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Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Payton Wilson and NC State leaves UNC in Dis-Maye

Payton+Wilson+%2811%29+celebrates+with+defensive+teammates+after+key+takeover+against+UNC.
Ethan Hyman
Payton Wilson (11) celebrates with defensive teammates after key takeover against UNC.

Over 50,000 rowdy fans piled into Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday night for the intense rivalry game between North Carolina and N.C. State. N.C. State came into the game as a Top-25 team looking to win their third straight game and seventh out of the last ten in the rivalry matchup. The 8 p.m. start time allowed fans to enjoy the game day festivities and embrace their hate for each other. The Wolfpack won the matchup 39-20 in impressive fashion.
N.C. State’s defense held Heisman hopeful Drake Maye and star sophomore running back Omarion Hampton at bay. While the Tarheel’s offensive woes plagued them throughout the first half, the Wolfpack defense was dominant on the flip side. They were headlined by a senior standout linebacker, Payton Wilson, who finished the game with 15 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and an interception. The interception was pivotal as Carolina drove deep inside of N.C. State territory in an attempt to mount a comeback.
This performance is nothing new for Wilson as he has racked up a multitude of accolades this season, with multiple ACC Player of the weeks, ACC First Team All-Conference, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, a Butkus National Player of the Month for best linebacker, and is a finalist for the Butkus Award, an award given to the player that is voted best linebacker in the country. Along with these awards, he was given a standing ovation during his senior night walk, as the crowd of over 50,000 showed their gratitude for his remarkable career and season.
Not to mention that Wilson has a personal attachment to the heated rivalry. Born and raised in North Carolina, Wilson initially committed to the Tar Heels, but after deliberating he chose the Wolfpack and enrolled in January 2018. He battled multiple injuries, some season-ending, but he put it all together this year. After the rivalry win, Wilson was interviewed on the field; before he walked away, he added a direct shot to the Tarheels, saying, “If you want to have culture, come to Raleigh… Them boys in blue don’t know about it.”
In the post-game press conference, Dave Doeren, N.C. State’s head coach was asked what this win meant to him on a personal note. “It means everything to me to win, for the seniors like that game for Payton Wilson and all the other seniors that are out there with them. 13 guys don’t get a play in that Stadium again and so it means a lot…”

Both U.N.C. and N.C. State will be losing critical pieces of their team. They will have to wait 365 more days until they can settle their feud again.

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About the Contributor
Vince Barefoot, Sports Editor

What's up everyone, I'm Vince! I’m a senior and this is my 2nd year on the Newspaper Staff! This year I will be the sports editor and assistant video director! I play Varsity Football and call the JV football games. I’m also the Senior Class VP, Pickleball club president, a NHS member, and the Girls Lacrosse manager. Go Wildcats!

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