Norview close to first state title in over half a century

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NORFOLK (WAVY) – It looked like Dazz Newsome had done it for a second straight week. It looked like Hampton High School would move on with a one-point victory, and it looked like, with the Crabbers ahead 31-30, Norview’s season was coming to an end.

Nobody on the Norview sideine felt that way, even after surrendering 40-yard go-ahead touchdown with just :47 seconds left to play.

“After that play, everybody just kept faith and kept believing in our system,” said quarterback Darriel Mack.

Sure enough, with just :13 seconds left to play, and the ball sitting at the Crabber 18-yard line, Mack delivered a strike to fellow senior Kavon Lawson, who hauled in the game-winning touchdown with just :07 seconds left on the clock.

Miraculously, the Pilots has pulled off the improbable, downing the number one seed, and moving on to the state semifinal. And it was in no small part thanks to their 6-foot-3 quarterback.

“I’ve coached a lot of great ones. A lot of great ones and a lot of good ones, and I consider him as one of the great ones,” said head coach Dealton Cotton, who took over the Pilots program in 2014 after spending six seasons at Old Dominion University.

Mack was a member of Cotton’s first class.

“Just being with him for four years, his first four years at Norview, just him showing us the way, showing us how to work, how to play football, really showing us how to be men overall,” said Mack.

Mack is hoping to lead the way to the state championship, which the Pilots haven’t won since 1959. In order to make it to next weekend’s 5A final, the Pilots will have to best the defending champ Highland Springs in a rematch from earlier this year.

Just as in the final seconds against Hampton, the Pilots have faith. “Our goal is not to play and just have a good game,” said Cotton.

“Our goal is to go out and win the ball game and move on to the state championship.”