As the final seconds ticked away in the Havelock's 55-21 victory over Concord to win the state championship, fans began to chant in unison, “It's almost over. It's almost over.”
What was over was the Rams second consecutive state 3A football championship.
“Havelock is known for traveling to every away game we have,” said quarterback Pharoh Cooper, who was named most valuable player in the game. “I love love all the fans. They support us all the time and that's what keeps us going.”
Havelock principal Jeff Murphy enjoyed seeing all the fans in the stands.
“Havelock is a football town and they love the Rams,” he said. “Win or lose they are there for us, but they love it when we win.”
The Rams trailed 21-20 at halftime but rallied in the second half.
“I think they made an awesome adjustment on defense at halftime. They shut them out this second half,” said Brian Woods, a fan who came from Havelock. “They are fantastic fans. Look how many people came from Havelock, a four hour, four and a half hour ride.”
Woods said it takes enthusiasm and integrity to make a good Havelock fan.
“I'm just happy to be here to enjoy my son's second championship and I'm just loving it,” said Anthony Fisher Sr., father of player Anthony Fisher. “Everybody has performed well. It was a little shaky at first. Towards the middle of the second quarter that's when Havelock really opened up and I enjoyed it the rest of the game.”
“I think it's a very unique situation and it's an honor for any team and any coach to get that far and have worked that hared to achieve those goals,” said Paula Snead, wife of Havelock High School assistant principal Jeff Snead.
Payton Ennis, the Snead's grandson was in the stands as well at Wake Forest BB&T Field to watch the game.
Derrell Scott and Pharoh Cooper were Ennis' favorite players because of their speed.
“They can juke through and outrun a lot of people,” Ennis said.
Though his son Dallas Cowboy Bruce Carter hasn't played for the Rams for years, Bruce Prichard, of Havelock, was their to support players Deshone Godette and A.J. Coplon.
“Those are my two cousins,” Prichard said. “I came to the games as much as I could. I fly back and forth from Dallas on the weekends to see my son's games. It's amazing to sit here and watch these kids grow up. My son comes out here, supports the team and talks to them. It paid off. It's amazing.”
James Williams was here with wife Tamara Vanover, to see son Andrew Vanover, a sophomore linebacker.
“We are very proud of him. He was hurt last year and he had to sit out. He's the second leading tackler on the team. It's great. It's awesome. It's something that he'll never forget and we won't either,” he said.
Williams said he wasn't surprised the team returned to the state championships two years in a row. “They had a good team.” And about coach Jim Bob Bryant, Williams said “I think he turned the whole program around.”
“They're awesome,” said Jenny Cruz, of Havelock. “All the boys out there deserve it.”
She didn't have a child on the field but she was still in the stands as a huge fan of the team.
“I'm just a friend of a lot of the parents and I've known a lot of these boys since they were real young.”
Roger King, whose grandson, kicker Dylan Baker, is on the team, brought a sign that said “Ramnation”
“I watched the game last year from Norway. I'm glad to be here in person this year. The support that the local people give to this high school football team is amazing. A lot of the fans have no children in the school,” King said.
Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders was able to make it to this year's championship game after missing last year's due to a pre-planned trip.
“I think it's fantastic. They've got all the weapons and everything they need,” Sanders said. “Look at the fans. Those folks over there came from Atlanta to be here,” he said. “Once you're a Ram fan, you're always a Ram fan.”