RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - The Wallace-Rose Hill Bulldogs overcame two first half turnovers to run away with their third North Carolina 1-AA State Title in six years, beating Starmount 34-21.
The Bulldogs drew first blood with a 72-yard touchdown run by Keyshawn Canady. An Alex Linsane fumble later in the first quarter, was picked up by Zach Freed and taken to the house to tie the game 7-7.
On the ensuing kickoff two-time WECT Athlete of the Week Johnnie Glaspie returned the ball 73 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was missed making the score 13-7 Bulldogs.
Another Wallace-Rose Hill turn over ended in seven points for the Rams giving them a 14-13 lead.
"It wasn't pretty all the time, but we did what we had to do to win the game," Coach Joey Price said after the game. "If we don't turn the ball over on offense, they might not score like they did."
The Ram's lead wouldn't last long as Xavier Smith and Glaspie added rushing touchdowns of 10 and 23 yards respectively.
"I thought the offense did enough to win the game, but the defense played great all night long," Price said.
The defense came up with a goal line stand on fourth and goal to the end the first half. Jacob Hargrove came up with a sack to lead the team into the locker room with a 27-14 lead.
The Bulldogs finished the game with Glaspie's third touchdown of the night. The final score Bulldogs 34, Rams 21.
After the game Glaspie spoke about what it meant to win the game while not considering himself 100 percent.
"It feels good," said Glaspie as he fought back joyful tears. "I just stood up for my team, like I said we would earlier in the playoffs."
He was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The game's offensive player of the game, Keyshawn Canady, couldn't say enough about the team's leadership.
"It means a lot. It's not so much on us, but the coaches. The way they coach us, push us together," a jubilant Canady exclaimed. "For me to be a junior this is a great experience. And it means next year that I work hard with my team. I thank God for my seniors, they're leaders. They led us to this championship."
Good news for the Bulldogs they bring back Glaspie and Canday for their senior seasons.