RALEIGH – The Havelock fans chanted from the stands – “MVP, MVP, MVP.”
Derrell Scott smiled, accepted his plaque and lifted it toward the crowd.
The speedy running back became the third Rams’ player to earn the 3A state championship Most Valuable Player Award.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” Scott said. “I couldn’t have done it without the honor to God, my teammates and coaches. Everybody helped put me in this position.”
Havelock was trailing by its worst deficit of the season – 10 points – early in the second quarter.
The Rams rode the back of their senior workhorse.
Scott, a four-star recruit, scored on touchdown runs of 51, 20 and 96 yards, and accounted for 21-unanswered points, in Havelock’s 21-13 victory over Concord in Saturday’s 3A state championship game at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.
He racked up 209 yards on 18 carries and three scores.
Scott’s initial touchdown run occurred on Havelock’s first offensive possession of the second quarter and brought life back to the Havelock sidelines.
“I was telling the guys that the game was not over,” Scott said. “We were down 10-0 and we were only in the first or second quarter. We didn’t want to panic, and just keep our head up.”
Scott scored just before halftime, and then outran the Spiders for a 96-yard touchdown midway in the third quarter.
“I was really just following a block and tried to make something happen. There was a hole there,” Scott said of matching the school record for longest touchdown run.
Scott gained 111 yards in the first half alone as the Rams led 14-10 at halftime.
“We are a team that can score quickly,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “We can turn a five-yard gain into a 50 or 60, 96-yard TD.”
Scott follows Pharoh Cooper (2012) and Garrett Crowe (2011) as Havelock’s three state championship MVPs.
Scott finished his season with 2,143 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, and his first touchdown run put him at more than 6,000 rushing yards in his career. He holds Havelock’s single-season and career rushing records.
He will play in next weekend’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, and then the Semper Fidelis Bowl in California at the beginning of January.
But the biggest prize for Scott was winning his third-consecutive state title.
“It’s been a good year,” he said. “We won the state championship, which was the biggest goal of mine. That’s what we work for and that’s all we talk about.”
Adam Thompson is the sports editor of the Sun Journal.