Salem wins thriller over Dinwiddie, 31-27, for 4A State Championship

Salem celebrates with the championship trophy, after claiming their 8th state championship in school history. (Photo: Andrea Craig/WSET)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WSET) - The state finals are nothing new for the Salem Spartans, who entered Saturday's match against undefeated Dinwiddie, looking for their 8th title in school history.

For senior QB Noah Beckley, it was his time to make a little history of his own.

The Spartans QB was flawless, completing 20-24 passes for 254 yards and 2 TD's, and Riley Fox scored a pass and rushing TD, the last of which came with 50 seconds left, to give the Spartans a 31-27 win for the 4A state championship.

Beckley opened the third quarter with a 1 yard TD run to give Salem (13-1) a 24-12 lead. But Dinwiddie (14-1) rallied in the 2nd half, scoring 15 straight points to propel themselves ahead 27-24. That set up a heart-stopping, 16 play 80 yard drive, highlighted by Beckley scrambling for 2 yards on a 4th and 1. Then, with under a minute left, facing a 4th and 1 from the 3 yard line, Salem coach Steve Magenbauer elected not to tie it with a field goal, but rather to give it to Fox, who found the endzone for the lead.

The Spartan defense was forced to buckle down, after Dinwiddie connected on several long passes to get within the 15 yard line, but a last second pass attempt was broken up by Salem's Viante Tucker to secure the win.

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