T.W. Andrews rolls into 2AA state final
A strong all-around performance, particularly in the first half, helped top-seeded T.W. Andrews roll past third-seeded Washington 42-15 on Friday at A.J. Simeon Stadium in the NCHSAA 2AA East Regional final.
The Red Raiders (13-1) will play Monroe, which beat Parkwood 48-20, in the state championship Friday at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium at 7:30 p.m. It will be their first state championship appearance since 1993 and, with a win, would be their first title since 1991.
Andrews built a 22-7 lead by halftime on key plays on special teams, defense and offense that led to three scores. Justin Lea scored on a 42-yard punt return, Brenden Eans made an interception, and Lamar Raynard connected with Lea for 32 yards through the air.
Following Eans’ interception, on which the Washington pass to the flat bounced off the unaware receivers’ helmet, Marquell Cartwright scored on a 5-yard run to the right side. Then, following a touchdown by the Pam Pack (12-3), Raynard connected with Lea for the key gain.
The 32-yard toss highlighted a three-minute, 78-yard drive — which was also driven by Cartwright on the ground — and brought the Red Raiders inside the 5. Two plays later, Cartwright ran around the left side and into the end zone with 11 seconds left in the half.
Cartwright finished with 150 yards rushing and three TDs to lead Andrews, while Lea had four catches for 89 yards and two TDs — plus the punt return TD. Markel Spencer had 98 yards rushing and a second-quarter TD to lead Washington.
The Red Raiders scored twice in the third quarter to all but seal the outcome. Cartwright ran 37 yards on the opening play of the half, then scored from 10 yards out two plays later. Then, on their next drive, Raynard again connected with Lea, this time for a 34-yard TD for a 35-7 lead.
Raynard and Lea finished it off with a 15-yard strike with 9:06 left in the fourth. Stevie Green scored a final TD for Washington with 1:31 left for the final margin.