Connect with us


NCHSAA: Reidsville Outlasts Clinton for 10th State Title Since 1972, 28-18

RALEIGH — Hungry for redemption after their loss in the 2022 championship game, the Reidsville Rams overcame the undefeated Clinton Dark Horses in a resounding 28-18 victory. Reidsville walked away with its 10th NCHSAA Football State Championship since 1972 at Carter-Finley Stadium on the campus North Carolina State University on Saturday afternoon.

In their first possession of the game, the Rams started strong with a pass from Al Lee to Dionte Neil to take the lead 7-0 after an 8-play, 65-yard drive. Undeterred, Clinton’s Josiah Robinson rushed 60 yards on the team’s first play after the touchdown but the drive ended in a 26-yard field goal from Brandt Sumner.

The Rams were able to cap off a five-play, 62-yard drive with an 18-yard pass from Lee to Kendre Harrison to up their lead 14-3 heading into the second quarter. 

Harnessing their pass defense, the Dark Horses were able to halt the Ram’s momentum for the entirety of the second quarter. Jeffrey Arnette had a crucial pass disruption on 4th & 7 in the last moments of the first half. 

Clinton’s Ameris Williams capped a steady 7-play, 53-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Four minutes later, Reidsville’s Harrison received a 24-yard pass from Lee to end the third quarter with a 21-10 lead for the Rams. MVP Al Lee ended the night with 258 yards passing and four touchdowns.

Reidsville opened the fourth quarter with another score to propel the Rams to a 28-10 lead. Lee hurled a 45-yard pass to Cam’ron Jones in the end zone. Working quickly, Clinton was able to respond with a 17-yard pass from Nydarion Blackwell to Williams. Williams added a 2-point conversion but the Rams were able to hold their 28-18 lead until the clock hit zero. 

Reidsville finished the season with a 15-1 record. This was Reidsville’s 30th appearance in the final game of the season since their first in 1930. The Ram’s are 23-7-2 in those games and they were state runners-up in 2022.

Clinton finished the season with a 15-1 record. This was Clinton’s 11th appearance in the state finals, having a 5-6 record in their championship appearances ever since their first in 1976. Their most recent appearance was as runner-up in 2014.

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to recognize two athletes from each State Championship event with the NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Awards. The Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2023 2A Football State Championship Match were Grayson Robinson from Reidsville and Javion Kenan from Clinton.

In tandem with the Carolina Panthers, the NCHSAA is proud to present Offensive and Defensive Most Valued Player awards to two players from each team. From Reidsville, Kendre Harrison won Offensive MVP, and Paul Widerman won Defensive MVP. Harrison had 95 receiving yards along with six total tackles, while Widerman finished the game with six tackles and a TFL (1-17 yards). From Clinton, Josiah Robinson won Offensive MVP, and Jayden Williams won Defensive MVP. Robinson finished the game with 110 rushing yards, while Williams finished the game with 12 tackles.

— Allison Schuldt






NFL/Carolina Panthers


More in Prep