Danny Piggee’s Pigskin Preview with Grimsley vs. New Bern in the Championship Game:FINISH time for the Greensboro Grimsley Whirlies on the Murphy Wainer Game of the Week

It’s Friday Night and time for the NCHSAA 4-A Football State Championship Game featuring the Grimsley Whirlies(15-0) vs. the New Bern Bears(15-0)…Kickoff set for 7pm, at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. We will have a pregame for you at around 6:20 pm on GreensboroSports Radio…We will have Don Tilley and Don Moore working with us on the broadcast…Big night for the Greensboro Grimsley Whirlies, as they go for the 4-A Football State Title…Join us tonight on, GreensboroSports Radio, and we have been bringing you these high school football games for over 25 years now…

Time to be thinking about making retirement plans, and time to call on Danny Pigge, the man who brings us the Pigskin Preview each week….Danny Pigge/LUTCF®, AAMS™/Financial Advisor
Associate Vice President/336.819.5706/danny.pigge@ampf.com…Get in touch with Danny Pigge soon, and he can start helping you build your retirement savings…

We talked with Grimsley Whirlies coach Darryl Brown on Thursday afternoon, and here are some of the things Coach Brown was telling us prior to his team’s big game in Chapel Hill…You can catch the complete interview with Coach Brown when you tune into our broadcast from Kenan Stadium, and this interview will be on the Sprinkle Oil Pregame Show tonight, here on GreensboroSports Radio…Pregame show at around 6:20, the Shift_ed.org Kickoff is coming up at 7pm, and at time, it is time for the Murphy Wainer Orthopedic Specialists Game of the Week, with Grimsley vs. New Bern…

When we talked to Coach Darryl Brown on Thursday afternoon he said the key to this game, and the key this entire (15-0) season was finish…Grimsley has to finish what they started…When they began the season, the goal wasn’t necessarily to win the State Championship, but it was to Get Better Each and Every Week, and in order to do that, you have to Finish…Grimsley finished well vs. Hough, winning 40-37 in Triple Overtime, and then Grimsley finished well last week, knocking off Weddington, 28-27…You win an Overtime Game, in fact you go Three Overtimes and you get the win, and then you pick up a one-point victory the following week, now that is Finishing…

Coach Brown said playing close games, against tough opponents has made his Grimsley team a better team over the course of the playoffs…Greensboro Grimsley has for sure been tested, and they have passed all of the key tests up to this point of the season….

“It feels really good to be in this position”, said Coach Darryl Brown…”We are continuing to build this program, and having been here back in the Spring of 2021 is a plus for us”…”Especially as far as our coaching staff goes”…”We know how to get our week lined up, and where we need to be, going into the game on Friday night”…”It is also good to be going back to the same place we were at before, as in returning to Chapel Hill, because we know the layout, we know the facilities, and we are familiar with the football field, there at Kenan Stadium”…”Not a lot of our current kids were with us back then, back in the Spring of 2021, but those that were, have a nice advantage when we take to the field to face the Bears”…
(Same Time/7pm, same night/Friday, same place/Chapel Hill and Kenan Stadium, and hoping for the same result as in the Spring of 2021/”W”.)

Coach Brown said it has been a good week of practice leading up to the game…”There has been rain pretty much throughout the week, so we have been practicing over at Greensboro College, on their turf field”…”It has been a good week of practice, and we have pretty much everyone on the team, healthy and ready to play in the Championship Game”…

“We played on the turf at Kenan Stadium, back in the Spring of 2021, we worked out at Greensboro College this week, so being familiar with the turf field, should be no problem”…..

Coach Brown said his team had been working hard this week, trying to get ready to face the Wishbone Offense that the New Bern Bears employ…”You have to be ready to take the quarterback, the dive man, and the pitch man”, said Coach Brown…”It is hard to be ready for, but our guys have been getting used to it, and I feel like they will be ready for it, on Friday night”…There has to be responsibility for the QB, the dive man, who is usually a fullback, and for the pitch man, who tends to be a halfback…Coach Brown said New Bern oftens breaks the Bone, and they go to other variations of that offense…Coach Brown also told us that the Wishbone/Triple Option Offense that New Bern runs, is different from what Grimsley saw when they faced Porter Ridge in the 2022 Playoffs…The Porter Ridge Pirates triple option gave the Whirlies fits on that Friday night, when Porter Ridge ended up ending Grimsley’s season…

“On offense, New Bern will hit for two yards, and then they will run off with maybe a long 62-yard run”, said Coach Brown…”New Bern is very explosive, any type of disruption we can get from our two defensive tackles, Jamaal Jarrett and Andre Hill, will be a big boost for our defense”…”If they can just get back there and drive the New Bern offense back a little bit, that will help our overall defensive scheme”…

Coach Brown said he expects a big game from his senior quarterback Ryan Stephens…Coach Brown said Stephens is a Winner, and that he will look to Stephens to get good reads off of the the New Bern Bears’ defense, and for Ryan Stephens to be able to get the ball in the hands of Alex Taylor and Terrell Anderson on a consistent basis..Coach Brown also said Stephens will need to be a key runner for the Whirlies, joining Mitchell Summers and Ja’carion Maynard in that department…I asked Coach Brown iF Stephens ability to extend plays was important, and he agreed that is something that Ryan Stephens is very good at…Saying he can extend key plays, by rolling out, getting a key read, and then taking off and running if necessary, or he can deliver the pass on the run too, and that also gives his receivers time to get open upfield…

Alex Taylor will be a key cog/part of the Grimsley Whirlies effort vs. the New Bern Bears…Taylor was a big part of the Grimsley defense last week, in the win over Weddington, and Alex Taylor plays out the part of a team having their best players on the team, on the field, at all times…Taylor will be there on defense, he is out there at WR on offense, and he will do the punting for the Greensboro Grimsley Whirlies…

Back to his defense facing the New Bern offense this week, Coach Brown said playing defense in the game is much different than how you see and face the opposing defense in practice…Coach Brown said his defense will need to ramp it up in the game, because you just can’t totally simulate the full game conditions in practice…Coach Brown said that he and his offensive coordinator Jesse Tripp had been running as the New Bern Bears scout team QB in practice, and that his men better be hitting the New Bern offense, and the Bears’ QB, harder than they were hitting us dummy quarterbacks in the practice sessions…

The bottom line is Grimsley will need to do what they have been doing all season long…FINISH!!!

One more look at the New Bern Bears:
The Bears’ quarterback is Damaree Tucker who runs the ball more than he throws the football…Tucker with 1,145 yards rushing on 122 carries, with 16 rushing touchdowns on the season…
QB Tucker has thrown the football 32 times, with 15 completions, and that’s good for 515 yards, and 9 passing TD’s, with 3 INT. Tucker with 1,660 Total Yards on the year…

The Bears top RB Aronne Herring(New Bern HS) is with 166 carries on the season, good for 1,984 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns…

New Bern Bears’ running back Jayden Wallace is at 1,256 rushing yards, and that has come on 140 carries, and he has been good for 15 rushing TD’s this season…
One more back for the Bears with very positive rushing yardage and that would be Malachi Dockett, who has run the ball for 748 yards on 88 carries with 5 TD’s…
Over 6,000 yards rushing for New Bern as a team, in 2022…Add in close to 80 rushing touchdowns for the Bears squad….

The top Bear receivers are Will Brimmer, who also plays defensive end, and the other key receiver on offense, is Malachi Dockett…

The Bears punter is Zach McConnell, averaging 40.7 yards per punt, after his most recent game, vs. Raleigh Millbrook…..

The top tackler for the New Bern Bears is KJ Sampson, who has committed to attend Florida State…The 6’4/285 pound senior DL has 96 Total Tackles, with 30 solos and 66 assists…Sampson has 23 Tackles for a Loss…Sampson with 18 QB Sacks, and 35 QB Hurries…Sampson also has deflected six passes…Sampson wearing #10, and the Grimsley Whirlies will need to keep a close watch out for Sampson, on Friday night…
Bears’ No’tavien Green with 95 Total Tackles…Green with 30 solos and 65 assists…Green with 7 TFL’s and 5 QB Sacks…Green with 9 Pass Deflections, plus 2 Fumble Recoveries and 1 Caused Fumble…
For the Bears Will Brimmer…Brimmer very athletic and at 6’3/210 playing defensive end, and he has 52 Total Tackles and Brimmer with 13 TFL’s…Brimmer with 11 Sacks, and 29 QB Hurries/3 Pass Deflections…
LB Kyvon Gooding with 74 Total Tackles and 4 TFL’s…Gooding with 1 QB Sack, and 4 Pass Deflections….
DL Taevion Cox with 72 Total Tackles, and Cox with 9 TFL’s/4 1/2 QB Sacks and 20 QB Hurries…Cox at 6’3/290…
DB Amari Birth with 32 Total Tackles, plus 5 Interceptions and 10 Pass Deflections…
DB Currine Henry with 16 Total Tackles, 3 Interceptions/18 Pass Deflections…
DB Ivion Smith with 23 Total Tackles, 3 Interceptions/12 Pass Deflections/1 Fumble Recovery/1 Caused Fumble…
DL Jamir Bryant has 41 Total Tackles with 4 TFL’s/3 1/2 Sacks/1 QB Hurry

Grimsley Whirlies notes:
Ryan Stephens(Grimsley) 125-201 for 2,067 yards, with 20 TD/2 INT…..Ryan Stephens(Grimsley) with 137 carries for 1,037 yards and 24 TD’s…
Mitchell Summers(Grimsley) 241 carries for 2,064 yards and 24 TD’s…
Ja’carion Maynard(Grimsley) 73 carries for 644 yards and 7 TD’s…
Terrell Anderson(Grimsley) with 63 receptions for 1,169 yards and 10 TD’s…
Alex Taylor(Grimsley) with 62 receptions for 957 yards and 12 TD’s…

Grimsley defensive numbers vs. Weddington in the West Regional Championship Game
DB Alex Taylor with 3 Total Tackles and an Interception vs. Weddington…
LB Khalil Stimpson with 9 Total Tackles and a blocked Field Goal vs. Weddington…
DB Jamarie Davis with 7 Total Tackles and a blocked Extra Point attempt, vs. Weddington…
DL Jamaal Jarrett had 6 Total Tackles/2 TFL/1 QB Hurry/1 Caused Fumble…vs. Weddington…
DB Deon McLaughlin had 6 Total Tackles, vs. Weddington…
DB Chris Young with 5 Total Tackles and returned a blocked FG 30 yards, vs. Weddington…
LB Keshaun Jones with 4 Total Tackles/1 TFL vs. Weddington…
DL Bryce Davis with 3 Total Tackles/1 TFL/2 QB Hurries/1 Fumble Recovery vs. Weddington…
DB Nick Caldwell with 3 Total Tackles and 2 Pass Deflections, vs. Weddington…
DL Jahkai Eason with 2 Solo Tackles vs. Weddington…
DL Jalen Ashe with 1 Solo Tackle vs. Weddington…
Very solid effort from the Grimsley Offensive Line, all season long, lining up there with Nolan Albright, Henry Harden, Tyler Smouse, Graham Buckrham, Jaden Staton, and Jamarius Matier…