Game (most since 1989). The Panthers 69 points clipped the mark of 68 set by Reidsville in the 2003 2AA State Championship Game against Bandys. The two teams combined for the most points in a neutral site state championship game, eclipsing the record of 98 set by Western Alamance and North Gaston in the 2007 3A State Title Game. Dudley’s 42 first-half points tied the most points in a single half, a record held by three other teams: 2003 Reidsville, 2012 Butler, & 2015 Mallard Creek.
The Panthers rushed out to a 21-0 lead just 5:41 into the game. R.J. Baker opened the scoring running for a three-yard touchdown to capitalize on a short field for Dudley. The defense got into the act on the next series when heavy pressure forced an errant throw that found its way into the hands of Jaylan Richmond who returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to go up 14-0. Logan Wright was a force on the defensive line for the Panthers all night, generating pressure in the Rampant backfield and making 8 tackles in the game. He was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for Dudley.
After stopping Rose quickly, Michael Shaw took the first play of the next Dudley possession and ripped off a 76-yard score to go up 21-0. Shaw finished the game with 12 carries for 191 yards and a score as he was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Performer for the Panthers.
Just when things looked the worst for the Rampants, the Rose offense came to life as quarterback Will Taylor engineered an 8-play, 67-yard drive and found Jayden Grimes on a 13-yard crossing route to put the Rampants on the scoreboard. Grimes finished the night with Most Outstanding Offensive Performer honors for the Rampants, hauling in 9 passes for 150 yards and two scores. On the ensuing Panther possession, Jameer Roach picked off Slade and took it 59 yards to the house to trim the Dudley lead to 21-14 with less than a minute to go in the opening quarter.
Dudley answered on their next possession to stop the momentum, marching 7 plays and 65 yards to score. Slade eluded multiple defenders and scrambled 24 yards to the endzone to cap the drive. After the Rampants cashed in a special teams miscue by Dudley on a 6-yard run by Klavon Brown, Dudley rolled off the next 22 points to seal the victory.
For J.H. Rose, Brown was selected as the Most Outstanding Defensive Performer for J.H. Rose, massing 7 tackles and four for loss while forcing a fumble. He also rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries with a pair of scores in the game.
After starting the season 0-3, J.H. Rose finished the year 11-5. They were 5-1 in the Big Carolina 3A/4A Conference and won the Eastern Regional Championship for the eighth time in program history. They reached the State Championship for the first time since 2015.
Dudley wrapped up the season 15-1. The Panthers were 7-0 as the Champions of the Mid-State 3A. Dudley reached the NCHSAA State Championship Game for the seventh time in program history and won their 5th NCHSAA State Title to bring their program’s State Championship total to seven including the two NCHSAC Championships the Panthers won prior to integration.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with NC Farm Bureau to recognize two individuals from each state championship who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout the year. The NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 3A Football Championships were Owen Boyd from J.H. Rose and Jonathan Neal from Dudley.