After defeating Hunter Huss 28-7 last week, it was time for the Cougars of Charlotte Catholic to face off with another Big South opponent. The Kings Mountain Mountaineers defeated top-seeded Northwest Cabarrus last week 49-28 and were looking to knock off the defending state champs.
But on the first drive, mistakes started hurting Kings Mountain. On 3rd-and-1, a fumble by Ricaylen Mack would set the Cougars up at the Mountaineer 34-yard line. On the first play, Paul Neel would put the Cougars on the board for a 34-yard touchdown run (PAT good). On their third drive, the Mountaineers would make it to the Cougar 25-yard line, but would shoot themselves in the foot again. The drive stopped when Kaylon Wade was intercepted by Daniel Boll in the end zone.
In the second quarter, the Cougars extended their lead with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Chris Walton to Michael Neel (PAT good). The Cougars looked to extend the lead when Walton connected with Adam Robbe for another touchdown, but it would be called back due to a holding penalty. The score remained 14-0 at the half.
It would get worse before it got better for the Mountaineers. A 31-yard pass from Walton to Michael Neel set the Cougars up at the two-yard line. Lamagea McDowell would punch it in two plays later for a one-yard touchdown run (PAT good). Kings Mountain would get on the board later in the third quarter with a Kaylon Wade one-yard touchdown run (PAT good). That was set up by a 29-yard pass from Wade to Kobe Paysour on the previous play. But that would be as good as it got for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers would be pinned deep near their own end zone on two drives in the fourth quarter. One of those resulted in a Cougars safety. Catholic would put the final nail in the coffin when Chris Walton connected with Michael Neel for a 42-yard touchdown reception (PAT good). Will Griggs was 4-for-4 on his extra point kicks. The game would end on an interception by the Cougars’ Brian Jacobs and a couple of kneel downs by Chris Walton.
“They have had such a great run here at Kings Mountain. They have won 12 games three out of four years. They have won a conference championship and made it to the state semi-final twice in the last four years.” Kings Mountain head coach Greg Lloyd said about his group of seniors “We had a great group of kids. It’s just been an unbelievable season. I am so proud of them and their effort and what they’ve been to Kings Mountain.”
“We got a lot of guys back (next year). We’re losing some good ones too. We should have a good quality football team coming back next year.” Lloyd said.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s been a long season and to finish up the season with a win at home and a chance to go back to the state championship is exhilarating, tiring but exhilarating.” said Charlotte Catholic head coach Mike Brodowicz “Our defense has been opportunistic all year. Our defense was stellar all year. Against a Kings Mountain team that’s been averaging 43 points a game, we had our work cut out for us. But our kids have risen to the challenge all year. This is one of the best defensive groups that I’ve had at this school.”
“We are just excited to be back and play in the state championship game. That’s always our goal.” Brodowicz said “We don’t know who our opponent is but anybody coming out of the east, Jacksonville or Havelock, are very good teams that have run through the east pretty solidly. With all the adversity that they have faced with all the floods and the hurricane, they are going to bring a big crowd and be excited to bring their community together during their difficult year. So it’s going to be a heck of a good game and we’re just happy to get a chance to play in it.”
Chris Walton led the Catholic offense with 166 yards passing and two touchdowns. 151 yards of those went to Michael Neel, who had two of the touchdowns. Kaylon Wade led the Kings Mountain offense with 133 yards (35 rushing and 98 passing) and a rushing touchdown, but was intercepted twice.