Seven UNC Commits Advance to NCHSAA Football Championships; Kenan to Host Two Games
Seven future Tar Heels will have a chance to win NCHSAA football titles next weekend after Charlotte Catholic, East Surry and Lee County all advanced to next week's state championship games.
In Pilot Mountain, it was receiver and defensive back Stephen Gosnell, who flipped his commitment from N.C. State to North Carolina earlier this season, who sealed East Surry's victory with a late interception as the Cardinals held off Mitchell County to advance to the Class 1-AA championship.
Fellow Carolina commit Jefferson Boaz hooked up with Gosnell for an 88-yard touchdown pass and hit Landon Stevens, who will come to Chapel Hill as a preferred walk-on, for a 69-yard score.
East Surry (14-0) will meet Tarboro (14-0) next Saturday at Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium in a rematch of last season's state championship game, where the Vikings dominated 50-10.
Lee County got a late interception from Jayden Chalmers, another Carolina commit, to finish off a 34-9 victory over New Hanover to advance to the Class 3-AA championship game.
Led by the top player in Carolina's 2020 class, five-star defensive end Desmond Evans, the Yellow Jackets smothered the Wildcats' offense.
Lee County (14-0) is set to take on Weddington (15-0) next weekend at N.C. State's Carter-Finley Stadium.
Offensive guard Malik McGowan, a three-star recruit who committed to Carolina in February, helped Charlotte Catholic rush for six touchdowns as the Cougars reached the state final for the third straight season.
Charlotte Catholic (11-3) will go for its seventh state championship next Saturday vs. top-seeded Southern Nash (15-0).
Kenan Stadium will play host to the Class 4-A and 4-AA games, which feature several of the state's top uncommitted recruits for 2021: LB Power Echols (Vance), WR Micah Crowell (East Forsyth), OT Andrew Canelas (Leesville Road), WR Jacob Gill (Cardinal Gibbons).
A complete list of Dec. 14's championship games by site:
Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham
Class 1-A: No. 4 Northampton (11-3) vs. No. 1 Robbinsville (14-0)
Class 1-AA: No. 1 Tarboro (14-0) vs. No. 1 East Surry (14-0)
BB&T Field, Winston-Salem
Class 2-A: No. 3 Elizabeth City Northeastern (12-3) vs. No. 2 Reidsville (14-1)
Class 2-AA: No. 7 Salisbury (13-2) vs. No. 1 Shelby (13-1)
Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh
Class 3-A: No. 1 Southern Nash (15-0) vs. No. 5 Charlotte Catholic (11-3)
Class 3-AA: No. 1 Lee County (14-0) vs. No. 1 Weddington (15-0)
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
Class 4-A: No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons (12-2) vs. No. 2 East Forsyth (11-2)
Class 4-AA: No. 2 Leesville Road (13-0) vs. No. 1 Charlotte Vance (12-2)