Myers Park defensive back Caleb Weaver had two second-half interceptions in the second Queen City Senior Bowl. The second one made the game interesting, and it led to a thrilling 21-20 for his West team over the East all-stars at Olympic High School.
Weaver — who had a third interception called back for penalty — gave his West team the ball late in the fourth quarter, down 7.
The West drove for a score, powered by a huge scramble from Vance QB Austin Grier. Grier, the championship MVP of last week’s N.C. 4A state championship game, was injured as he ran down to the 5. With Grier on the sidelines, Vance High’s Joseph Morris ran in for the score with 86 seconds left to bring the West within one point, at 20-19.
Grier returned after a timeout as the West set up to attempt a 2-point conversion, going for the win.
On the point-after attempt, Grier handed the ball off to Olympic High’s Cameron Smith. Smith — playing on his home field for the final time — ran up the middle for the game-winning points.
“It feels amazing,” Smith said. “You think back to a couple of months ago, and we didn’t think we’d have a season. So now, we’re out here with a packed crowd, and to be able to do that on my home field, that last play, I think that’s really special.”
The East led 13-7 at halftime. East QB Russell Tabor (Charlotte Country Day) and Grier each had first-half touchdowns. Butler’s Davion Nelson scored the first of his two touchdowns in the first half.
On the first possession of the second half, Olympic High’s Smith ran over the left side for a 50-plus yard score. The extra point was blocked and the score was tied at 13.
With 3:52 left in the third, Butler’s Nelson had a short run for a score for the East, as the East employed a hurry-up offense and led 20-13.
That score led to the furious finish.
Olympic High’s Kai Russell, one of several defensive stars for the West, said it’s a game he won’t forget.
“It was amazing for all the fans to come out to support us,” he said. “And we wanted to beat them.”