The two offenses in the Class 3A state title were about as far apart in style as they could be. To start the game, Randolph County was in the wishbone while Hillcrest-Evergreen was 5-wide. Still, the teams were evenly matched until the end when Hillcrest-Evergreen pulled away to win the 3A state title 26-14.
Randolph County took the lead into halftime, up 14-13, but Hillcrest would control all of the scoring in the second half, putting up 13 more points to win by 12.
Andray Pope only had three yards at halftime but went off in the second half, rushing 10 times for 105 yards and both of Hillcrest’s second half touchdowns, including a 71-yard explosion in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Hillcrest quarterback Ryan Nettles was named MVP, going 15/24 for 226 yards and two touchdown passes to Kobe Bradley and Brandon Rudolph.
Hillcrest-Evergreen will carry this championship into Class 4A, Region 1 as they move up with Clarke County and take the place of Thomasville, who drops to 3A. 4A Region 1 will feature six playoff teams from three classifications as Williamson drops from 5A, and will feature the semifinalists from both Class 3A and 4A.
Randolph County will move to Region 6 in 3A along with Piedmont. They will add another semi-finalist from 4A in Saks to their region moving forward. Piedmont may wonder what might have happened had they made yet another state title game, but Randolph County can now display that red map proudly in their trophy case.
Final Stat Leaders
Ryan Nettles (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 15/24, 226 yards, 2 TD
Brody Wortham (Randolph County) – 6/16, 187 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Andray Pope (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 12 carries, 108 yards, 2 TD
Tyson Nicholson (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 11 carried, 43 yards
Kobe Bradley (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 3 carries, 4 yards
Ryan Nettles (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 4 carries, 0 yards
Aaron Knight (Randolph County) – 22 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD
Trenton Lane (Randolph County) – 7 carries, 27 yards
EJ Clark (Randolph County) – 1 carry, 13 yards
Atario Hester (Randolph County) – 3 carries, 4 yards
Joshua Jackson (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 5 catches, 49 yards
Kobe Bradley (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 4 catches, 59 yards, 1 TD
Brandon Rudolph (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 3 catches, 91 yards, 1 TD
Malik Reynolds (Hillcrest-Evergreen) – 1 catch, 15 yards
Aaron Knight (Randolph County) – 3 catches, 86 yards
Tre Terrell (Randolph County) – 1 catch, 49 yards, 1 TD
Andrew Prestridge (Randolph County) – 1 catch, 36 yards
EJ Clark (Randolph County) – 1 catch, 16 yards