Published: Nov 13, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Nov 13, 2011 11:08 AM
FAYETTEVILLE - Chapel Hill ran into one of the top 3-A high school football teams in North Carolina on Friday night and was eliminated from the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-AA playoffs 47-12 by undefeated Douglas Byrd.Seeded No. 2, Byrd (12-0) avoided the slow start it displayed in last week's first-round win against Orange and scored the first 21 points Friday at Bob Paroli Stadium. Despite missing two conversions, the Eagles built a 27-6 lead by halftime.Turnovers and special teams didn't help the Tigers' cause. Chapel Hill gave up an interception return for one touchdown and a two more scores on punt returns by the Eagles."I honestly thought we could play well," said Chapel Hill coach Isaac Marsh. "We had glimpses tonight, but we can't give up that many big plays."
Though Byrd became just the second team to get more than two touchdowns against the Tigers, Chapel Hill still did better against the Eagles than most of their recent opponents. Byrd shut out three of its past seven opponents, and Chapel Hill's two scores were as many as the Eagles have given up since Sept. 16.Chapel Hill kept all Byrd runners under 100 yards.
The Eagles' Jordan Hill caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Breon Davis to open the scoring. Garry Lewis added a 75-yard punt return, and the Eagles scored a safety before Davis scrambled 8 yards to push the lead to 21-0.Chapel Hill mounted a 16-play drive that covered 74 yards to get its first touchdown. Roscoe Burnette topped the march with a 1-yard run.
Byrd answered with a 53-yard drive for another score, capped by an 8-yard scoring run by Lorenzo Pooler.
Jordan Hill added a late touchdown with his 58-yard punt return to help Byrd seal the win.
"To have two punts returned in the game by two different return men is quite spectacular," Byrd coach Russell Stone said.
Byrd outgained Chapel Hill 366 to 174 yards, and the Eagles were tough on Chapel Hill junior quarterback TJ Johnson, sacking him nine times as he tried 40 pass attempts.Chapel Hill's R.J. Quick scored on a 50-yard run as the Tigers kept fighting in the fourth quarter.Chapel Hill finished 10-3 with its first playoff game since 2007 with last week's victory against Asheboro.
"I'm proud of the guys for a great season, and our future looks bright," Marsh said.
Chapel Hill will return most of its top skilled players next year. Heading into Friday night, Johnson had thrown for 1,436 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Tigers' top rusher - Darius Allen, with 637 rushing yards and eight touchdowns before the game at Byrd - is a sophomore.