Havelock sophomore linebacker Trey Owens didn’t expect to play much in Saturday’s state championship. But when starter Joey Godette injured his shoulder, Owens was on the field, and in the end, made one of the biggest plays of the game.
Owens’ tackle of Concord quarterback Keenan Black just short of the end zone on the game’s last play preserved Havelock’s 21-13 state championship victory.
With 15 seconds left, Concord had the ball at the Ram 5-yard line. Black dropped back to pass, was flushed from the pocket and scrambled toward the end zone, where the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Owens was waiting.
“I think the (defensive backs) did a very good job of defending the receivers, forcing the quarterback to scramble,” Owens said. “The defensive line did a good job forcing him to run out of the pocket. I just saw him cut up, and I just knew if I did my job, we’d be alright.”
After Owens hit Black, teammates Akeno Godette and Jordan Cuthbertson closed in to keep Black from scoring.
“I was hoping he wasn’t in the end zone, but I wasn’t sure,” Owens said.
With no time-outs, Concord couldn’t stop the clock and failed to get a play off before time expired, and that’s when the significance of what happened hit Owens.
“It was pretty intense for me,” he said. “It just all hit me when the clock hit zero that such a big play was made to end the game on the 1-yard line.”
Owens, who had six tackles in the game, said he has watched the TV rebroadcast, paying particular attention to the last play.
“I’ve replayed it a lot,” he said. “It was a pretty good moment.”
A moment he said he wanted for the seniors and their third straight title.
“They fought real hard to get us there,” he said. “They had two other championships and I just wanted to help them get a third one so they can become that dynasty. They really deserve it. They’re a whole bunch of great guys.”