WINSTON-SALEM — Scotland saw its state championship dreams dashed in a 30-22 loss to Harding on Saturday in Winston-Salem.
The Scots jumped out to a 14-7 lead after a pair of touchdown runs by quarterback Warren Bell, but Harding closed the half with 10 unanswered points to carry a 17-14 lead into the break and never trailed again.
Scotland was plagued by a pair of interceptions in the second half and Harding took full advantage, scoring 13 fourth-quarter points to take command.
Scotland attempted a rally, cutting the lead to eight points after a 25-yard touchdown pass from Bell to Bruce Wall. But the ensuing onside kick was awarded to Harding to end the threat of a comeback.
Bell finished with 153 rushing yards and accounted for three touchdowns.
2A: Wallace-Rose Hill 35, Reidsville 28 (OT)
CHAPEL HILL — Wallace-Rose Hill earned an overtime victory over Reidsville, scoring on its first possession of the extra period, to claim its fourth straight state title.
Javonte Williams rushed for over 200 yards to lead Wallace-Rose Hill and finished with a pair of touchdowns. He opened the game with a 73-yard score and followed with a 5-yard score early in the fourth quarter.
3AA: New Hanover 27, A.C. Reynolds 17
DURHAM — At Wallace Wade Stadium, New Hanover earned a 10-point victory over A.C. Reynolds to claim the program’s first state football title since 1951.
MVP Wiz Vaughn finished with 124 total yards and two touchdowns.
Leading 20-17, the Wildcats got the ball to their best player 10 times during a 15-play, 51-yard drive. Vaughn capped it with a 2-yard run up the middle to increase the lead to double digits.
New Hanover (15-1) converted a pair of fourth downs. Junior quarterback Blake Walston found Vaughn on the left sideline for a 9-yard completion on fourth-and-6. Later, Vaughn picked up five yards on the ground on 4th-and-1.
The Rockets (14-2) drove to the New Hanover 25 on the ensuing drive, but Alex Flinn’s pass on third-and-5 was intercepted by senior safety Francis Meehan. He was named the Wildcats’ Defensive Player of the Game.
Vaughn, who rushed for 74 yards on 18 carries and caught six passes for 50 yards was the Most Valuable Player.
2AA: Hibriten 16, East Duplin 14
CHAPEL HILL — In a battle of unbeatens, the Hibriten Panthers captured their first state championship with a 2-point win, 16-14, against East Duplin in the snow at UNC’s Kenan Stadium Saturday.
Hibriten (16-0) surrendered an 81-yard scoring run to East’s Melvin Scott on the Eastern champs’ first series but scored 16 straight points and didn’t allow East to get to the end zone again until the final two minutes of the contest.
A safety early in the second quarter proved to be the difference by the game’s end.
The Panthers got a pair of touchdown passes in the contest with halfback McKinley Witherspoon finding a receiver on the option for a 53-yard connection. Quarterback Jaylen Scott threw 43 yards to Miles Simon for a 16-7 Hibriten lead heading into the half.
3A: Charlotte Catholic 28, Havelock 14
DURHAM — Lamagea McDowell rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns to clinch the victory for the Cougars, 28-14, over Havelock.
Milan Howard, the Cougars’ MVP, rushed for 160 yards on 29 carries as Catholic completed a 16-0 campaign.
The Rams (14-2) led 14-13 just 3:54 into the third quarter. Zach Sabdo hit five of eight throws on the 13-play scoring march, capped by a 27-yard touchdown throw.
4AA – Wake Forest 21, Mallard Creek 0
WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest punched in three touchdowns in the fourth period of what had been a scoreless contest to win its second straight state championship, 21-0, over Mallard Creek.
Wake completed an unbeaten season (15-0) while Mallard Creek (14-1) suffered its first defeat.
Senior wide receiver John Jiles scored the game-winning touchdown, hauling in a 20-yard pass from fellow senior quarterback Chris James. Senior running back Marquis Dunn scored minutes later with a 54-yard scoring dash.
After an interception, Devon Lawrence — who carried 25 times for 135 yards on the day — scored three plays late from 7 yards out for the final margin.
1A: Cherokee 21, North Duplin 13
RALEIGH — Cherokee scored twice in less than four minutes to begin the fourth quarter, breaking a 7-all tie and going on to claim a 21-13 win over North Duplin in the 1A State Championship game Saturday at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium.
Braves’ Game MVP Tye Mintz scored on runs of 5 and 51 yards for the victors to go with a 2-point conversion run. Teammate Isaiah Evans also had an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.
Cherokee (14-1) took advantage of four turnovers by North (14-1) to claim its first state football title.
1AA: Tarboro 32, Mount Airy 7
RALEIGH — Tarboro completed an unbeaten state championship season with a 32-7 romp by Mount Airy Saturday at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium.
Deontae Williams rushed for three touchdowns for the 15-0 Vikings, who claimed their fifth state championship. Tarboro led 12-0 at halftime and the Granite Bears (14-1) got no closer than 18-7 in the second half before Tarboro pulled away.