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Late touchdowns lift Cherokee to first state title, win over North Duplin

(Jason O. Boyd, NewsChannel 12 graphic)

RALEIGH - Cherokee got two early fourth-quarter touchdowns and pulled away to beat North Duplin 21-13 Saturday in the Class 1-A state finals at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

The game was tied 7-7 going into the fourth quarter. Sophomore Cade Mintz then scored on a 51-yard run but the Braves failed on the conversion kick, giving Cherokee a 13-7 lead.

North Duplin got the ball back on the next series but couldn't get a first down. The Rebels tried a fake punt but came up short, turning the ball over to Cherokee. Two plays later, Isaiah Evans scored on an 11-yard run to give the Braves a 21-7 lead.

North Duplin scored with 2:42 left when Kenny Sheppard ran in from 4 yards out.

North Duplin scored the game's first points when C Bass ran in from 11 yards out with 6:19 left in the second quarter. Cherokee tied it when Mintz scored on a 5-yard run with 4:38 left in the third.

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