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High School Sports

Football state championship notebook

Published: 2012-12-04 13:45:39
Updated: 2012-12-04 13:45:39

Dec 4, 2012

RECORD BREAKER: T.J. Logan of Northern Guilford set the NCHSAA all-time rushing record in a single game in his team's championship contest on Saturday night. Logan carried 28 times for a whopping 510 yards and eight touchdowns in the NCHSAA 3-AA championship game as Northern Guilford won over Charlotte Catholic 64-26. His scoring runs were 46, 27, 80, 85, 19, 14, 82 and 73 yards.

The previous rushing record was held by Akile Jones of Lejeune, who had rushed for 490 yards in a 2011 regular season game against Dixon, which Lejeune won 47-30.

Logan's eight touchdowns equaled the record for rushing TDs in a game that had previous been set by Mike Hill of Harnett Central in 2003 in a 62-28 victory over South Johnston. The eight touchdowns is the most in the modern era in a championship game.

Logan also had a big day in the 2011 championship, leading the Nighthawks to their second consecutive 3-AA crown over Crest, this time by a 31-7 count at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. Logan had 204 yards rushing in 29 carries and rushed for four touchdowns and also caught a team-leading four passes for 39 yards.

Swain County's Raymius Smith threw for the most yards ever in an NCHSAA football championship contest, completing 22 of 35 for 426 yards, but the Maroon Devils fell to Southwest Onslow 44-34 in the 1-AA final at Carter-Finley Stadium.

His favorite receiver was Greg Tisho, who caught 13 of those for 261 yards. Both of those are state final records.
David Butler High School was almost unstoppable in the 4-AA final at Kenan Stadium, as the Bulldogs raced to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and rolled to a 56-28 victory over Jack Britt. Bulldog quarterback Riley Ferguson was the game's Most Valuable Player, throwing for five touchdowns and completing 20 of 29 passes for 301 yards. His total of five TD tosses equaled the previous state championship mark that was established by Joe Cox of Charlotte Independence with five scoring strikes against New Bern in 2003.

East Lincoln QB Garrett Young earned MVP honors in the Mustangs' 24-20 victory over Tarboro He completed 18 of 36 through the air for 192 yards and two scores. Quentin Roberson of Tarboro picked up 203 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns in a losing effort.

In the dramatic 2-AA game, won by South Iredell over previously unbeaten Carrboro 30-27, running back LaChaston Smith of the Vikings scored three touchdowns, running for 152 yards in 29 carries to earn MVP honors in that one.

LOTS OF CLASS BY RUNNER-UP: It's tough to lose any game in the final seconds, much less to lose in the state championship game, but that is what happened to Porter Ridge. New Bern put together a lengthy drive-- a 15-play march that covered 80 yards-- with New Bern's Jac Watkins going over from the two for his fourth TD of the night, as the Bears beat Porter Ridge 39-38.

But what happened with Porter Ridge afterwards speaks volumes. The Pirates participated in the postgame awards ceremony and applauded when the state champs got their awards. But then there was something the team did, which very few people would see, that was a testimony to their class.

Three different University of North Carolina workers who were on hand on Friday night reported that the Porter Ridge locker room was left in immaculate fashion after the game. The team had picked up all their trash, had thrown things away and even put all of the locker room stools back in place. It made quite an impression on all of those working at the facility and is a tribute to the team and head coach Blair Hardin.

TELEVISION: All eight of the NCHSAA state football championship games are now available on Time Warner Cable systems across the state. Time Warner digital subscribers may go to channel 199 or 1047 to download any of the games for free and watch them at their convenience. The games are available on Carolina On Demand on Time Warner Cable systems across the state.

In addition, TWC actually telecast all 8 NCHSAA football championship games live, either on a Time Warner Cable special events channel or on News 14 Carolina for the second year in a row, and all eight games were streamed live on news14.com.

STREAKS: Northern Guilford won its third consecutive state championship in football when the Nighthawks downed Charlotte Catholic and has now won 29 games in a row. Tarboro was in the finals for the fifth straight year and the Vikings were seeking their fourth straight title, but Tarboro fell to East Lincoln 24-20 in the 2-A championship. Murphy was in the 1-A championship for the third straight year, with the Bulldogs winning in 2011 but finishing as runners-up in 2010. Murphy fell to Plymouth 20-15 in a nailbiter at Carter-Finley Stadium.

EAST/WEST: The 2012 football championship games saw the Eastern representative win five of the eight titles. In the two years prior, the state championships were evenly split between Eastern and Western champions, with each side earning four titles.

The West representative won five of the eight state football championships in 2009, while in 2008 the West team won six of eight. In 2007 it was the East having tremendous success, winning seven of the eight titles. Only Lincolnton, the 2-A West representative, broke through for the Western squads by winning the 2-A title 28-14 over previously undefeated South Columbus in 2007.

PERFECT: A total of four football teams out of the entire NCHSAA membership finished the season undefeated: New Bern, David Butler, East Lincoln, and Northern Guilford. Three teams suffered their only loss of the year in the championship game-- Carrboro, Tarboro and Swain County.

SPONSOR: For the eighth year in a row, BB&T served as the title sponsor of the NCHSAA football championship. Every player on each winning team received a special commemorative knit hat and all of the schools in the championships were supplied with championship helmet stickers for the game. Representatives of BB&T were on hand at each title game to assist in the awards ceremonies.

In addition, NCHSAA corporate partner UnderArmour provided the championship teams with commemorative T-shirts.

LOTS OF RADIO: a total of 20 different play-by-play originations were done by radio stations at the eight NCHSAA championship games.

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