Batman and Robin, Andy and Barney, Mario and Luigi, Gibson and Wilson?
Like any great duo, senior quarterback Zack Gibson and sophomore C.J. Wilson have shown throughout the season they have what it takes.
Overcoming adversity? Check. Working together for the common good? Check. Complementing each other? Check.
Gibson, the unquestioned leader of the Wolvesâ€™ offense who averaged 39 points a game. Wilson, the humble sophomore phenom, who has surprised everyone including himself.
Both know chances to win a state title donâ€™t come along very often, so maybe â€œcarpe diemâ€ should be their motto heading into this weekend.
All season long, the Wolves have proved naysayers wrong and silenced critics. Theyâ€™ve also overachieved. Why stop now?
But one moment nearly derailed their state championship dreams. Up 22-13, Gibson, who was under duress, barely got the throw off. The result was 6 foot 4 inches, 310-pound Chad Harris rumbling 17 yards for a touchdown.
The moment was fitting. Well, not the moment, as much as how Gibson reacted to the misfortune.
Two years ago, he wouldâ€™ve been so shaken by the interception, he wouldnâ€™t have been able to bounce back.
What a difference a handful of three-interception games and four years under center can make.
â€œThatâ€™s what I was thinking about. I was telling everybody on the sidelines, â€˜Itâ€™s aâ€™ight fellas, itâ€™s aâ€™ight. Itâ€™s my bad, but letâ€™s get this thing over with. Letâ€™s go play ball,â€ Gibson said to his teammates.
â€œIf I wouldâ€™ve thrown that pick two years ago, I wouldâ€™ve been done right there. I wouldâ€™ve been like, â€˜Dang, thatâ€™s game right there.â€™ But the confidence I have now in myself, I can come back and throw a 50-yard touchdown pass,â€ Gibson said.
Actually, it was 76. No it wasnâ€™t a deep pass, but quarterbacks will tell you a bubble screen or short pass that relies heavily on timing is not an easy throw to make.
Gibson tossed the ball out to his left, and Wilson did the rest in what will go down in one of the best plays in Lincolnton history.
But anyone who saw Wilson run last season would never have thought it possible he wouldâ€™ve turned in such an incredible play just one later. Enter God.
â€˜I was healedâ€™
See Wilson believes his hip was healed during the offseason after being hampered by a nagging hip injury.
â€œI feel blessed. It was nothing but God. I didnâ€™t have to go to the hospital. I just rested over the offseason then I started running and I realized I didnâ€™t have any pain in my hip anymore,â€ he said Friday night after helping the Wolves advance to Chapel Hill.
Wilson gained great confidence in a 27-21 over South Point after finding the end zone twice.
â€œMaybe I have a chance at varsity football. It might be hard, but maybe I can shine sometime. I let my fullback lead me and the line lead me, and I just do great things out there,â€ Wilson recalled thinking after the double-overtime victory over the Red Raiders.
Wilson was right about one thing â€“ he did have a chance, but nobody realized it would come this soon.
â€œNobody, nobody had any clue he had these type of skills. Goo Wyatt was a great player and everybody is saying C.J. ainâ€™t nearly as good as Goo, but in my opinion C.J.â€™s right up there with Goo,â€ Gibson said of his backfield counterpart. â€œHe may not be as strong as Goo but he has two more years, and heâ€™s a good kid, so heâ€™s going to be something special I guarantee it,â€ he added.
While Wilson hasnâ€™t faced the caliber of competition Wyatt did, heâ€™s proving heâ€™s out to rewrite the record books after already breaking Wyattâ€™s single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,311 & 33 touchdowns and counting.
Gibson will have a good chance to inflate his single-season mark of 2,894 yards and 36 touchdowns Saturday.
But perhaps as much as his arm will be relied on, Gibson will look to draw on his experience to lead the Wolves, and while heâ€™s experienced many things in his four-year career, heâ€™s never experienced winning a state title.
â€œIâ€™ve matured so much from my 10th grade year to now. I used to not be the leader on the field, so Iâ€™m just pumping everybody up. When I talk everybody listens, so itâ€™s something special,â€ Gibson said.
by John Mark Brooks