NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
THE WALLACE-ROSE HILL BULLDOGS ( 15-1) HAVE every right to expect another 1AA title. They return three runners with 800 or more yards and most of the defense as there’s enough talent here to give any
4A team a good game.
Keyshawn Canaday ( 1,238 yards, 20 TDs), Johnnie Glaspie
( 1,040 yards, 23 TDs) and Jhonte Wilson (805 yards, 7 TDs) each
averaged 9. 5 yards per carry or more a year ago. Then there’s
Xavier Smith, who had “just” 687 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Glaspie had 9 catches and 5 went for touchdowns. Canady
had a team-high 4 interceptions.
Wallace-Rose Hill, with three state titles since 2009, was
upended in its regular-season finale to Clinton, 35-7, which
only helped the Bulldogs’ focus entering the playoffs.
Tremaine Washington is the team’s top returning passer,
but more importantly he had 15 tackles last season.
At No. 2, the James Kenan Tigers were the biggest threat
to the Bulldogs’ 2014 title run, losing 45-33 in the regular
season and 34-31 in the playoffs.
The Tigers ( 12-2), who have two state titles since 2007,
expect another big season.
Quarterback Ken Avent, now a junior, is a cerebral dual-
threat. He tossed 29 touchdown passes to just 5 intercep-
tions and ran for 677 yards with 13 scores. Donta Mason
was the Tigers’ top player in interceptions and tackles.
At No. 3, eastern power Plymouth was so close to being
crowned state champ last year. The Vikings ( 14-2) played Rob-
binsvile to a 21-18 defeat in the 1A championship. Plymouth
has won two state titles since 2007 and played in one more.
The Vikings have top tackler Raequan Purvis, top receiver
Chris Kelly ( 36. 5 yards per catch) and top rusher Chad Dance
( 1,407 yards, 13 touchdowns).
The main concern is that nobody else on the team has
taken a snap at quarterback, a position that only threw it 84
times last year and ran it 109 times.
Murphy’s Bulldogs ( 10-4) are at No. 4. The mountain
powerhouse is hoping to continue its trend of winning state
titles in odd seasons as it won in 2011 and 2013.
Last year’s team hit some adversity when running back
Gaige Cox tore his ACL three games into the season, but the
payoff that started at the end of last year (winning four of its
last five) should come fruition this fall.
Sophomore McRae Kadrian averaged 7. 9 yards per carry
after being called up from the junior varsity team to help fill
Cox’s void. Three of Murphy’s losses were by nine points or less
to teams also in our top fives – Franklin and Robbinsville.
The 1A champion Robbinsville Black Knights (16-0) check
in at No. 5 due to heavy graduation losses. Robbinsville has
a proud history in football with 13 state titles, but had not
won one since 1992 going into last season.
Senior Lane Millsaps is the team’s top offensive weapon.
He had 1,168 all-purpose yards. Paden Welch leads the
defense with 175 tackles last year. – J. Mike Blake
Keyshawn Canady is a star
on both sides of the ball.
QB Ken Avent, James Kenan
RB Antonio Williams, North Stanly
RB Antwoin Pittman, North Edgecombe
RB Robert Washington, Mountain Island Charter
WR Jordan Cody, Swain County
WR John Brooks, James Kenan
TE Raequan Purvis, Plymouth
OL Austin Hedrick, Robbinsville
OL Malachi Beaver, Murphy
OL Gabe Ellis, West Montgomery
OL Malik Riddick-Reynolds, North Moore
ATH Rondrell Andrews, South Creek
DL Marcus Joyner, Camden County
DL Jordan Maness, North Moore
DL Caleb Cashwell, North Duplin
DL Jalen Price, Charlotte Latin
LB Johnnie Glaspie, Wallace-Rose Hill
LB Marcus Maness, North Moore
LB Jazz Hanson, Manteo
DB Keyshawn Canady, Wallace-Rose Hill
DB Cameron Moore, West Montgomery
DB Raeqwon McAllister, Whiteville
DB Aapri Washington, Mountain Island Charter
ATH Colby Maynor, East Montgomery
1. Wallace-Rose Hill
2. James Kenan