NewsChannel 12's Drew Hinesley wrote this story
It will be a big weekend for five high school football teams from our area. They will play for the state championship title.
The coaches from all five of those schools have won championships before and are looking to add to their ring collection.
Of the five local teams playing for it all, New Bern Coach Bobby Curlings' Bears will be the only ones to do it under the Friday night lights. They will take on Porter Ridge Friday in Chapel Hill at 7:30.
"Coaches want to keep the same routine, stay in that same pattern and avoid distractions," Curlings said.
Havelock Coach Jim Bob Bryant and his Rams will face a tall challenge in Concord quarterback B.J. Beecher.
"Their quarterback is 6'8", got a cannon arm, is a Shrine Bowl kid," Bryant said. "He's the best quarterback we've seen this year as a pure passer."
If Tarboro is to win an impressive fourth straight title, they will need to get to East Lincoln quarterback Garrett Young.
"Their quarterback makes good decisions," Tarboro Coach Jeff Craddock said. "We've been able to get teams to turn the ball over. That's been a key to us for the last month and to get rolling a little bit. He's pretty smart, makes really, really good decisions, and makes them fast."
For Southwest Onslow Coach Phil Padgett, the key to the game can be found deep in the trenches.
"Our defensive and offensive fronts have been outstanding, especially in the playoffs, and that's going to be the key for us," Coach Padgett said. "If they don't play well, we have no chance."
Plymouth High's Coach Robert Cody says his defense will have to slow down an explosive Murphy offense.
"The key to being able to win the game Friday is how well we're able to tackle Murphy," Coach Cody said. "They run a very disciplined Wing T offense."
At the end of the week, we will know which of these keys was able to lock up a championship.