The Havelock High football players celebrated their eastern regional championship on Friday night.
"This is nice, but is this the one we really want," Coach Jim Bob Bryant asked his players after a 42-7 victory over Orange High School Friday at Havelock High.
The players responded in unison: "No."
The Rams have something bigger on their minds — another state championship.
Havelock is scheduled to play Concord at 3 p.m. on Saturday for the state 3A championship. A victory would mark a second consecutive state title for the Rams after beating West Rowan 38-6 last year to end a perfect 16-0 season.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at BB&T Field at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
The Rams are 14-1, with their only loss being a 34-33 setback against New Bern — which plays in its 4AA state title game on Friday — in the second game of the season.
Concord, the western regional champion, enters the game at 13-2.
"It’s an honor to be playing in the state championship game," Bryant said. "Having an opportunity to play for two in two years is a big deal for our community, kids and coaches."
The excitement for a Rams repeat can be seen throughout Havelock, with signs dotting the roads and businesses also showing support on signs and wishing the team much success.
For those planning to go to the game, Havelock High is selling tickets in advance for $9 during normal school hours. The cost of a ticket at the gate is $10. Tickets will be sold through the end of school on Friday.
Also, anyone wishing to go to the game but unwilling to drive can sign up for a charter bus sponsored by the Havelock Rams Booster Club. The cost is $50 and includes a game ticket.
More information is available by calling Havelock High School at 444-5112.
For those not going to the game, it will air live on Time Warner Cable channel 521. Scoring updates will be provided through the Havelock News Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Havelock High has planned a pep rally for Friday morning for students, with the team scheduled to leave the school on chartered buses afterward around 9:30 a.m. The team has scheduled a practice Friday at Duke University, the final practice before Saturday’s state championship game.