"This is big," Sowell said. "This is a big accomplishment for us. This is a step forward to a state championship. I thought we all got better as individuals and as a team, so it's been a good experience for us."
Another UNC verbal commit on hand, Ray Ray Davis, had a great day, but his Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley squad lost in the semifinals to Dorman. In four games, Davis made 24 receptions with 12 touchdowns.
"It was kind of weird [playing against Davis]," Sowell said. "I knew that he committed. I was kind of shocked to see him. I wanted to show him I could play and I wanted to see how he could play. Maybe one day we can reminisce and talk about this day.
"He's a great athlete. He has great hands, good speed. I know he's going to be a good asset to his high school and it's going to be fun to play with him."
Eight teams participated in the passing tournament – which was conducted on one of the Panthers' practice fields – and were split into two pods. Dorman and Greenville were in a pod with Durham (N.C.) Hillside and Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor. The other pod consisted of Blythewood (S.C.), Saint Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe, and Sun Valley.
Each team played a round robin tournament with the members of their pod. At the end of the round robin, the first place team from each pod played the other pod's second place team with the victors of the two games playing for the championship.
Each game was 25 minutes in length with each possession starting at the forty-yard line. Teams received four downs, but advancing past the 20-yard line would restart the downs. Touchdown receptions counted for seven points, while interceptions were awarded two points.
A track meet prevented Hunter Furr, who would have been the third UNC commitment on hand, from making the trip with his team. Without him, Mount Tabor went 0-3.
In addition to Davis and Sowell, several Division I-A prospects were on display – Dorman's Walt Canty, Hillside's Corey Gattis and Desmond Scott, South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore, Calhoun County's Alshon Jeffrey (Southern Cal pledge) and David Sims.
In their round robin, Sun Valley went undefeated and placed first in their pod. The round robin victories included an overtime win over Calhoun County in which Davis' catch ultimately gave the Spartans the victory.
Dorman finished 2-1 in their pod with their only losses coming at the hands of Greenville, 25-7. Dorman avenged the defeat in the championship game.
Calhoun County, who went 2-1, was the fourth playoff team and lost to Greenville in the semifinals.