West Rowan wins Class 3-A state championship

Published 3:58 pm Sunday, December 14, 2008

By By The Associated Press
WINSTON-SALEM — West Craven’s big-strike passing game was tough to ignore throughout the North Carolina High School Association 3A football playoffs, but it was shut down in Saturday’s championship game and West Rowan showed off its offense.
Kevin Parks rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns including an 81-yard scoring run on the Falcons’ first play to lead West Rowan to a 35-7 victory in its first state final.
Parks, the game’s most valuable player, scored his final two touchdowns from 7 and 3 yards.
Brett Mooring passed for 224 yards but tossed four interceptions for the Eagles (15-1), who dropped 10 passes and struggled to protect Mooring after an emotional week on campus leading to its state-final debut.
Clay Jordan, coaching his final game after 31 seasons at West Craven, said the team learned Wednesday starting guard Justin Barrow, who calls the team’s blocking schemes, would miss the game because of a brain tumor.
Receiver Erik Highsmith scored on a 3-yard pass on West Craven’s final drive.
B.J. Sherrill passed for 52 yards and ran for 48 for West Rowan (15-1), which used a four-man rush and zone coverage to counter an offense that brought a 3,900-yard quarterback and two thousand-yard receivers.
Fayetteville 71st wins 4-A state championship
CHAPEL HILL — James Hopper rumbled for 192 yards rushing and scored all four of his team’s touchdowns to lead Fayetteville 71st past Fayetteville Byrd 28-7 in the Class 4-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship Saturday.
Hopper, the most valuable player for the game, helped veteran coach Bob Paroli to earn his first state championship.
Byrd (12-4) had cut a 14-0 halftime deficit to 14-7 when Malcolm Rowe capped a 55-yard, 11-play drive on a 6-yard scoring run with 3:46 to go in the third quarter. But Hopper scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game away for the Falcons (14-2).
Rowe led Byrd with 53 yards rushing in 13 tries, but completed just four of 21 passes and had three picked off. Fayetville 71st did not complete a pass.
The two met during the regular season in a Mid-Southeastern Conference game with 71st coming out on top 27-14.
Reidsville wins Class 2-AA state championship 24-7
RALEIGH — Damien Lee took advantage of his chance to add to his school’s rich football history.
Lee spearheaded a dominant defensive effort with 10 tackles, four of them for a loss, as Reidsville beat East Lincoln 24-7 Saturday in the Class 2-AA North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship.
The Rams (16-0) won their 32nd consecutive game and repeated as state champions for the second time this decade.
Tyrell Houghton rushed for a 17-yard touchdown to tie the score at seven in the second quarter and he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Foster on the first drive of the third quarter to put Reidsville ahead for good.
But the story of the game was the Rams’ defense as East Lincoln (14-2) gained just 177 total yards, 80 of which came on its game-opening touchdown drive.
The Rams totaled seven sacks and five pass breakups while holding the Mustangs to six yards rushing. Linebacker Michael Stacey, who had nine tackles and two sacks, capped the scoring with a 12-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Preston Perry intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble for the Mustangs, who were playing in their first state final after setting a school record for victories in a season.
Newton-Conover runs over Tarboro
CHAPEL HILL — Dorian Jones rushed for 157 yards in 22 carries and scored
two touchdowns as Newton-Conover rolled past Tarboro 51-28 at Kenan Stadium on Friday night to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A football championship.
Jones was named the Wendy's Most Valuable Player as Newton-Conover finished with a 15-1 record and its first NCHSAA state football crown. Josh Thompson added 106 yards in 15 carries and also completed a 42-yard halfback pass.
After Tarboro had tied the game at 7-7 on a Demarius Harper two-yard run with 10:25 left in the first half, Newton-Conover reeled off 37 unanswered points to take command. Two of those scores came on interception returns for touchdowns after the score reached 31-7, as Joseph Hill and Jordon Bryant both had picks that results in TDs.
The Red Devils rolled up 326 yards in total offense, including 273 on the ground and had 21 first downs to eight for the Vikings.
Tarboro ended the season with a 14-2 record. Brandon Dozier led the Vikings with 137 yards in 10 carries.