Charlotte Christian put an exclamation point on a championship season Friday night, blowing open a tight NCISAA Division 1 state championship game and trouncing Providence Day 47-21.
The Knights (10-1) led only 13-7 at the half but scored 34 consecutive points after intermission.
Providence Day (9-3) drove into Charlotte Christian territory four times in the first half but scored only once.
Charlotte Christian’s Justus Woods, heading to Stanford next season, capped his high school career with a 200-yard rushing effort. He spearheaded a Knights’ attack that totaled 585 yards of offense – 356 of those in the second half.
But it was the Knights’ defense that turned the game around.
Charlotte Christian shut down the Providence Day attack in the third quarter, holding the Chargers to 31 yards of offense and no first downs. William Lohoff-Gaida, Obiora Egbuna and Curtis Brown each picked off Providence Day passes, and Egbuna returned his interception 22 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
The Knights built a 47-7 lead early in the fourth quarter before Providence Day rallied for a pair of late touchdowns.
Providence Day had the ball four times in the first half and drove into Charlotte Christian territory on each possession – but had only seven points to show for it.
The Chargers drove to the Knights’ 4 late in the first quarter but were forced to try a 21-yard field goal. Thomas Gelorme’s kick was partially blocked.
On their next possession, the Chargers got to the Charlotte Christian 17 but were stopped on downs.
Providence Day finally got on the scoreboard shortly before the half, when Osita Ekwonu ran 2 yards, capping a 69-yard drive.
In the meantime, Charlotte Christian scored on its first possession, with Justus Woods’ 1-yard run completing an 87-yard, 13-play drive. The Knights’ other score came after they had stopped Providence Day at the 17. Charlotte Christian drove 83 yards, scoring when Josh Eboboko picked up a bad snap at the 6 and ran into the end zone.
Records: Providence Day finishes 9-3; Charlotte Christian finishes 10-1.
3 who mattered
Justus Woods (Charlotte Christian): In his final high school game, Woods carried 25 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Garrett Shrader (Charlotte Christian): The Knights’ starting quarterback accounted for 335 yards total offense, completing 13 of 20 passes for 221 yards and running for another 114 yards.
Nickel Fields (Providence Day): A freshman, Fields carried much of the Chargers’ offense, running 25 times for 200 yards and catching two passes for another 50 yards.
▪ Charlotte Christian’s victory came two weeks after the Knights had beaten Providence Day 52-14 for the CISAA title.
▪ It was a big night for the punters. Charlotte Christian’s Nathan Collins kicked three times for a 40.3-yard average, and Providence Day’s Thomas Gelorme had four punts for a 41.5-yard average.
▪ Something a little different before kickoff – fans of both teams lined the field, cheering for players as they came out of their locker rooms.
▪ Providence Day was going for a single-season school record for victories.
The teams have completed their 2017 seasons.
Providence Day 0 - 7 - 0 - 14 – 21
Charlotte Christian 6 - 7 - 27 - 7 – 47
CC – Justus Woods 1 run (pass failed)
CC – Josh Eboboko 6 run (Nathan Collins kick)
PD – Osita Ekwonu 2 run (Thomas Gelorme kick)
CC – Ricky Kofoed 57 pass from Garrett Shrader (kick failed)
CC – Woods 5 run (Collins kick)
CC – Shrader 8 run (Collins kick)
CC—Ebiora Egbuna 22 interception return (Collins kick)
CC – Woods 4 run (Collins kick)
PD – Nickel Fields 6 run (Gelorme kick)
PD – Lance Lunderman 6 run (Gelorme kick)