Chapel Hill 23,:
Published: Nov 03, 2012 10:55 AM
Modified: Nov 03, 2012 05:22 PM
FAYETTEVILLE - Chapel Hill scored 14 points in the final six minutes of regulation and then Emmett Thorpe kicked a game-winning 22-yard field goal in the second overtime to defeat Fayetteville Douglas Byrd 23-20 in their NCHSAA 3AA Mideast playoff opener Friday at Bob Paroli Stadium.
Chapel Hill locked up the win the Tigers third in the first round in six years by forcing a fumble on Byrds last crack at the end zone in overtime and stopping the Eagles at the goal line.
The Tigers lost in last years second round 47-12 at Byrd, but this time senior quarterback T.J. Johnson fared much better. Johnson, who was sacked nine times in last years loss, threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the final quarter.
The Tigers (9-2) trailed 20-6 with 6 minutes, 13 seconds left in regulation, but Johnson connected with senior Alex Duncan on a 43-yard pass, setting up a 15-yard touchdown throw to Aaron Hirsch.
Chapel Hill recovered the ensuing onside kick, and seven plays later Johnson found Grant Deselm in the end zone to tie the score at 20 with 38 seconds remaining.
Following Thorpes kick in double overtime, Byrd had one more chance, but the Tigers forced a fumble on the 1-yard line to seal the improbable win and send Chapel Hill to face Northeast Guilford next week.
This is the first time for something like this, said Chapel Hill coach Isaac Marsh. Our guys played extremely well and just found a way to make the plays.
T.J. settled down and made the throws and led us. Nobody deserves it more than he does.
Chapel Hill junior Darius Allen also contributed to the Tigers ground attack, gaining 108 yards and scoring their first touchdown midway through the third quarter after the Eagles (8-3) led 7-0 at halftime. The Tigers missed the two-point conversion and trailed 7-6 entering the fourth quarter.
It looked as if the Eagles would beat the Tigers for the second consecutive year when two Chapel Hill special teams turnovers in a one-minute span led to Byrd touchdowns.
Chapel Hill limited Byrd to 70 yards following halftime.Other scores
Elsewhere in the playoffs, No. 5-ranked Carrboro ran past Burlington Cummings 68-31 in a 2A game; East Chapel Hill fell 40-5 at defending state 4A champion Scotland County; in the 3AA Mideast, Orange blew out Eastern Wayne 38-6; and in the 2A Mideast, Northwood lost 22-17 at St. Pauls.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.