It was a bittersweet ending to a great season for Randleman Friday night as the Tigers dropped a hard-fought 14-7 decision to visiting Salisbury at Charles Gregory Stadium in the 2AA Eastern …
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It was a bittersweet ending to a great season for Randleman Friday night as the Tigers dropped a hard-fought 14-7 decision to visiting Salisbury at Charles Gregory Stadium in the 2AA Eastern Finals.
In the end the Salisbury defense was too strong, holding Randleman sophomore star Na’Heim Lilly to just 77 yards rushing after entering with over 2,000 yards.
The star of the night for the victorious Hornets and coach Brian Hinson, an East Montgomery grad who starred for legendary Eagles coach Jerry Daniel, was McClean who rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries including an six-yard touchdown run early in the fourth which proved to be the difference in the game. McClean had scored from eight yards out to open the second period to send Salisbury to a 7-0 advantage early on.
Randleman, which allowed 236 yards rushing and 326 total yards to Salisbury, didn’t score offensively the entire game.
The lone Tigers score came just before the half when senior Dominique Poole picked off a Hornets pass and raced 85 yards the other way for a game tying touchdown to send the teams into the locker rooms at the half knotted at 7-7.
Randleman closed the season at 13-1 while Salisbury (13-2) will face defending state champion Shelby for the 2AA state championship Saturday at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem at 11am.
In Sanford, the excitement is high after Lee County (14-0) crushed New Hanover 34-9 in the 3AA Eastern Finals to advance to the state title game for the first time since Sanford Central won the 1973 state championship under legendary coach Paul Gay.
The Yellow Jackets will take on defending 3AA state champion Weddington (15-0) at 7pm at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on Saturday.
Weddington, located outside of Monroe, has destroyed any and everything in its path this fall including Watauga 49-14 last Friday night.
In the Eastern Final game, Lee County senior running back A.J. Boulware had a game that will go down in Yellow Jacket history with 245 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Boulware scored from six yards out early in the contest to send Lee County in front 6-0 before dashing 70 yards midway through the second period to extend the Jackets advantage to 14-3.
Lee County opened it up in the second half as Boulware darted 52 yards on a 4th-and-1 play early in the third to extend the lead to 20-9 before Boulware went five yards into the end zone midway through the fourth to push the Jackets advantage to 27-9.
A T.J. Johnson pick set up Colin Johnson connecting with Tyric McKendall on a 16-yard TD pass to cap the 34-9 victory.
Johnson completed 12-of-18 passes in the contest for 75 yards and a score for Lee County.