1996:Hickory 42, Ragsdale 0
1997:Kannapolis A.L. Brown 42, Northeast Guilford 12
2000:Bertie 32, Ragsdale 15
2002:Gastonia Ashbrook 19, Dudley 18
2003:Belmont South Point 27, Northeast Guilford 10
2004:Boiling Springs Crest 26, Dudley 14
2005:Greenville Rose 21, Grimsley 0
2007:DUDLEY 28, Charlotte Catholic 20
The Panthers have landed and the Mission is Accomplished….Dudley has won the State 3-AA Football Championship. What more can we say? After all those years of coming up empty we have a CHAMPION.
High Point Central did grab a 2-A title back in 1999 but the Black Bison don’t factor into what happens over here in the Greensboro area like the teams we mentioned at the top.
This is Panther Country and Dudley earned their stripes on Saturday afternoon with that 28-20 victory over Charlotte Catholic. The crazy thing is that Dudley didn’t win it in typical Dudley Panther fashion. Dudley got yards on the ground but QB Ricky Lewis Jr. put his stock on the SkyBus and took his game to a new level as he and the Panther offense took to the air.
Three Panther touchdowns by way of the pass in one game! Lewis Jr. had only thrown 13 TD passes for the entire season before Saturday’s crowning moment with 9 of those having gone to Kenny Okoro. On Saturday it was Okoro, Tory Warren, and Doug Sigmon who latched on to Lewis Jr.’s TD tosses. Lewis Jr. threw for three and ran for the other Panther touchdown.
Ricky Lewis Jr. was also perfect on all four of the point after touchdown kicks(PAT’s) and that is a miracle within itself. I do not believe that has ever happened before in the offensive scheme of things, at least not this season. Lewis Jr. ended up with 196 yards passing and 150 rushing and he was named the game’s MVP. Tory Warren received the award as the Panthers’ top offensive player and Justin King was named the Panthers’ top defensive player.
It was quite a day for the Dudley Panthers in winning the Championship and on behalf of the local sports citizenery, I’m glad and happy for Coach Steven Davis and his coaching staff. Dudley had to beat a Charlotte Catholic team that was coached by veteran Jim Oddo, a man that has 45-plus years of coaching under his belt and three state titles during that span. Catholic also had a former Panther(Carolina Panther), Frank Garcia, coaching their offensive line.
Dudley’s big “O” line led by guys like James Weaks, Chris Neal, and Josh Jones made a big difference in Saturday’s win plus Jones, Neal, and Darius Hall were doing it all along the Panther defensive front. Jermaine Moore, Justin King, and Major Bryant made sure the linebackers were heard from on Saturday afternoon. Milton Gray III, Julian Alford, Tory Warren, and Kenny Okoro had their hands full in the secondary with the Catholic Cougars QB Culicerto being forced to put the ball in the air but the DB’s stood like tall trees and helped make Catholic go home a loser.
Kyree Ward, Joseph Jackson, and JR Peterson were in the offensive backfield and they did plenty to help Lewis Jr. complete the task at hand, winning the State Championship.
Dudley wins it all and the Panther faithful will have this one to talk about for a long time to come, but Ed Hardin of the News and Record says the Panthers are already preparing for next year’s title run with Ricky Lewis Jr. back for his senior year. I shared a few nuggets with Ed of the N&R after the game and you may have seen some of my notes in Sunday’s tabloid.(Gotta share and spread the wealth around.)
Lewis Jr. will be back but for the Dudley seniors they leave out as champions and let’s go through the roll call as they walk through the GREENSBOROSports.com chambers. So long and a job well done to:Kyree Ward, Marcus Chaney, Julian Alford, Kenny Okoro, Tory Warren, Milton Gray III, Dennis Jenkins, Kalin Edwards, Joseph Jackson, Marquez Parker, Sefield McFoy, Douglas Sigmon, Jermaine Moore, Justin King, David Evans, Donte’ Hughes, and James Weaks.(Dudley has 30 underclassmen returning for 2008)
The Dudley Panthers in 2007:
Ben L. Smith…………..W…..50-7
James B. Dudley Panthers(13-3) 2007 NCHSAA 3-AA STATE CHAMPIONS