Saturday’s state championship game between Havelock and Concord came down to a battle of two of the state’s top running backs – Derrell Scott of the Rams and Rocky Reid of the Spiders.
Both appeared to appreciate each other’s efforts. After the game, Reid – who carried the ball 41 times for 218 yards and a touchdown – made a point of going up to Scott, embracing him and congratulating him.
Scott earned Most Valuable Player honors with a 209-yard, three-touchdown effort.
On the season, Reid finished with 3,325 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns, while Scott totaled 2,143 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Reid is just a junior, while Scott finished his high school career with three state championships and more than 6,000 career rushing yards.
Early in the second quarter, Havelock’s Joey Godette was taken from the sidelines on a stretcher. He was helped off the field by the sports medicine staff, and coach Jim Bob Bryant later reported that Godette had a dislocated shoulder. Godette was in on one tackle before getting hurt.
WEATHER OR NOT
Despite dire predictions for heavy rain during Saturday’s state championship, only light rain fell during portions of the game. Much of the first half was played in a light rain, but little rain fell in the second half, and the Carter-Finley Stadium field appeared to hold up well.
The same could not be said for the two other state championship games played later at Carter-Finley, as heavier rain produced puddles on the field during Greensboro Dudley’s 24-7 victory over Scotland County in the 4A title game and Mallard Creek’s 59-21 victory over Wake Forest in the 4AA game.
THREE’S A CHARM
Havelock won its third straight championship Saturday, but with the victory, the Rams also improved to 3-2 in state championship games. The Rams lost to Canton Pisgah 35-24 in 1975 and 9-6 to Shelby in 1986 before beating West Rowan 38-6 in 2011 and Concord 55-21 last year. The Rams also have an eastern state championship to their credit in 1971, when the east winner and the west winner did not play.
Also of note, Havelock completed a sweep of three collegiate stadiums, having won state titles at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium, Wake Forest’s BB&T Field and North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.
In 2011, quarterback Garrett Crowe led Havelock to the state title, with his father, Chris, as an assistant coach.
This year, quarterback Travis Sabdo won a state title with his father, Bob, serving as an assistant coach.
“My dad gave me a lot of support throughout the whole game,” Travis Sabdo said. “It’s great.”
COME FROM BEHIND
Havelock trailed Concord 10-0 early in the second quarter, the largest deficit the Rams endured all season. Havelock scored 21 straight points over the second and third quarters to get the victory.
In last season’s state championship game against Concord, Havelock also trailed, 21-14 at one point and 21-20 at halftime, before running away with a 55-21 victory.
The last time Havelock trailed by more than one possession in a game was in the second contest of the 2012 season when New Bern held a 34-13 lead in the third quarter. Havelock rallied but lost the game 34-33.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHPS
While Andrew Ramirez was named Havelock’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the game against Concord, he got plenty of help.
Ramirez totaled 19 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and a fumble recovery for the Rams. However, Anthony Fisher totaled 18 tackles in the contest, and Julian Cuthbertson had 10.
In 16 games this season, Havelock allowed just 106 points, or an average of 6.6 per game.