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NC 2AA: East Lincoln beats Washington 14-13 after late turnover

Two years ago, Chazz Surratt was a wide receiver on an East Lincoln team that got a fourth quarter touchdown pass to win a state championship. Surratt said that win felt incredible.

Saturday night in Winston-Salem, East Lincoln won another state championship on another fourth quarter touchdown pass. This time, though, it was Surratt who threw it.

His 9-yard toss to Coleton Banks on fourth-and-3 lifted the Mustangs to a 14-13 win over Washington in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2AA championship game at BB&T Field. Surratt, who threw for 212 yards, was named championship MVP.

Surratt, a 6-foot-2 junior, said Title No. 2 felt just a bit better than the first one.

“It’s definitely sweeter,” Surratt said. “We had a lot tougher test this time. And being a QB leading my team this time is great. Man, this feels good.”

Surratt and East Lincoln (16-0) had a tough time dealing with Washington’s size and speed all game. East Lincoln had 1 yard rushing for the game before its last drive. Ahead 14-13, East had three snaps inside the Washington 2 with less than two minutes to play and couldn’t score. Washington (14-1) got the ball back, but it had to drive 99 yards in 56 seconds, a tough task for a team that threw for 563 yards in 15 games.

Washington ran three times on that final desperate possession before time ran out. As the clock expired, Surratt started running backwards from his 40 towards his goal line before looping in a semi-circle towards the East Lincoln fans, pumping his fist and kicking his legs. Across the field, senior Triston Dennis, who wears a full beard, dropped to one knee and buried his face in his hands. He looked joyous and exhausted at the same time.

After Washington scored to go up 13-7 in the third quarter, Dennis blocked the extra point. As he made the play, Surratt said he told his coaches, “That’s ballgame.” He said, “I knew we would score again.”

On Washington’s next offensive play, Dennis helped make Surratt’s prediction come true. He recovered a fumble at the Washington 16 that set up Surratt’s championship-winning pass.

“I did it for my team,” Dennis said. “On the fumble, I saw the ball rolling towards me and I was thinking, ‘Score!’ But this game was rough. This was a good team we played. It kind of feels better than (2012) because it’s my senior year. I know this. I’m a whole lot happier.”

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