Rudolph Talks State Title, Shrine Game

In less that two weeks, quarterback Mason Rudolph will be traveling to Stillwater for his first semester of college at Oklahoma State. We caught up Thursday with the 6-4 1/2, 220-pound quarterback that in the last three weeks has finished off a Class AAAA Division II state championship with a 62-35 win that included a 40-of-57 passing performance for 488 yards and a record eight touchdowns.

"I had to focus on what I was doing with my team," Rudolph said of all the work that went into it. "We knew we had one more shot at it and we just wanted to get it done."

The win capped a perfect 15-0 season that had Rudolph throwing for 4,377 yards and 64 touchdowns on the season with just eight interceptions. His 16 rushing touchdowns brought his total of scores to an even 80 touchdowns.

"It was definitely an exclamation point, not only on my career but on all of the seniors," he added. "I was just blessed to be in a great position with a great coaching staff. They had us working on all the little things every day.

"I was able to throw the ball to great targets every day and they made me look good, especially in that state championship game. It was great because that team will go down in history at Northwestern and it is nice to have made history."

Modest to a fault, Rudolph is always passing the credit on to one group or another or all of the offense at Rock Hill.

He was certainly challenged with quarterbacking at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. It is the oldest high school all-star game in America and it represented for Rudolph having to learn a little different offense and share quarterback time with Jacob Park, the quarterback at Stratford, the team his Northwestern High team defeated in the championship game. Park was the player named over Rudolph and several others as "Mr. Football" in South Carolina.

"It was an awesome week and back when they announced the rosters for the game you looked down and saw some awesome players like Park, who is one of the top prospects in the state, that you would be playing with," Rudolph said.

"You were definitely excited to play because it was a great experience and for a great cause. It was neat to learn a new system and was kind of chaotic, but everybody was in the same boat."

Rudolph adjusted well as he and Park traded off playing quarters. In the end Rudolph was the game MVP as he completed 15 of 22 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns, including one with 16 seconds left to pull out a 28-23 South Carolina win.

"It (the offense) wasn't extremely different because the offensive coordinator for the Shrine team was the head coach, we actually played his team in the third round of the playoffs before the state championship game," Rudolph explained. "It was new terminology and new verbiage and it was simple stuff just having a week.

"It was a great time all week but the coaches had to figure out how to split time," Randolph continued. "I was happy to get that last drive and punch it down the field and put it in the zone. It was just a great cherry on top to an awesome week that was for a very good cause."

Rudolph said he would spend his remaining time at home relaxing and enjoying bring with his family. He and his younger brother, a freshman that started several games as a wide receiver this season, have become very close. Rudolph said he is planning on being on the OSU campus on Jan. 8.

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