Published: Oct 30, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Oct 30, 2011 04:39 PM
HILLSBOROUGH - For the third straight year, underdog Orange upset Chapel Hill in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Panthers' defense put a stranglehold on the Tigers for a 15-6 win on a rainy Friday night in Auman Stadium. That kept Orange in the running for second place in the Carolinas 3-A Conference, depending on the outcome of the Southern Vance-Northern Vance contest.
If favored Southern Vance won Friday, that creates a three-way logjam for second place in the Carolina-6, with three teams at 3-2 in league play. (See www.newsobserver.com/sports
for NCHSAA playoff seedings.) A Southern Vance loss gives Orange second place with its win in hand over Chapel Hill.
Two years ago, the Panthers defeated the Tigers 42-23 to take second place. Last year, Orange upset Chapel Hill 14-11 in Culton Stadium.
"Our team played hard tonight," Orange coach Pat Moser said. "We just put the ball in Sean's [Motley] hand, and he did a good job.
But it was the defense that kept Chapel Hill (9-2, 3-2) at bay. Tigers quarterback TJ Johnson was sacked four times and had three passes intercepted.
Orange (6-5, 3-2) got on the scoreboard after intercepting Johnson for the second time with a three-minute span. Panthers safety J.D. Brooks intercepted Johnson and returned the ball to the Tigers 41 but fumbled the ball, which Chapel Hill recovered.
Four plays later, Johnson was intercepted again, this time by John Evans who returned the ball 79 yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left in the first quarter. A two-point conversion made it 8-0 at the half.
The Panthers went up 15-0 on their first drive of the third period when Motley hit Jalen Pittman for a 27-yard scoring strike.
Chapel Hill finally got on the scoreboard with 8:33 left in the fourth on a 2-yard run by Darius Allen, but a two-point attempt failed.
The Tigers were driving again late in the game before Johnson's third interception by John Evans in the end zone that thwarted Chapel Hill's final rally.
"I can't say enough about our defense," Moser said. "We had four guys out from last week's game, and our team just played excellent."Wildcats 35, Rockets 21ROXBORO
Needing 27 passes to break the NCHSAA record for completions in a season, East Chapel Hill's Drew Davis opted instead to run 27 times and got 161 yards and three second-half touchdowns on the ground to lead the Wildcats (3-8, 3-2 PAC) to a 35-21 victory at Person High School.
"After years of East just winning one or two games, for us to come out here and win a third conference game is like a dream," said East senior Robin Palmer, who help stymie the Rockets twice in the fourth quarter on two fourth-down conversion tries. "Tonight was unbelievable."
Davis completed 13 of 20 passes for 140 yards, but threw only three times in the fourth quarter, including a 25-yard strike to Alex Moore for a touchdown that put East up 21-14 with 6:55 to play.
Davis hit Luke Arlotto with a 7-yard touchdown pass in the first half to send East Chapel Hill into the break tied with Person at 7.
"We were a little sloppy with our techniques in the first half," East coach Bill Renner said. "I got on them some at halftime about that, and they did a great job executing in the second half."W.E. Warnock
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