Dudley outlasts J.H. Rose in high-scoring contest to win Class 3-A state title, 69-40

Touchdown Friday

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCT) — In a state championship game that pitted two teams on a roll lately, it turned out Dudley was just too much for J.H. Rose to overcome.

Dudley won its 12th straight game and ended the season Friday night winning the Class 3-A state title, beating Rose 69-40.

CLICK HERE for the state championship program

Rose and Dudley ended up breaking the NC High School Athletic Association modern era record for combined and single-team points in a state title football game.

Dudley finished the season 15-1 and won its fifth state title and first since 2016. The Panthers have also won state titles in 2013, 2008 and 2007 and are now 5-2 in state title games, all under the direction of head coach Steven Davis.

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Rose, which came into the game winners of six straight and 11 of 12 after starting the season 0-3, finished 11-5. The Rampants were making their seventh state title appearance, winning it all in 1975, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Rose is now 5-3 in title games.

(Ken Watlington, WNCT photo)

Dudley’s defense had only allowed 41 points in its last 12 games since a 30-14 loss to Hillside on Sept. 3. Rose’s offense took that challenge to task and, after going down 21-0 in the first quarter, made a dramatic comeback to trail 21-14 going into the second quarter. That was helped by a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jameer Roach.

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However, Dudley’s offense answered and scored another 21 points in the second quarter for a 42-20 halftime lead. Dudley quarterback Jahmier Slade scored on a 29-yard run after it looked like Rose’s defense may have been able to tackle him for a loss in the backfield to make it 27-14.

Dudley bobbled the punt on its next possession and Rose recovered at the Panthers 6. Klavon Brown then scored on the next play, getting Rose within 27-20.

Then disaster struck for Rose.

A bobbled shotgun snap allowed Dudley’s Mehki Wall to recover with 59 seconds left in the half. Wall caught a five-yard pass then ran it in from 5 yards out to give Dudley a 35-20 lead after a two-point conversion.

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Rose then bobbled the kickoff and Dudley recovered at the Rampants 24. On fourth-and-1, Slade hit RJ Baker from 14 yards out to give the Panthers a 42-20 halftime lead.

It never got any better for the Rampants.

Dudley scored the game’s first 21 points, leaving Rose stunned and scrambling. The Panthers got their first touchdown on a fourth-down play before returning an interception for a touchdown. After getting a punt and scoring on a 76-yard run by Michael Shaw, Dudley had a 21-0 lead with 6:19 to go in the first quarter.

WIll Taylor connected with Jayden Grimes on a 13-yard touchdown pass that allowed Rose to cut the deficit to 21-7. Roach’s interception with just under a minute in the first quarter made it 21-14.

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