No. 13 was not unlucky for Shelby’s Golden Lions in the N.C. 2A football championship Saturday at N.C. State.
Shelby was in the championship round for the 13th time and blew out Kinston 57-21. Shelby led 21-0 after the first quarter and 36-6 at halftime, when it outgained Kinston 305-64 in total yards. Kinston had three first-half turnovers.
At one point in the first half, Shelby had 287 total yards and Kinston had 1.
Shelby won its eighth state title since 1972 and its third in a row. Shelby beat Southwest Onslow 29-7 in 2013 and beat Clinton 31-7 in 2014.
Saturday, Shelby outgained Kinston 470-209 and had the ball more than seven minutes longer.
Running back Xavier Brooks rushed 29 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Darquez Lee threw for 256 yards and five touchdowns. Receiver Jayden Borders had six catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
Kinston quarterback Thomas Vermilli, under heavy pressure most of the game, completed 17-of-39 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted three times.
RECORDS: Shelby 15-1; Kinston 15-1
WORTH MENTIONING: Shelby lost to 3A state champion Crest 40-33 to end the regular-season. ...Kinston, which won the 2015 state basketball championship, had won its past three playoffs by a combined six points. It trailed in the fourth quarter of all three games. ...Shelby quarterback Darquez Lee completed 15 of 31 passes for 256 yards and five touchdowns. The touchdowns tied the state finals record set by former Independence quarterback Joe Cox and former Butler quarterback Riley Ferguson