Friday night, the Charlotte Catholic Cougars and Kings Mountain Mountaineers met at Keffer Stadium in Charlotte, NC with a trip to the 3A state championship game on the line. In one of the wildest games in state history, Charlotte Catholic moved on to their third straight state championship game with a 56-49 win in seven overtimes. The Heel Tough Blog was on hand to witness the craziness as we got a look at both 2020 3✮ OG Malik McGowan and 2021 3✮ ILB Dameon Wilson. Here is the breakdown of what we saw from those two on Friday night.
Let’s start with the man that is committed to the Tar Heels. We got a good look at McGowan earlier in the season against an out-of-state power and tonight was a second chance, this time against a budding in-state power. McGowan was once again a dominant, continuing to build upon what we saw from him earlier this year. He is a devastating run blocker, as witnessed by the bulk of his eight knock downs on Friday night. His hand placement is phenomenal and his strength allows him to stand opposing defensive end and tackles up with ease. McGowan is playing out of position at the prep level, but look good in pass coverage once again at tackle on Friday night. McGowan is more athletic than people give him credit for, but his physical, phone booth style blocking will fit better at guard, where he projects to move at the college level. This is one of the more underrated prospects in the Tar Heels 2020 class and he’ll have a chance to make an impact within his first couple of seasons on campus.
Wilson was the secondary focus on Friday night, but he one of the more intriguing in-state prospects in the 2021 class. Wilson, who has established some good in-state ties with the Tar Heels early on, had a good night in the middle of the Kings Mountain defense, finishing with eight total tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Wilson is athletic and can cover a lot of space sideline-to-sideline. He is also a very solid tackler in the middle of the defense and took good angles to the ball carrier all night. Wilson had some struggles getting off of blocks, but was still able to fight through enough to be impactful. As expected when a prospect faces Charlotte Catholic, we didn’t get to see him in coverage much at all, but his athleticism is at least promising. It will be interesting to see how Wilson stacks up with some of these other 2021 linebackers throughout camp season and we look forward to checking in on him next season.
There were some other great performances that need to be addressed from Friday. It starts with Kings Mountain wide receiver Kobe Paysour, who put together a huge performance and nearly helped lead the Mountaineers to the upset. Paysour’s ability to catch just about anything that comes his way is the reason he is a 4✮ prospect in the 2021 class and his ability to take over a game should make him a priority for the Tar Heels in the 2021 cycle. The other standout was Charlotte Catholic defensive end Robert LeGrande, who dominated for the Cougars defensively. He was everywhere and was part of the reason that the Cougars defensive line was able dominate Kings Mountain for most of the night. Others who played well include Kings Mountain running back Ricaylen Mack and linebacker Jabari Rice-Wilson and Charlotte Catholic defensive tackle Ariel Rodriguez and linebacker Jacob Schachte, the hero of the game.
Next week will be the final scouting reports of the season, as we will head to Kenan Stadium to scout the 4A and 4AA state championships. We be scouting 2021 4✮ WR Micah Crowell as he looks to win his second straight state title against Cardinal Gibbons in the 4A title game and will focus on 2021 4✮ ILB Power Echols in the second game as he and the Vance Cougars look to get over the hill and take down Leesville Road for the 4AA state title.