CHARLOTTE – Will Grier was swarmed with the usual hugs and handshakes immediately after his third state championship. Then a young fan half his size offered a present – a necklace of gumballs he’d crafted.
“Wow, I didn’t expect that,” said Grier, Davidson Day’s All-American quarterback.
It was the only thing that surprised Grier on the field, as he capped his prep career by leading the Patriots to a 69-28 victory against Harrells Christian in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II championship Nov. 22 at Northside Christian.
It was Davidson Day’s third consecutive state title. They’ve won a championship all three seasons they’ve been in existence.
Grier passed for 582 yards and seven touchdowns. He completed 30-of-41 passes. He ran for a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions.
In other words, he was as dazzling as every other week in Davidson Day’s 12-1 season.
“With all the hard work I’ve put in, that’s how I wanted it to end,” said Grier, who will play at Florida next season. “It seems like all the hard work pays off.”
The Patriots scored on their first play from scrimmage – Jordan Brown’s 91-yard touchdown on a shovel pass from Grier. By halftime they’d stretched the lead to 28-8. Harrells Christian closed to within 28-14, but Davidson Day responded in dizzying fashion with four touchdowns in an eight-minute span. The lead ballooned to 63-20 and it was time for Davidson Day to one-by-one take the seniors out of the game to rousing ovations.
Brown, a senior running back, only touched the ball 10 times but scored six touchdowns. He had scoring catches of 91, 21, 18 and four yards, and rushed for touchdowns of 31 and three yards.
“We were clicking on all cylinders,” Brown said. “We planned on having our best game in the state championship game. When this offense works, it’s fun. We put up points.”
Eight Davidson Day players were named to the NCISAA all-state team: offensive lineman Jake Helms, defensive lineman Ricky Smith, the brother combination of Mike Stevens (receiver/defensive back) and Matthew Stevens (linebacker), tight end Lamar Briggs, linebacker Trevor Darby, Brown and Grier.