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QUINTON COOLEY, Southern Nash — Senior running back had his best rushing night of the season to lead the Firebirds to a 32-29 victory over Eastern Alamance in the NCHSAA 3-A East championship game. Pounded the Eagles defense for 344 yards and three TDs on a career-high 47 carries. Had TD runs of 1, 62 and 44 yards, including 49 on 10 straight carries in the fourth quarter as Southern Nash ran out the clock.
MATT FOSTER, Southern Nash — Senior quarterback proved to be a capable complement to Cooley’s onslaught as he picked up 81 yards on 16 carries.
JACKSON VICK, Southern Nash — Sophomore intercepted a pair of passes by Eastern Alamance senior quarterback Austin Bryant, both leading to points for the Firebirds. The second pick came inside the Southern Nash 5-yard line.
DAYLON WHITLEY, Southern Nash — Senior inside linebacker had just three carries at fullback, where he started as a junior. His last carry was a 21-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that put the Firebirds ahead 32-22.
EVAN BARNES, Southern Nash — After missing the extra-point kick (caused in part by a low snap) following the Firebirds’ first TD, the senior didn’t miss again. He connected on a 21-yard field goal in the first half and his 42-yard field goal in the second half proved to be the winning margin. Also made his last two PAT attempts and was effective on long kickoffs to keep the Eagles from starting with good field position.
OFFENSIVE LINE, Southern Nash — The Firebirds line of Luke Watson, Trenton Weeks, Zollie Alford, Jordan Sam, Jadel Davis, Zach Baker, Hunter Thorne and Daniel Batchelor, as well as fullbacks Zach Jones and Daylon Whitley were able to open holes for Cooley and Company to roll to 462 yards on the ground at a 6.2 yards-per-carry clip.