GREENVILLE J.H. ROSE RAMPANTS (11-4) vs. DUDLEY PANTHERS (14-1)
7 p.m. Friday
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
Radio: WSJS-600, WSJS-93.7, WSJS-101.5, WMFR-1230, WMFR-104.9, WCOG-1320, WWBG-1470
Tickets: $15 general admission, online only at www.nchsaa.org/sports/football.
Parking: $10 in the Jackson and Craige decks.
How they got here
East No. 6 seed Rose (second in Big East 4-A/3-A): No. 27 Croatan, 45-24; No. 22 Fayetteville Terry Sanford, 34-28; No. 3 Fayetteville Seventy-First, 20-14; No. 23 Scotland, 49-28; No. 13 Jacksonville, 35-28.
West No. 3 seed Dudley (first in Mid-State 3-A): No. 30 North Henderson, 60-0; No. 14 Ledford, 53-10; No. 11 Kings Mountain, 36-10; at No. 2 Statesville, 20-6; No. 16 South Point, 38-0.
By the numbers
Rose: 31.7 points per game, 24.7 points against.
Dudley: 45.5 points per game, 5.8 points against.
Players to watch
No. 1 QB Will Taylor: 191-of-328 passing, 3,033 yards, 31 TDs, 13 INTs.
No. 4 RB Michael Allen: 153 carries, 1,157 yards, 18 TDs, 38 catches, 610 yards, 8 TDs.
No. 10 RB-LB Klavon Brown: 155 carries, 801 yards, 12 TDs, 154 tackles, 21 TFLs, 1½ sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 INTs.
No. 2 WR Kenderius Geddis: 31 catches, 592 yards, 7 TDs.
No. 13 WR Jayden Grimes: 72 catches, 1,180 yards 11 TDs.
No. 25 DE Jauntre Bradley: 101 tackles, 5 TFLs, 4½ sacks.
No. 9 LB J.J. Loftin: 99 tackles, 10½ TFLs, 2½ sacks, INT.
No. 7 DB Jah'Quarion Brown: 93 tackles, 8½ TFLs, 3½ sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, pick-six, blocked punt.
No. 6 CB Ty'Queron Hines: 50 tackles, 4 INTs, 11 pass break-ups.
No. 1 QB Jahmier Slade: 99-of-165 passing, 2,171 yards, 28 TDs, 4 INTs, 710 yards rushing, 4 TDs.
No. 5 RB Michael Shaw: 121 carries, 1,216 yards, 13 TDs.
No. 8 ATH R.J. Baker: 109 carries, 1,206 yards, 17 TDs, 19 catches, 646 yards, 10 TDs, punt-return TD.
No. 3 ATH Mehki Wall: 37 catches, 906 yards, 9 TDs, 18 carries, 271 yards, 4 TDs, 4 punt-return TDs, kickoff-return TD.
No. 6 RB K.J. Morehead: 71 carries, 669 yards, 7 TDs, 11 catches, 197 yards, 5 TDs.
No. 44 DL Jhyheem Pittman: 113 tackles, 51 TFLs, 28½ sacks, 28 hurries.
No. 99 DL Logan Wright: 101 tackles, 37 TFLs, 18 sacks, 25 hurries.
No. 36 DL Austin Lloyd: 82 tackles, 31 TFLs, 21½ sacks, 31 hurries.
No. 34 DL Braden McCall: 70 tackles, 27 TFLs, 15 sacks, 29 hurries.
No. 21 LB/P Jeremiah Barnes: 91 tackles, 21 TFLs, 3 sacks, 10 hurries, INT.
No. 4 LB Jaylan Richmond: 80 tackles, 20 TFLs, 2½ sacks, INT.
No. 2 DB Steven Davis II: 53 tackles, 4 INTs, 16 PBUs.
Rose is seeking its sixth NCHSAA state championship, but its first since 2006. Dudley has won four NCHSAA titles, all under current head coach Steven Davis. The most recent came in 2016, when the Panthers beat Fayetteville Cape Fear 54-0 in the Class 3-AA final.
Rose's offense runs through senior Michael Allen, a N.C. State recruit and one of the nation's highest-rated all-purpose backs. Allen is dangerous as a runner and as a receiver, and he is complemented by bruising RB Klavon Brown. The Rampants also move the ball effectively through the air, with junior QB Will Taylor passing for more than 3,000 yards – many of those to WR Jayden Grimes. But Taylor has shown a tendency to throw interceptions when pressured, and Dudley leads the state with 94 sacks. The Panthers are also stout against the run, as evidenced by the way they shut down Belmont South Point's prolific Veer attack in the West regional final. The key will be containing Allen, particularly as a receiver out of the backfield.
Dudley's offense is as balanced as it has been in years, with QB Jahmier Slade getting the ball into the hands of Mehki Wall and R.J. Baker on the outside and Michael Shaw running inside. While Slade hasn't attempted more than 15 passes in the Panthers' last 12 games, he has averaged 22.9 yards per completion in that span. The senior's running ability also has contributed to Dudley's big-play offense. The biggest problem the Panthers' offense has had in recent weeks is penalties that have bogged down drives at some inopportune times.
Dudley has struggled in the kicking game, particularly on placements, but the Panthers have returned five punts and one kickoff for touchdowns this season. Rose should try to avoid kicking to Wall or Baker, as South Point learned the hard way last Friday night when Wall returned the opening kickoff for a TD.
Rose has won its last six games and has proven itself in a tough conference and during its five-game playoff run. Dudley, meanwhile, has made it look easy during a 12-game winning streak in which the Panthers have outscored opponents 622-41. It won't be nearly as easy against a Rose team that is very talented on offense, but the Panthers are too strong on both sides of the ball to be denied. Dudley, 32-19