Grimsley High School of Greensboro has defeated Cardinal Gibbons of Raleigh in the NCHSAA 4A state football championship being played at UNC in Chapel Hill.
Caleb Curtain sealed the win for Grimsley in the fourth quarter with an interception returned for a touchdown with 4:37 to play. It’s the first state title for the Whirlies in 61 years.
Alonzo Barnett had the lone touchdown of the first quarter for Grimsley, taking it six yards on a fourth-and-2 play. The Crusaders got a safety in the second quarter to pull within five after a deep punt and an intentional grounding call, but Grimsley struck again for a touchdown, this time on a Lawson Albright reception with 11 seconds to play in the half to give the Whirlies a 14-2 advantage at the break.
Neither team scored in the third, and in the fourth, the teams traded touchdowns. Grimsley pushed its lead to 21-2 on a Jeiel Melton score with 8:03 to play, but Cardinal Gibbons struck right back when Connor Clark hit Maverick Shotwell for a 41-yard strike. The conversion failed, though, leaving the deficit at 21-8 and setting up the final pick-6 from Curtain.