Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thoughts, observations from the N.C. 4AA and 4A state championships

-- After watching Greensboro Page win its first state title since 1986, I enjoyed watching the emotion of the players and a huge crowd at Winston-Salem. Nothing against Page, but I couldn't help but wonder how this team had beaten Mallard Creek and Butler on back-to-back weeks in the N.C. 4AA quarterfinals and semifinals. I didn't see either one of those games but was surprised Butler lost a 26-6 lead and Mallard Creek lost a 19-7 advantage to the state champion Pirates.

Page isn't as big or athletic as Butler and Mallard Creek and while Page QB James Summers is special, but both Mallard Creek and Butler have players of similar talent, and more of them. Maybe it's like editor Chris Hughes told me: "Greensboro Page just wanted it more."

-- Scotland County had been getting mentioned by a lot of high school people in the know as the best overall team in the state. I wouldn't say that after watching the Scots beat Porter Ridge 42-16, but their team speed is impressive and they had the same kind of "want to" as Page did.

-- Porter Ridge, No. 1 in the Sweet 16, is a very good team and deserving of the finals. Despite what the score may make it sound like, the Pirates had many chances to win the 4A final. Porter Ridge actually had the ball deep in Scotland territory down 21-16 in the fourth quarter before a run of turnovers led to easy Scotland scores to end the game.

-- A lot of people will point to Scotland's 82-yard pass from  Kwashaun Quick to Travis Wall with 7:31 left to play as the biggest play of the game. It came on third at 9 with Scotland up 21-16. Porter Ridge looked like it would get the ball back in good field position. The pass was fit in between several defenders and was beautiful to watch.

But the biggest play to me was unfortunately an officials' call. On the previous possession, Porter Ridge had taken possession at Scotland's 36 after an interception. Porter Ridge ran a reverse down to Scotland's 2, but the play was called back for holding. It didn't appear to me that the penalty affected the play. On replay, I couldn't find the infraction, which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

-- I thought the officials were too active during both championship games. There were 17 combined penalties in the 4A final, but it seemed they always marred key plays. Maybe the teams were committing infractions to spring big plays, but too often those of us in the press box were throwing our arms in the air to see a big play end only to be followed by a yellow flag landing on the artificial turf.

-- I hadn't been to Wake Forest's field since the renovations were complete. It's an amazing place to watch a game now. The new press box is amazing and the big replay screen is out of this world. They turned on the SEC championship game between LSU and Georgia between the 4AA and 4A finals. It was amazing to watch the championship on such a clear, beautiful HD screen.


Anonymous said...

well i see i was right, old football guru hasn't had any sleep since all his golden boys got handled. Get over it dude, there is football outside meck county!

Anonymous said...

So many of those calls when Porter Ridges way that it had us wondering if the inept refs came from Union County. Maybe you should have gone to more than one Scotland County game before you decide if they are worthy of the #1 ranking. They have been doninant all season.

Anonymous said...

Being from Scotland County and living in Charlotte I know both sides of who has the best teams. Scotland rolled Porter Ridge. Let us not confuse first half jitters, with anything but. The score does not lie. Part of the game is wearing the opponent out. Those country boys from Scotland were in ten times better condition than Porter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes from an unbiased reporter? Wrong place, wrong time!! Scotland's #7 had the flu and didn't practice 'till Thursday and then twisted his ankle during the game. Scotland's #25 played with a sprained ankle. Two of Scotland's best running backs played hurt and they still blew out PR. Get your facts straight with some good investigated reporting before spouting off your uninformed opinions. Just the facts, please.

Anonymous said...

Guilford County wins TWO state titles with Page and Northern Guilford including knocking off the incredibly overhyped Mallard Creek Ducks who quacked on the Big One again as expected. Also down goes hyped West Rowan and the fatboy coach joke and Crest who beat Catholic.

The Mecklenburg Observer and its circle sales area favs were all CLOBBERED and wiped out. What a clueless bunch.

All these hyped locals were not just wiped out but DESTROYED convincingly without exception. Forget the pathetic excuses. Losers make excuses.
Porter Ridge blown out by Scotland.

MaxPreps will NEVER listen to the local yocal hype trash again. Truly there must nothing idiots who do sports and media in general at the local rag.

Mallard Creek and the local rag sports writers need to apologize to Page Scotland and N Guilford for being erroneously overrated all year.

Rule #1 -- NEVER ever buy the media hype BS on anything. They are always full of it.

Live by that rule and you cant go wrong ... ROFLMFAO

Anonymous said...

If any one of the teams that Page beat in the playoffs was the better team then they should have won the game. They did not. If any of those teams had better coaching they should have won the game. They did not. If any of those teams had more heart than Page, they should have won the game. They did not. In each of the playoff games that Page won, the better team won. The better team always wins. The better teams proof is always reflected in the final score. Mallard Creek and Butler look great on paper. The 2011 Page Pirate 4AA Champs look great on the field.

ps. Ethan Hortan needs to get his head out of his a** and give respect where it is due.

Anonymous said...

Scotland Co. has always been under the radar since they are rivals with Richmond Co.When Scotland, Richmond, Anson,Hoke,Lee,were in the Southeastern 4A CONFERENCE,the majority of schools were from one county schools. That elevated their playing level all year.This especially prepared Richmond to win so many state titles, when playing Charlotte AND Fayetteville schools.

Ken said...

So how do YOU determine the best team in the state? If you don't think Scotland County is, then who is better? Lots of games have "almost's" and "if only's". That's part of the game. Don't the game scores, team records and strength of schedule count for anything? You better take another (unbiased) look at Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and observations is exactly right. Just because we all have an opinion does not mean it should be shared. You are clearly paid to hype teams in the Observer circulation area. I understand its dollars and cents, but clearly there are better teams in other areas of the state. Scotland County proved that last night when they whipped Porter Ridge even when the officiating crew was obviously favoring the Pirates. The better team one. Hopefully, next season your reporting will improve and not consist of the "opinions" you are paid to have.

Anonymous said...

You guys are blind and dont know football. Porter Ridge led for more than half this game. Both teams missed opportunities, but three big plays made this score what it was, not the whole game. An 84 yd td pass, that if our defender missed by 1 or 2 inches with his hand, on a 3 and long down got Scotland the lead it needed to win, then our screen pass got picked for a td, and next drive another pick. Dont act like you guys blew the Ridge out.. You guys were far from it. 21-16 in the 4th qrt before a melt down happen is NOT a blow out.

But, Im not here to take away form Scots kids, they played well enough to win. Dont take away from what was a closer game than the score shows from these kids. It was a great game til the last 8 min, and I enjoyed all of it, except the loss.

Anonymous said...

a note first to Butler; get hungry again, lose the entitlement chip on your shoulder, learn to make in game adjustments. Mallard Creek; how dare you act as if you were entitled to just walk to the championship game when you haven't ever been to one before. Take a note from G.Page; learn how to finish, add better competition to your schedule, learn how to make in game adjustments and oh yea, get a more school spirited fan base than the wine and cheese crowd you brought to Page. It's football, not tennis. Goodluck next year!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a Butler fan, my son plays for the bulldogs. With that said, I have never read more bs than what this writer wrote. Page beat Butler...period!! They came out and wanted it more!! From the first second half kickoff when they almost broke it- till the last play of the game!!

MC and Butler have over hyped stars who are more concerned with college offers than winning a championship. Both teams have other great players they REFUSED to use to their advantage.
Page has ONE star and the rest of their team were a bunch of (hard nosed) young men who play for each other and not for scholorships. Butler and MC coaches be smart next year, bar the press from your practice fields and focus on TEAM and not STARS!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with that last statement from the Butler parent. But the fact of the matter is that both teams, MC & Butler, got outplayed, outhustled and most definitely out coached plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

ps. Ethan Hortan needs to get his head out of his a** and give respect where it is due.

December 4, 2011 10:39 AM

Ask Horton what happened to him as the QB of Kannapolis Little Wonders in the 1983
3A state title game against Tarboro?

40-0 for Tarboro

They couldnt even get past the 50 yard line all game.

Anonymous said...

December 4, 2011 12:38 PM

What is your sons name? Sounds like a lie.

Anonymous said...

Porter Ridge led for more than half this game.

lol what the hell does that mean?

Sure wasnt the 2nd half. Got your ass blown out.
You sucked ... end of story.

Anonymous said...

worst officials that has been in title game history! so many late calls after the play was almost over. like a wait and see what happens before I make a call here! kicker from page should be in hollywood for that fake i'm hit play! too bad the officals controlled the outcome in a title game and hurt so many kids by doing it! no class guys at all and never forget god see's all!

Anonymous said...

Ethan Horton graduated from Brown in 1981. Get your facts straight. The game final was 20-0, not 40-0.

tommy w said...

I am proudly from Scotland County and am extremely proud of our boys winning the Game with teamwork and class. After reading this article and listening to PR head coach post game comments in which he did not even congratulate the SCOTS at all, I can understand why the writer said what he said. But facts are facts, Porter Ridege scored the first 13, Scotland the next 42 of 45 points. Winners WIN, LOSERS make excuses. Before you publish your opinion of the Scots to see if they are the
best, check with the other 14 coaches that coached against them or just look at the score again 42-16.

Anonymous said...

Porter Ridge is a quality football team, but honestly guys the Scots were a far superior team in all aspects of the game. Take away our first half jitters (pick 6 and fumble to set up short field), and the score could have easily been 56-0. PR could not sustain a drive covering the field and score. The Scots and Page would have been a great game, but no team from the Meck area deserved to be champs this year.

Anonymous said...

Big Butler fan here, no need to diss Page they won on the field congrats to those kids. Horton needs to respect these kids accomplishments and quit the crying over the meck cty teams. Butler caoch Hales was horrible this year , too many prima donas like the young Lemay kid. H ehas no heart and is only worried about where hes gettig college offers. Hales refused to put the best kids on the field on defense , pretty boy zach fergoson is their best defensiv eplayer but spent little time on the field as safety. For these reasons , Page kicked thier butts-congrats to Page they deserved it

Slappy360 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slappy360 said...

Way to go Fightning Scots!!!

The Scots wore dowm PR, and seized the opportunities to put them away!!


By the way, The Scots SURE Do Travel well, huh?? lol

Anonymous said...

To all the Butler parents: Congratulations, you figured it out, its all about college offers. Star players will continue to get ink in the paper. This is not Pop Warner anymore. Quit your whining and save some money for your kid to go to college.

Anonymous said...

Well, First of all most Butlers so called "stars" have had all the "ink" a ball point pin can hold. They do what most of Butlers past "stars" do when they get to college--sit on the bench. Except Boykin at VT and the kid playing for the Irish.
Look over the past two years, what kid have you heard of making a splash at any D1 or for that matter D2 college from Butler? And please dont say Lamay-- is he still even playing football? Oh, and yes I am saving money for my kid to go to college. She doesn't need sports. She has a brain.

Anonymous said...

Splashes for Butler as follows.... Hanes at Catawba, Charest at Catawba, Edwards at Ball State, Woodley at Lenoir Rhyne, Bridges at Coastal.. I could name a few more but I don't want you to look even more foolish. All of these players have had a huge impact on their schools already. But don't believe me, surf the web.
Look, students and parents do need to focus on more of a team aspect when it comes to high school sports, but you can't blame a kid for trying to get free money. Colleges or costly. But that's not why Butler lost... They played a better team.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Scotland. I am from Richmond County and it is always great when somebody from our area beats a char/meck or surrounding county team because of all the publicity these teams get. Country boys are still the best and hardest working "TEAMS" around. See you next year in Rockingham

Anonymous said...

All you people come out of hiding once you won where were you alll season? Smh just be glad that independence isn't what it use to be if I can remeber we dominated the east an surronding area for 7 years act like you have won before an show some class

Anonymous said...

Page beating Mallard Creek was kind of like NC.State beating Clemson. That's why they play the game.

Anonymous said...

December 5, 2011 12:33 PM





ps tell that panther qb of yours to stop acting like a stupid retard in the end zone and act like hes been there before.
they dont act like that in pop warner

Rob Shoemake said...

Langston is a tool, always has been and always will be. All he personally cares about is getting hits on his stories and trying to elevate "certain" players from the local area. But hey, that is who pays his bills, so who I am to speak the facts. He is typical "homer journalist" that is afraid to speak the truth out of fear of reduced subscriptions and loss of job. Go Langston, Go Charlotte Observer, Go Bias Media, You all are what makes the American Print Media a JOKE!