State Finals Matchups
4AA: Wake Forest (12-3) vs. Mallard Creek (15-0), Sat, 7 p.m., Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh
Wake Forest is back in the finals for the second time in four years. It lost 44-0 to Butler in 2010. Over the past two seasons, the Cougars are 23-4. Wake Forest was a No. 12 seed in the 4AA East and is the lowest seed to qualify for a championship since the N.C. High School Athletic Association began sub-dividing the playoffs. Tailback Bryce Love, nursing a hamstring injury, is nearing 2,000 yards for the season. On defense, Wake Forest has held 10 opponents to fewer than 150 yards. Mallard Creek is in the finals for the first time. This was Mallard Creeks fifth playoff appearance. Two other postseason appearances ended in the state semifinals. Mallard Creek is averaging 54 points per game in the playoffs.
3AA: Southern Durham (13-2) vs. Crest (14-1), Sat, 7 p.m., BB&T Field, Winston-Salem
Southern Durham is in the finals for the first time, led by junior quarterback Kendall Hinton, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000. Receiver Maurice Trowell is a 2013 Shrine Bowl pick. Crest is in the state finals for the eighth time in school history and is seeking its fifth state title. Cornerback Omar Brooks, who led the team in tackles, was the South Mountain Athletic conference player of the year on defense. Crest running back Jalin Moore was the league offensive player of the year. Crest has won 14 straight games.
3A: Concord (15-0) vs. Havelock (15-0), Sat, 11 a.m., Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh
Concord has played football for 98 years and makes its fifth trip to the finals. Havelock beat Concord 55-21 in the finals last season. This year, Concord is led by 3,000-yard rusher Rocky Reid and linebacker Jerry Burk, who has 25 tackles for a loss. The Spiders have equaled school records for wins and consecutive wins. Havelock has won 29 straight games, led by running back Darrell Scott, who is nearing 2,000 yards for the season. Quarterback Travis Sabdo has thrown for more than 2,200 yards. On defense, Havelock has held 10 opponents to seven points or less, including seven shutouts.
2AA High Point Andrews (13-1) vs. Monroe (13-2), Fri, 7:30 p.m., Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
Andrews has won 13 straight since a 27-7 loss to High Point Central to start the season. The Red Raiders are in the finals for the fifth time and are 3-1 in previous finals trips. Running backs Marquell Cartwright and Rontel Wilkes lead the team. Cartwright has more than 2,000 yards rushing; Wilkes has more than 1,400. Andrews average margin of victory in its win streak is 41 points. Monroe has not lost to a 2A team this season, dropping games to 3A Weddington and N.C. Division I private school state champion Charlotte Christian. The Redhawks are led by lineman DeQuavis Allen, the Rocky River Defensive Player of the Year, Wake Forest commit Jaylan Barbour, a receiver, and Shrine Bowl pick Treshun Wynn, a receiver, running back and cornerback.
2A Shelby (11-4) vs. Southwest Onslow (12-3), Sat, 11a.m., Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
Southwest Onslow is in the championship for the seventh time and hunts its fifth title. The team has rushed for more than 4,000 yards. Southwest Onslow has come from behind to win 10 times this season. The team has won six straight games. Shelby beat Reidsville 49-3 in the semifinals, limiting the Rams to 123 yards rushing and intercepting three passes. Quarterback R.J. George has more than 3,000 yards passing and tailback Raekwon Washington has more than 1,000 yards rushing. Shelby lost two of its last three regular-season games, but hasnt lost to a 2A team all season.
4A: Scotland County (15-0) vs. Greensboro Dudley (14-0), Sat, 3 p.m., Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh
Scotland won the 2011 state title, beating Porter Ridge 42-16 in its first finals appearance. Scotland lost in the state semifinals last year. Quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe leads this year team with nearly 1,800 yards passing, more than 2,000 yards rushing and 36 rushing TDs. Dudley is in the finals for the fifth time and held off Charlotte Catholic last week to get there. Dudley has allowed only 43 points in four playoff games.
1AA James Kenan (14-0) vs. West Montgomery (14-1), Sat, 3 p.m., BB&T Field, Winston-Salem
James Kenan, from Warsaw, is 27-1 over the past two seasons. Its in the finals for the first time in six seasons. The team averages 256 yards rushing, but has thrown just 105 times all season. West Montgomery quarterback Caleb Drake has thrown for 1,756 yards and 17 TDs and rushed for nearly 1,500. West Montgomery has a 13-game win streak.
1A: Plymouth (14-0) vs. Murphy (12-3), Sat, 11 a.m., BB&T Field, Winston-Salem
Plymouth, in the finals for the third straight time, attempts five passes per game, but averages more than 10 yards per rush. Murphy is in the finals for the 10th time. It has won six previous state titles.
Of particular interest
1 Mallard Creek: After failing to reach the state finals in two previous N.C. 4AA Western Regional finals, the Mavericks are in the championship for the first time and are probably the biggest favorite in all eight championship games Friday and Saturday. How do the Mavericks handle the expectations? How do the Mavericks handle the atmosphere?
2 Shelby: The Golden Lions have set a new school-record for total points (606), and points per game (40.4). R.J. George is the first QB in school history to throw for 3,000 yards. Prior to this year, Shelby only had two QBs throw for more than 3,000 in a career. In previous years, a brutal run game has helped Shelby win an N.C. record 725 games and 10 state championship appearances since 1972. Can Shelby win with the pass this year?
3 Concord-Havelock II After being blown out in the 2012 3A state final by Havelock, Concord should be plenty motivated to end the Rams 29-game win streak and prevent Havelock from grabbing a third straight state title.
Former Mecklenburg County coach Tom Knotts wins South Carolina state championship
Former Independence, West Charlotte and Harding coach Tom Knotts won his first S.C. state title last week, leading Dutch Fork to the S.C. 4A Division I championship. Dutch Fork beat Sumter 54-14. Knotts is in his 30th season. It was his 13th state finals appearance. Hes led every team hes coached to at least one state final and hes won eight state championships at Independence, West Charlotte and Dutch Fork.
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