• 55°

Salisbury falls to Shelby in 2AA state championship game

Hornets finish runner-up in state 2AA

JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST Salisbury’s Mike McLean (7) runs the ball. The Salisbury Hornets fell to the defending state champions Shelby High School 34-0 in the 2AA Championship game at BB&T field in Winston-Salem on Saturday. Salisbury,North Carolina,12/14/19.

By Dennis Davidson


WINSTON-SALEM — Defending state champion Shelby overpowered Salisbury, 34-0, here Saturday afternoon in the 2AA title game at BB&T Field.

The Golden Lions made it two straight championships with a smothering defense, holding the Hornets to just 39 total yards and five first downs during the game. Meanwhile, after a slow start, Shelby rolled up 359 yards.

The Lions gained 138 yards on the ground, compared to minus 6 for Salisbury. Running back Mike McLean had some positive runs for the Hornets, but sacks of quarterback Vance Honeycutt put Salisbury’s rushing attack in the red.

Shelby running back Ja’hari Mitchell rushed for just 24 yards on six carries, but three went for touchdowns. He also threw a TD pass and was voted the game’s MVP.

The Lions’ leading rusher, Donye Fuller, ran for 103 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Isaiah Bess, who threw for 212 yards and another score, was selected as Shelby’s most outstanding offensive player.

Honeycutt was on the run for most of the game, away from Shelby’s fierce pass rush, and completed just 7-of-21 passes for 45 yards.

On defense, Salisbury had three sacks of Bess, all by lineman Zae Clay, and all in the first half. Jaden Gaither led the Hornets with 11 tackles, while linebacker Jalon Walker had nine stops.

Salisbury’s defense had success throughout the game, but with the offense unable to sustain drives, it tired as the uphill climb continued.

Shelby led at halftime, 20-0, and added scores in each of the third and fourth quarters.

The Hornets’ best field position came on its first possession. Salisbury took over on Shelby’s 31-yard line when Kamarde Huskey fumbled the opening kickoff, when tackled by Salisbury’s Marcus Cook.

Honeycutt then completed passes for Patrick Taylor and Cook for a first down at the 19-yard line. However, lost 14 yards during the next three plays and punted.

Two series later, Mitchell scored his first touchdown and Shelby was off and running.

The Most Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Player Awards, sponsored by the Carolina Panthers, were:

Runner-Up Salisbury Most Outstanding Defensive Player — Zae Clay

Runner-Up Salisbury Most Outstanding Offensive Player — Mike McLean

Shelby Most Outstanding Defensive Player —Malaki Hamrick
Shelby Most Outstanding Offensive Player — Isaiah Bess

Salisbury        0    0    0    0 —  0

Shelby             7   13    7    7 — 34

More coverage on this game will be available later this evening.




Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions


Debate takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute


Appalachian State student dies following COVID complications


Planning board OKs rezoning for 5-acre property on Mooresville Road


Kannapolis seeking redevelopment proposals for site of old baseball stadium


Tell us your opinion about the first presidential debate


Kannapolis elementary students will return to full, in-person classes Nov. 2


10 deaths now reported at Liberty Commons nursing home


Rowan-Salisbury School Board will provide money to help athletics restart


Blotter: Charlotte teen cited with marijuana possession during traffic stop


Rowan-Salisbury Schools receives $26.3 million grant to accelerate renewal


Child injured after running behind father’s truck


Police identify man who took them on high-speed chase, crashed into lumber truck

China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting


Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects


Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas


Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate


China Grove man cited for driving through school field


October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools


Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck


Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county


Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning


New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses


Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call