High School Sports

Charlotte Catholic upends Kings Mountain, returning to 3A title game

Charlotte Catholic defensive end Andrew Della-Mea sacks Kings Mountain quarterback Kaylon Wade on Friday.
Charlotte Catholic defensive end Andrew Della-Mea sacks Kings Mountain quarterback Kaylon Wade on Friday.

Charlotte Catholic football stamped another ticket to the N.C. 3A football title game.

The Cougars, who won last year’s championship, qualified for the 2018 final with a 30-7 win against Kings Mountain Friday at Jim Oddo Field. Catholic’s passing attack sparked the outburst with quarterback Chris Walton and receiver Micheal Neel connecting for touchdowns of 55 and 43 yards.

Kings Mountain cornerback Belton Pressley, left, tries to tackle Charlotte Catholic running back Paul Neel in the first half of Friday’s N.C. 3A regional final. NELL REDMOND

Neel, who caught five passes for 150 yards, accounted for a first half score, but brother Paul opened the scoring on a 34-yard run in the first quarter, followed by Michael’s 55-yard catch and run for a two-score lead at intermission.

Michael Neel capped the scoring with a 43-yard score in the fourth, ending a drive that at one point pushed Catholic into second down and 43 yards to go.

Records: Kings Mountain 12-3; Charlotte Catholic 14-1.

Three who mattered

Paul Neel: His 34-yard run on Catholic’s first offensive play put the Cougars in a good spot early.

Michael Neel: The Catholic receiver scored on touchdown catches of 55 and 43 yards. He caught five passes for 150 yards.

Kaylon Wade: The Kings Mountain quarterback scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter for the Mountaineers’ lone score. He completed 12-of-26 passes for 105 yards and ran for another 35.

Worth mentioning

▪ Catholic’s defense held Kings Mountain to 93 yards in the first half, including 49 rushing. The Cougars also forced a pair of turnovers, which led to their first score.

▪ Catholic cornerback Daniel Boll shut off Kings Mountain’s best scoring chance with an end zone interception in the second quarter.

▪ Ari Rodriguez scored a pair of points for Catholic’s defense when he tackled Kings Mountain’s Ricaylen Mack in the end zone for a fourth-quarter safety to make the score 23-7.

▪ Catholic’s Will Greer converted all four extra points, and twice dropped punts inside Kings Mountain’s 5 to pin the Mountaineers in their end of the field.

▪ Kings Mountain gained 169 yards compared to Catholic’s 265.

Kings Mountain 0 0 7 0-7

Charlotte Catholic 7 7 7 9-30

CC-Paul Neel 34 run (Will Griggs kick)

CC-Michael Neel 55 pass from Chris Walton (Griggs kick)

CC-Lamagea McDowell 1 run (Griggs kick)

KM-Kaylon Wade 1 run (Austin Browning kick)

CC-Team safety

CC-Michael Neel 43 pass from Walton (Griggs kick)