The Golden Lions faced the Salisbury Hornets at Wake Forest University in the 2AA State Championship Game. The two teams last met in 2010 in the 2A Western Regional Championship with Salisbury taking the victory and would later win the 2A State Championship. 2010 was the last time that Salisbury had competed in the State Championship Game. The Golden Lions returned to the State Championship Game for the 2nd consecutive season and 6th time in the last 7 seasons. The Golden Lions led 20-0 at halftime and would add 2 more scores in the 2nd half to defeat the Hornets 34-0 to claimed back to back 2AA State Championships and 6th title in the last 7 seasons.
The Golden Lions offense generated 362 total yards (146 rushing/ 216 passing) and 19 first downs. Ja’hari Mitchell was named the Most Valuable Player. Mitchell had 6 rushing attempts for 24 yards and 3 TD’s, 5 receptions for 45 yards, and was 1/1 passing for 9 yards and 1 TD pass. Offensive Player of the Game Isaiah Bess went 17/28 passing for 207 yards and 1 TD pass. Donye Fuller had 20 rushing attempts for 96 yards.
The talk during championship week was about Salisbury’s tough defense but it was the Golden Lions defense who made a major statement in the championship game. The Golden Lions defense allowed only 39 yards of offense to the Hornets (negative 6 yards rushing/45 yards passing) and 5 first downs. According to the NCHSAA record books, the 39 yards allowed by the Golden Lions set a new State Championship Game record for fewest yards allowed. The previous record was 49 yards allowed by Robbinsville in 1992. Also the negative 6 yards rushing is the 3rd lowest rushing yards allowed in a championship game. Defensive Player of the Game Malaki Hamrick has 12 total tackles including 4 tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. Jack Hollifield had 11 total tackles including 1 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Ethan Mitchell had 6 total tackles including 4 tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. Nick Stites had 8 total tackles including 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Nick Corry had 7 total tackles. Dashaun Christopher and Diavonni Daley had interceptions for the Golden Lions.