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Brandon Lee’s State Championship Preview

High School Football

North Carolina- Five triad area teams find themselves in a position to climb the pinnacle of high school football this weekend. 

For some it could be their first taste and for other programs it’s all to familiar. We’re going to examine the five squads representing from various areas of the triad, and get a peek at their oppnents from around the state. Sit back and buckle up because everything is on the line now!

Reidsville  (15-0,4-0) vs Northeastern (14-0,5-0)

The Young Rams are on the road to redemption in a battle of Titans

This program carries a championship standard and anything less is a disappointment, many thought this team would face a rebuild after some key departures, but Reidsville finds themselves in familiar territory playing for their 20th state title. They have proven capable of dominating all three aspects of the game, they score points on offense, defense, and special teams. Their speed has been hard to match up with all year long, on any given night one of the Rams skills players can absolutely break the game open. The Rams turned their youth into a strength, not only are they ready to win now, we’re more than likely going to see this bunch for years to come.

“To go back to states for the third time in a row means a lot. Many people may have doubted us from the beginning of the season since we were labeled as being a “young team”. “I believe we have proven them all wrong. I will put this team against anybody!” Sophomore athlete Breon Pass told SportsCarolinaMonthly.

                                            KEY PLAYERS

Travion Canada 1424 rushing yards 22 rushing, Td’s 6 receiving Td’s.

Breon Pass 583 total yards, 14 total touchdowns, 31 tackles, and 7 interceptions

Kyle Pinnix 1864 passing  yards, 33 passing Td’s to 5 interceptions, and 7 rushing Td’s 

Northeastern (14-0,5-0)- Tucked in the small town of Elizabeth City, the Eagles are another balanced unit on both sides of the ball. Offensively they ram the ball down their opponents throats with a bruising run game, behind a stout offensive line. These skill players are extremely physical and hard to bring down in the open field, defensively they hit hard and the Eagles cover a lot of ground quickly. On the tape Northeastern abuses opposing ball carriers, they all swarm to the ball like a pack of wolves. This defensive unit has held opponents to single digits in three of their four playoff games, including two shutouts.

                                                KEY PLAYERS

K . Welch 28 solo tackles, and 1 rushing touchdown.

K Freshwater 52 tackles, 15 sacks

East Surry (11-3,4-1) vs Tarboro (14-0,6-0)

East Surry (11-3,4-1), the underdog a whole community rallied behind

There weren’t many outside of Surry County that expected East Surry to still be playing ball to this point, but the Cardinals have relied on a tight knit brotherhood and the support of a faithful community to fuel them through the gauntlet. The Cardinals offense has caught fire the last three games, they’re averaging 48.6 points per game through the playoffs. The run included a 40-0 drubbing of rival Mt Airy, a team that previously defeated East Surry in the regular season. Tarboro will be the Cardinals toughest test on the season by far, this offense will be tested. 

“A win Saturday would shock everyone else in the world but East Surry football. We have said all week that “you didn’t make it here because you got lucky or because someone put you here. It’s because how hard you have worked and how much you trust each other on the field”. Our community is pumped up because of how long it has been since we have been in the position we are but we are bring everything we got Saturday and some.” East Surry quarterback Jeff Boaz told SportsCarolinaMonthly.

                                                  KEY PLAYERS

Jeff Boaz 1356 yards, 20 passing Td’s, to five interceptions.

Landon Stevens 774 receiving  and 5 Td’s.

Mitchell Edwards 440 rushing yards and nine total Td’s.

Tarboro (14-0,6-0) A program no one is surprised to see back at the pinnacle,for the ninth time Tarboro has outscored opponents 744-52 on the year including the playoffs. This is an absolute juggernaut Coach Jeff Craddock has on his hands, offensively the Vikings feature four running backs with over 800 yards on the year, defensively this unit has only given up 52 points all season. 

                                                  KEY PLAYERS

Jyron Albritton –  869 yards rushing.

Jaquez Edge –  890 yards rushing.

 Keon Caudle 928 rushing yards.

Clifton Joyner Jr  854 rushing yards.

East Forsyth (14-0, 5-0) vs Scotland County (9-5,4-3)

East Forsyth has soared over the hump into the big game

The Eagles have finally made it back to the state championship after several consecutive years on the brink to greatness, now they have a chance to capture that elusive state title for their dedicated fan base and loyal alums. This senior class has won a lot of games together over the years and up until this point this will be the biggest game of their careers. The Eagles will battle a Scotland County team (9-5,4-3), that’s been through adversity of their own this season, they have been on the ropes multiple times but no one has been able to deliver the knockout blow.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to compete Saturday night. Bringing home the Championship is our goal and it would mean the world to us because of just how much hard work these young men and Coaches have put into not just this season but for me 4 years and for Coach Willert and a few other coaches 16 years of commitment and hard work for the East Forsyth community. Not only that We have some of the greatest fans in the state and they deserve it as well.” East Forsyth Assistant Coach Aaron Beal told SportsCarolinaMontly. 

Ahmani Marshall junior- 1097 yards and 20 touchdowns .

Ty Lyles 2085 passing yards, 22 passing Td’s, 379 yards rushing, and 2 rushing Td’s .

Khalid Martin senior 39 tackles and 2 interceptions.

Scotland County (9-5,4-3), is back in states once again, it’s been an up and down season but this group has stayed strong and persevered. The Scots have had their backs to the ropes multiple times this year, and yet no one has been able to deliver the knockout blow. Scotland County is a physical group, they have a strong run game, and big time playmakers leading the defense at linebacker. 

                                                      KEY PLAYERS

 joseph McKov 1018 rushing yards, and 9 rushing Td’s

Mandrell Johnson 640 total yards, 11 total Td’s, 5 passing, and  6 rushing. 

Nick Callahan 45 solo tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions.

North Davidson (13-2, 8-1) Vs Shelby (12-3,5-0)

North Davidson (13-2,8-1)- One of the most balanced teams remaining the offense is currently averaging 35.5 points per game through the playoffs. The Black Knights also feature a stout defensive line that has a history of abusing opposing signal callers. The group is well aware of the competition, but the energy in the lockeroom is treating this game like the norm. 

“We’re laid back, we’re thinking about it of course but we don’t want it to affect our play because it is a big stage. We’ve watched Shelby, and watched what they can do. At the end of the day we’re just trying to stay laid back and just play football the way we have all season.” North Davidson senior wideout Themus Fulks told SportsCarolinaMonthly.

                                                      KEY PLAYERS

Themus fulks 89 receptions, 1211 yards, 16 Td’s, 14 receiving, 2 Td’s on punt returns, 1591 all purpose yards, and 4 interceptions.

Landon Moore , 2778  passing yards, 37 Td’s, and only 8 interceptions.

Blake Stephens 63 solo tackles and 15 sacks.

Shelby (12-3,5-0)- Shelby is playing for their 3rd title in four years, it’s been quite a run for these seniors. This program has a reputation of hard nosed disciplined football, they have athletes all over the field that have proven hard to contain. Shelby features one of the best passing games in the state, they have a quarterback that can really air the all out and spread it around to these playmakers at receiver. 

                                                 KEY PLAYERS

 Isaiah Bess 3820 passing yards, 37 passing Td’s,  only 11 interceptions.

Diavonni Daley 930 receiving yards 10 Tds

Donye Fuller 918 rushing yards 16 total Tds 14 rushing

Jaylon Scott (Nc State commit) 40 solo tackles, and 7 sacks

Southeast Guilford (14-1,6-0), vs Weddington (14-1,6-1)

Southeast Guilford will play for their first title  in program history and, their head coach Kennedy Tinsley is very familiar with Weddington. The Falcons have built their team to mirror  the Warriors style and standard. Coach Tinsley  after suffering a previous loss as an assistant to Weddington,  decided to take some notes right from the source in former Weddington Head Coach Tim Carson. Coach Tinsley has since helped build this program from the ground up, and now the Falcons find themselves in a position to make history. 

                                                  KEY PLAYERS

Ryan Douglas- 2178 yards, 14 passing Td’s, 855 rushing, with 4 rushing Td’s.

J. Fairley- 1133 rushing yards and 15 rushing Tds.

Adam Douglas 28 catches, 412 yards, and two Td’s.

Weddington (14-1,6-1)- This group is extremely disciplined, the Warriors will not beat themselves, and they will absolutely make the opposition pay for any mistakes. This group is going to come out aggressive, they have been here before, now playing for their second title in three years.


Listen to state title games on WSJS Sports hub on Saturday Dec 15th HERE

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