High School Sports

Greensboro Page rolls past Vance in regional final

Leading up to Friday’s playoff game at Greensboro Page, Vance football coach Aaron Brand warned his team about the dangers of playing in Marion Kirby Stadium.

Momentum shifts, he said, needed to be on the Cougars’ side. Or else.

Accomplishing that task proved to be easier said than done, though, as the Pirates seized momentum midway through the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 49-14 win over Vance in the N.C. 4AA Western Regional final.

The Cougars executed their game plan almost to perfection early on, as junior Markilius Williams scampered into the end zone from 8 yards to conclude the game’s opening possession.

But Vance’s lead was brief. Page quarterback Will Jones, a Western Carolina commit, led the Pirates to a touchdown just a minute later, finding receiver Ronald Polite for a 36-yard score.

On the ensuing drive, Page senior Micah Gafford picked off Kingsley Ifedi, marking the first of four interceptions thrown by the Vance quarterback.

The score remained tied entering the second quarter. But with 9 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first half, Javon Leake, a Maryland commit, scored on a 49-yard touchdown run. From there, the Cougars could never provide a counter, as the Pirates scored 28 more unanswered points to secure the win.

Quote: “These guys did a great job for us all year. A lot of people didn’t think we’d be in this situation. I’m honored, I’m thankful and I’m grateful to have been these guys’, especially these seniors’ … As a coach, you just hate you couldn’t help your guys finish it at the end.” — Brand on his team’s season.

Records: Page is 14-1. Vance finishes 13-2.

Worth mentioning: Ifedi found success on the ground on the Cougars’ opening touchdown drive, carrying the ball four times for 23 yards. The Pirates’ defense buckled up after that, though, and held Ifedi to less than 20 rushing yards for the rest of the half. … Jones completed his first eight passes before throwing an incompletion.

What’s next: Page will face Wake Forest in the 4AA state championship at 3:05 p.m. on Dec. 17 at N.C. State’s Carter–Finley Stadium. Wake Forest beat Middle Creek 20-17 in overtime to advance.

Vance 7 0 0 7 - 14

Greensboro Page 7 28 7 7 - 49

V - Markilius Williams 8 run (James Palacios kick)

G - Ronald Polite 36 pass from Will Jones (Thomas Murray kick)

G - Javon Leake 49 run (Murray kick)

G - Jones 6 run (Murray kick)

G - Jones 3 run (Murray kick)

G - Polite 10 pass from Jones (Murray kick)

G - Polite 10 pass from Jones (Murray kick)

V - Williams 11 run (Palacios kick)

G - Jones 13 run (Murray kick)