Pirates hold on, returning to state title game
Porter Ridge High scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to turn a seven-point halftime deficit into a 34-27 win at North Davidson in the 4A state semifinals on Friday.
The Pirates will play for the 4A state championship for the second year in a row. They will play in the finals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan Stadium.
Junior defensive end Luke Bayly tied the game just 50 seconds into the second quarter when he sacked North Davidson's QB in the end zone and forced him to fumble. Teammate Avery Worsham, also an end, pounced on the loose ball for the touchdown, which tied the score at 17.
Senior Chris Duffy's second 1-yard touchdown run of the night put Porter Ridge ahead 24-17 with 3:41 left in the third quarter. The 64-yard drive included a 20-yard run by junior Jerrick Robbins and two third-down conversions through the air. Sophomore QB Isaiah Hicklin showed good composure by finding Bayly for 11 and 15 yards that were enough to keep the drive alive.
The Pirates, now 13-1, scored again 19 seconds later.
Defensive end Ryan Dilworth forced a fumble and Robbins, playing safety, recovered. On the next play, Robbins scored from 26 yards out to make it 31-17 with 3:22 to play in the third.
Senior kicker Matt Wogan, who has committed to Oregon, had a huge night.
Wogan gave Porter Ridge its biggest lead with a 49-yard field goal that made it 34-17 with 6:28 to play in the fourth quarter.
North mounted a rally, getting a 38-yard field goal from Spencer Landfried and then a 13-yard touchdown pass from Chase Mitchell to Ashton Phillips to make it 34-27.
But the Pirates recovered the on-sides kick, and after gaining a first down on a third-and-5 pass interference penalty, ran out the clock in victory formation.
After taking an early lead, Porter Ridge had to battle back.
Down 10-7 late in the first half, the Pirates tied it up when Wogan broke the Union County record by making a 58-yard field goal with 1:20 left before the break.
Wogan's kick broke the previous record of 57 yards, held by former Pirate Matt Black.
North Davidson (14-1) came right back with a touchdown before the half to take a 17-10 advantage into the break.
Porter Ridge drove 83 yards on the opening possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead with 8:52 left in the first quarter. Bayly hauled in a 57-yard pass from Hicklin that got the Pirates into North Davidson territory.
Hicklin converted a third-and-6 by completing a 10-yard pass to Isaiah Duffy down to the 1-yard line. Chris Duffy, Isaiah's older brother, capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone.
North Davidson, which was having its best season in school history, quickly tied the game up by getting an 8-yard TD run from Devonte Moore with 6:10 to play in the opening period.
Porter Ridge now has a 40-4 record since the start of the 2010 season.
4A state semifinal game
Porter Ridge 34, North Davidson 27
PR 7 3 21 3 - 34
ND 7 10 0 10 - 27
PR - Chris Duffy 1 run (Matt Wogan kick)
ND - Devonte Moore 8 run (Spencer Landfried kick)
ND - Landfried 43 field goal
PR - Wogan 58 field goal
ND - Shy Tuttle 3 run (Landfried kick)
PR - Avery Worsham fumble recovery in endzone (Wogan kick)
PR - Duffy 1 run (Wogan kick)
PR - Jerrick Robbins 26 run (Wogan kick)
PR - Wogan 49 field goal
ND - Landfried 38 field goal
ND - Ashton Phillips 13 pass from Chase Mitchell (Landfried kick)
Porter Ridge N. Davidson
15 First downs 26
40-141 Rushes-yards 35-121
8-18-1 Passing 22-42-1
130 Passing yards 233
3-1 Fumbles-lost 2-2
10-100 Penalties-lost 6-43
Rushing: PR - Robbins 12-93, Duffy 17-42, Isaiah Hicklin 7-12, TEAM 4-(-6); ND - Ketrick Eller 4-47, Moore 13-34, Tevin Tuttle 6-27, Conlee Hunter 6-18, S. Tuttle 1-3, Jordan Santana 1-(-4), Mitchell 4-(-4).
Passing: PR - Hicklin 8-18-1 130; ND - Mitchell 21-41-1 225, T. Tuttle 1-1-0 8.
Receiving: PR - Luke Bayly 5-112, Isaiah Duffy 2-17, Robbins 1-1; ND - Phillips 11-136, Santana 6-67, Spencer Arrowood 2-16, T. Tuttle 1-8, Eli Moore 1-5, Moore 1-1.