CHAPEL HILL — One of three Duplin County High schools walked away victorious Saturday in the state football finals.
That team being the Bulldogs of Wallace-Rose Hill, claiming their fourth straight state title. The final score was 35-28 as the ‘Dogs gutted out the win in overtime earning the 2A State Championship.
East Duplin gave up 16 unanswered points in the second quarter as the Panthers lost 16-14 on Saturday in the NCHSAA 2-AA championship game at North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.
The Panthers ended the season 15-1 while Hibriten ended 16-0.
East Duplin took a 7-0 lead on its third play from scrimmage on an 81-yard touchdown run by Melvin Scott.
However, Hibriten scored on a safety to pull to within 7-2. McKinley Witherspoon then threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Miles Simon on a halftime pass to give Hibriten a 9-7 lead.
Hibriten extended its lead to 16-7 with 1:53 left in the second quarter when Jaylen Scott threw a 43-yard TD pass to Simon.
East Duplin pulled to within 16-14 with 1:30 left on a 1-yard touchdown run by Chris Benson. East Duplin attempted an onside kick, but Hibriten recovered it.
Hibriten faced third-and-5 from its own 48-yard line, but Witherspoon ran for five yards to the East Duplin’s 47 to seal the win.
North Duplin also fell in the state final for 1A, losing to the Cherokee Braves in a close game 21-13.