Charlotte Catholic defeated Monroe, 28-14, on Friday night to win their fourth consecutive NCHSAA 3A Western Regional Final.
On Monroe's first possession, a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage by Catholic's senior defensive end Connor Dougherty that teammate Liam Barbee (Sr. LB) intercepted.
Catholic capitalized a few plays later on a Paul Neel (Sr. RB) rushing touchdown. The Cougars scored early in the second quarter to open up a 14-0 lead and never looked back.
It was an excellent start for the home team and not the one Monroe wanted. The Redhawks struggled to get their running game going, making it challenging to loosen up a Catholic defense to the passing game.
Three Monroe turnovers in the game ended any hope for a comeback to cap off an outstanding season.
The Redhawks, led by sophomore quarterback Khomani Robinson, continued to get better each week. Robinson is a dual-threat QB who has a strong arm and speed to burn, and with more experience, will create headaches for opposing defenses over the next two seasons.
The Hawks will lose 14 seniors, but the turnaround is short, and I expect Monroe to be right back in the playoff hunt in the fall as a returning team to the Rocky River Conference.
Thanks to Chris Summerville for the photo supporting this post. Please check out his website to access and purchase photos from this game or his entire collection.