Zach's older brother, Travis, was also a standout signal-caller for the Rams
For the second time, a quarterback with the last name of Sabdo has guided Havelock to the state football championship game.
Travis Sabdo led the Rams to state finals in 2013 and 2014, winning the title in the first trip with a 21-13 victory over Concord.
Now younger brother Zach Sabdo has helped the Rams to a 14-1 record, the East Regional title, and Havelock’s fifth trip to the state title game in the last seven years.
“It feels great,” Zach Sabdo said. “Travis was able to do it two times. It just feels great that I was able to do it one time. Hopefully we can go there and take it home.”
There is Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, where Havelock plays Charlotte Catholic (15-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the NCHSAA 3A championship game.
Travis Sabdo, who is in college, has managed to make it home to see his younger brother’s run through the playoffs, and his younger brother appreciates the support.
“Travis is very mellow with me,” Zach Sabdo said. “I try not to show my emotions a lot. I just really try to relax and play my game.”
And that game has been on display all year. He is 272 of 374 for 4,057 yards on the season with 46 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He broke his older brother’s single-season passing yardage record of 3,554 yards and single-season touchdown passes record of 43 that was established in 2014.
In the East Regional title game, Sabdo was 12 of 14 for 215 yards and one touchdown. He did throw an interception, his seventh of the season.
He gave credit to the offensive line, which protected him and helped produce 257 yards rushing.
“We just established the line of scrimmage early,” he said. “That helped us out. That helped in the pass game. That helped me get my rhythm going, and Cam (Hutchinson) and Khalil (Barrett) had a rhythm going, and they just couldn’t stop us.
“Those guys (offensive linemen), they’ve done a great job all year long. Coach (Tony) Wray has really worked with them a lot to get their footwork right, to get everything right. It’s the best group of linemen I’ve ever had.”
The senior in his first year as a starter said he could not have imagined at the beginning of the season how it all has turned out — a Coastal 3A Conference championship, school records, an eastern regional championship and now a trip to the state title game.
“I set my goals pretty high, and I just try to reach them,” he said. “Coach (Caleb) King always tries to push us each week, every day.”