Charlotte Country Day hadn't won a state title since 2004, when they beat rival Charlotte Latin 38-14. They hadn't made the final game since 2006, when they lost to Latin 28-25 in overtime.
Now the Buccaneers are back on top of private school football after dominating Latin in a 45-17 win at home Friday in the championship game of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I tournament.
It was the second time the Bucs beat Latin this year, after a 47-17 win in the regular-season finale.
Latin scored on its first drive on a five-yard touchdown run by Thomas Armstrong but didn't score again until late in the fourth quarter.
Never miss a local story.
The Buccaneer defense dominated the Hawks, forcing four interceptions: two by Wake Hamilton and one each by Thomas Passenant and Tripp Mulligan.
Latin quarterback Sam Spence finished with 158 yards and 1 touchdown. The Hawks had little success on the ground, using four rushers to gain 48 yards.
Country Day quarterback Morgan Roberts struggled throwing the ball early, but he was able to rely on his feet to move the ball, rushing for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
Passenant added 138 yards and a touchdown on the ground, including a 72-yard run on his first carry of the game.
The passing game finally opened up for Roberts in the second half, and he had three completions for more than 20 yards.
He finished with 167 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Country Day coach Bob Witman said this game was especially meaningful to the 11 seniors.
"They weren't going to be denied," he said.
After the game, Roberts ran all across the field looking for family and friends to hug and celebrate with.
When he finally stopped to talk, the senior didn't have much to say. He wanted to keep enjoying the moment.
"I'll never forget this night, that's for sure," he said. Then he ran back to his teammates.