The Triple Option is tough to defend/”Curses, foiled again”: New Bern Bears top Grimsley Whirlies, 40-28, in State 4-A Football Final

**********We have Updates on this article, and last/most recent update at 3:01am….*********

Back on the old Batman TV Show, it was either the Joker, the Riddler, or the Penguin who would always say at the end of the shoe, “Curses, Foiled Again”!!!!!

On Friday night in Chapel Hill, N.C, the Triple Option took down one of our Greensboro-based football teams again…This time it was the New Bern Bears knocking off the Grimsley Whirlies, and the Bears used the Wishbone formation/offense to take down the Whirlies, and the stakes were high, with the Winner/Victor taking home the spoils, and the spoils this time around were the NCHSAA 4-A Football Championship…

New Bern ran that good old Triple Option, and they did while utilizing the Wishbone backfield…Grimsley was able to slow down the Bears and their Triple Option a few times, but the Whirlies were never able to really stop it, especially when they had to try and contain the New Bern backs, in “Must Situations”…

We just saw the South Point Red Raiders end the Dudley Panthers season, last month, and South Point eliminated Dudley, while running the Triple Option…Last season, back in 2021, Grimsley was ousted from the second round of the football playoffs, and the Porter Ridge Pirates ran what???? You guessed it, the Triple Option…

We might have better luck stopping Rodney Dangerfield and his “Triple Lindy”, but one thing is for sure, the Triple Option is beginning to trip up our Greensboro/Guilford County teams, in the worst of times, and the worst of ways…

I am starting to develop a “Triple Option Complex”…It is becoming like the chicken pox, or the shingles, we can’t seem to get away from this crazy Triple Option…We may have to do what Rodney Dangerfield did, and go “Back to School”, and find a way to defeat this influx of Triple Option football, that is starting to leave a very bad taste in our mouths..

Jackson Blee and Cam Medlock from South Point, and then Demaree Tucker, Arrone Herring, Malachi Dockett, and Charmir Wright from New Bern, those backs have burned us with the Triple Option, and we now have the battle scars to prove it…

And now for a quick step backwards, as we go back to the basics of life, and remind you that the Final Score coming out of Chapel Hill on Friday night was, New Bern 40, Grimsley 28…New Bern led by their QB Tucker, ran the football 54 times, for almost 400 yards(394), and the Bears were 0-0 passing for zero yards…The Bears did not have to throw the ball, they could run the football, and they ran it hard and well…
(As I was saying, they ran it often, remember we noted that the Bears ran the ball 54 times, and never put the ball, in the air.)

New Bern’s Aronne Herring ran for 161 yards on 16 carries, and he scored 2 touchdowns…QB Tucker ran for 105 yards, and he added two TD’s…It was Malachi Dockett with 77 yards rushing, plus Charmir Wright ran for 34 yards on just 2 carries, and carried for two more touchdowns…Six rushing TD’s for New Bern, and 394 yards rushing, and the QB, the dive man, and the pitch man were doing their jobs, and they were doing them well, in the Triple Option…

I was really impressed with the job Grimsley’s Terrell Anderson did in this Championship Ball Game…Terrell ran a kickoff back 98 yards and he caught a pass from his Whirlie teammate and QB Ryan Stephens, and that Stephens to Anderson play covered 85 yards and resulted in a Grimsley touchdown…That’s 183 total yards, and two touchdowns right there for Terrell Anderson, and every time I write or say his name, it makes me think of Terrell Davis, the former star running back for the Denver Broncos…Ryan Stephens always makes me think of Patrick Mahomes, since Mahomes and Stephens both wear the number 15…

Grimsley got a beautiful fumble recovery from linebacker Chris Young for the second week in a-row…Nice return by Young, and that kickoff return by Anderson, and his reception for the long TD were both a sight to behold…

Grimsley lost this game, but the Whirlies fought hard, and they were still around until New Bern’s QB Tucker took off running around the right corner/edge, and Tucker took off down the right sideline, he tip-toed along that right boundary, and ran the ball into the end zone, from 36 yards away, and that TD run came with just thirty-three seconds left in the contest, and that run by Tucker sealed the win for New Bern Bears…

Until that last game-sealing scamper by Tucker, Grimsley was only down 33-28, and Grimsley still had life…But, that last run by Damaree Tucker put the nail in the Whirlies’ coffin…Even with all of the running New Bern was doing, Grimsley was still within striking range, before Tucker took off to the house…

There is no doubt that the Grimsley Whirlies battled, and our Greensboro team actually lead the game, 14-13 in the early stages of the second quarter…It was a short-lived lead, and Grimsley never moved in front in the game again…New Bern would maintain at least a one touchdown lead over Greensboro Grimsley, the rest of the way…Like we were saying, the New Bears margin of victory did slip down to just five points late in the second half, but the Bears would not let the Whirlies see true daylight again…

New Bern ends up winning the ball game, by twelve, 40-28, and the Bears conclude their season with a perfect (16-0) record, while Grimsley slips to (15-1), and finishes #2 at the state 4-A level…

A very good season for the Grimsley Whirlies and they have a lot of talent returning for 2023…WR’s Terrell Anderson and Alex Taylor, RB Mitchell Summers, backup QB Faison Brandon will be back for three more seasons/years, plus many other Whirlies look to get going again in 2023….

It has been a fun time watching and following the Grimsley Whirlies in the playoffs, and we didn’t leave out of Chapel Hill with a state title to bring back to Greensboro like we did last year/season when Dudley was grabbing the 3-A Crown, but a team from Greensboro was there for the last game of the season here in 2022, and it takes me back to back around the year 2000 when I was in the same place on this night(Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill), watching the Ragsdale Tigers going for the State Championship while meeting Bertie County…Did not come home with title that year either, but since that first title game for us back around 2000, we have seen many more over the years, and the Championships outweigh the runner-up spots by a big margin…Five titles with Dudley, four more with Northern Guilford, one with Page, and lots of other stops along the way…

A successful season for the Greensboro Grimsley Whirlies, and they gave us a couple of heart-stoppers along the way, and we sure won’t forget the Triple Overtime Game, followed by the one-point win, the very next week in their playoff run…

Triple Overtime one week, and then a couple weeks later, the Triple Option…Living with the Triple Overtime, and dying by the Triple Option…You just never know, sometimes all you can say, as you walk away is, “Curses Foiled Again”!!!!!

But many props to the Whirlies and their coaching staff and other school leaders, on what was a most memorable football season, in 2022…Coach Brown, you and your staff paid the price in leading your young men to the State Championship Football Game…

Here is how the scoring went down on Friday night, down in Chapel Hill, N.C.:
1st Q 9:23 NB Chamir Wright 22-yard TD run…Wyatt Jackson kick was blocked…New Bern 6, Grimsley 0
1st Q 3:54 NB Aronne Herring 12-yard TD run…Wyatt Jackson kick was good…New Bern 13, Grimsley 0
1st Q 3:40 Grimsley Terrell Anderson with a 98-yard kickoff return for a Touchdown…Jackson Henry kick good…NB 13, Grimsley 7
End of First Quarter:New Bern 13, Grimsley 7
2nd Q 11:16 Grimsley Ryan Stephens 30-yard TD run Henry kick is good…Grimsley 14, NB 13
2nd Q 8:07 NB Chamir Wright 4-yard run…Wyatt Jackson kick…NB 20, Grimsley 14
Halftime:New Bern 20, Grimsley 14
3rd Q 10:12 NB Herring with a 66-yard TD run…Jackson kick good…NB 27, Grimsley 14
3rd Q 4:16 Grimsley Mitchell Summers 6-yard run…Henry kick good…NG 27, Grimsley 21
End of Third Quarter:NB 27, Grimsley 21
4th Q 11:53 NB Tucker 23-yard run…Jackson kick failed…NB 33, Grimsley 21
4th Q 2:57 Grimsley Anderson with an 85-yard TD pass from Ryan Stephens…Henry kick good…NB 33, Grimsley 28
4th Q 0:33 NB Tucker on a 36-yard TD run…Jackson kick good…NB 40, Grimsley 28
Final Score:New Bern Bears 40, Grimsley Whirlies 28

Our Steak n Shake Player of the Game was Terrell Anderson with his two electrifying touchdowns, and Keshaun Jones was the top tackler on the Grimsley defense….Also defensive kudos to Chris Young for that fine fumble return…

There you go, and now we have another high school football season in the books…Thanks for reading and keep on spreading the word about GreensboroSports.com…We do put the time in…Our work may not be the best ever, but we do give you plenty of it….

from James Alverson, Director of Media for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association:
2022 NCHSAA 4A Football Championship | New Bern upends Grimsley 40-28 behind 394 rushing yards

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The New Bern Bears captured the school’s fourth Football State Championship, their first since 2014, defeating Grimsley 40-28 to win the 4A Championship. New Bern is the first team to win a State Championship Game without attempting a pass since Tarboro won the 1AA Championship in 2017 over Mount Airy without throwing.

The New Bern defense stifled the Grimsley offense, holding the Whirlies’ explosive offense to just 257 yards of total offense and just 102 yards passing. Most of the Whirlies air attack came on an 85-yard touchdown pass hauled in by Terrell Anderson in the fourth quarter that cut the New Bern lead to 33-28 with just 2:57 to play.

No’Tavien Green, the Bears’ middle linebacker and leading tackler in the game, was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player. Green had 8 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and an interception that he returned 49 yards to set up the Bears’ second touchdown of the game. Florida State commit and fellow Bears defender K.J. Sampson was also impressing, earning 7.5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the game on his way to being selected as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for New Bern.

New Bern broke the ice on their opening possession driving six plays and 59 yards in just 2:37. Chamir Wright powered the ball across the goal line from 22 yards out on a sweep to the left as the Bears regularly tested the edge of the Whirlies defense on the first drive. Grimsley did manage to block the PAT so the Whirlies only trailed 6-0 for their first possession of the night. But the first Whirlies drive was stopped by an interception by No’Tavien Green who returned the pick all the way to the Grimsley 11, but an illegal block penalty moved the Bears back to the 31.

Aronne Herring made the Whirlies pay for the turnover, cashing in from 12 yards out to cap the short field drive and give New Bern a 13-0 lead with 3:54 to go in the first quarter. Herring finished the game with 161 yards rushing on just 16 carries with two scores on his way to being selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the Bear. Grimsley roared back quickly after Herring’s first touchdown as Terrell Anderson ripped off a 98-yard kick return touchdown to trim the New Bern lead back to six, 13-7.

The Whirlies surged in front for the first time early in the second quarter as Ryan Stephens stretched an outside lead into a 30-yard touchdown run and the Jackson Henry PAT put Grimsley in front 14-13 with 11:16 to go in the first half. Wright cashed in his second score of the night to put the Bears right back in the lead on the ensuing possession, capping a 6-play, 62-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to go up 20-14 with 8:07 to go.

New Bern opened the second half scoring as well. After the Bears defense held Grimsley to a three-and-out on their first possession, Herring took a toss over the left side and sprung into the secondary, juking back to his right and taking it to the right pylon for a 66-yard touchdown to put the Bears up 27-14 with 9:35 to go.

After a Grimsley fumble deep in their own end, New Bern drove down inside the 25 but on fourth and seven at the Grimsely 21, the Bears put the ball on the turf and Chris Young scooped it up to take it 35 yards to put the Whirlies in business at the Bears 36. Grimsley had to convert a fourth down on the drive, but eventually cashed in on Mitchell Summers six-yard run that trimmed the Bears lead to 27-21 with 4:16 to go. Summers was the leading rusher in the game for the Whirlies, carrying 18 times for 71 yards and a score on his way to being selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for Grimsley.

New Bern extended their lead to 12 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Damaree Tucker rushed for 23 yards and his only score of the night, slashing off left tackle to put the Bears up 33-21 after a PAT missed off the upright with 11:53 to play. He added another score in the closing minute, slashing through the right edge of the Whirlies defense 36 yards for the final score of the game to lift the Bears to the final 40-28 margin and put the game away.

Grimsley’s defense had a difficult time adjusting to the New Bern triple-option attack and the speed of the triple-option made their task much more difficult. The Whirlies defense was led by Keshaun Jones who finished the game with a team-leading 8 tackles on his way to earning Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors for Grimsley.

The Whirlies finished the season 15-1. They were 7-0 in the Metro 4A, winning the league championship and earning the school’s 17th regional championship, just the third since changing the school’s name to Grimsley from Greensboro High. The Whirlies made their second appearance in an NCHSAA State Championship in the past three seasons.

New Bern wrapped up an undefeated season, 16-0 and a perfect 6-0 in the Big Carolina 3A/4A where they won the league championship. The Bears appeared in their first State Championship since 2014, winning the program’s fourth State Championship Game. They earned their eighth regional title in school history.

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship at all athletic events and has partnered with the North Carolina Farm Bureau to award two players from participating teams at each State Championship event with the NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Awards for their efforts throughout the season. The 2022 4A Football NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Jayden Wallace from New Bern and Jackson Lee from Grimsley.