RALEIGH – Charlotte Catholic held off Havelock 14-7 to win the school’s fourth straight 3A state championship in football.
The Cougars did all of their offensive damage in the first half, but it was the Cougar defense that shined, holding Havelock to just 201 yards of total offense in the game.
Charlotte Catholic’s Liam Barbee was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, leading all players with 13 tackles on the night. Connor Dougherty racked up 11 tackles for the Cougars, earning Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors for the game. The two players’ efforts helped to stymie one of the most potent offenses in 3A football this year.
Charlotte Catholic jump-started their offense with a halfback pass by Paul Neel that found Adam Franek for a 36-yard touchdown with 7:29 to go up 7-0. Havelock answered with a six-play, 63-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Kamarro Edmonds to tie it at 7 with 11:23 to go in the first half.
The Cougars took the ensuing possession straight down the field and were knocking on the door of the redzone after just five plays. Jack Larsen hauled in a 20-yard pass from Sean Boyle to cap a 81-yard drive and put Charlotte Catholic in front for good with 9:50 to play in the first half.
Havelock was equally stingy defensively, thwarting Catholic's ground game and holding them to just 245 yards of total offense. Kamron Hoover played well at defensive back, making six tackles, two of them for a loss, breaking up two passes and pulling in an interception.
Charlotte Catholic wrapped up the season 9-1. The Cougars were 5-1 in Southern Carolina 3A play. Catholic secured the program’s fourth straight regional title, appearing in the state championship game for the 12th time in school history.
The Cougars solidified their eighth all-time state championship.
Bobby Verrier, of Charlotte Catholic, won the 2020-21 3A Sportsmanship Award.