County natives now 6-1 in Super Bowl appearances

By: By Leon Hargrove Jr. - Sports Editor

ROCKINGHAM — The Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over the New England Patriots marked the sixth time in seven appearances that a Richmond County native has been a member of the Super Bowl winning team.

Hamlet’s own Dannell Ellerbe, who started at middle linebacker, will be receiving his second championship ring in the near future after the Eagles took down the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. He’s now 2-2 on the NFL’s biggest stage, as he helped the Baltimore Ravens to a three-point win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII (2013).

With Philadelphia’s upset, the organization’s first-ever Super Bowl win, Ellerbe joined former New York Giant Perry Williams as the only other NFL player from the area to win two titles.

Williams, who spent his entire 10-year career in New York, was a member of the Giants when they won Super Bowl XXI (1987) over the Denver Broncos and then escaped the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV (1991). As a cornerback, he was coached by current Patriots head coach — then Giants defensive coordinator — Bill Belichick up until the 1991 season.

Five years after Williams got his second ring, Hamlet native Oscar Sturgis won Super Bowl XXX (1996) with the Dallas Cowboys. Sturgis was a rookie defensive lineman who saw limited playing but was able to crack the rotation following a back injury to starting defensive end Charles Haley.

Former Richmond standout Tony Horne witnessed one of the most thrilling endings to an NFL championship game as a member of the St. Louis Rams when teammate Mike Jones tackled Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the goal line as time expired. And Horne, a wide receiver and return specialist, capped a season in which he was named First-Team All-Pro — for his contributions on special teams — with a win in Super Bowl XXIV (2000).

A little more than 36 years ago, Louis Breeden was the first Richmond County native to make it to the title game. He was a cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals team that faced off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI (1982). Unfortunately for Breeden, though, the Bengals’ fourth-quarter comeback fell short and they lost 26-21.

Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores andupdates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.

By Leon Hargrove Jr.

Sports Editor