It’s been a long time since Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill have approached their annual rivalry game on such equal footing.
Both have suffered through some close, emotionally tough losses, and both teams know that just makes this Friday’s match at Wildcat Stadium even more important.
East Chapel Hill (1-3) led in the fourth quarter Friday against a big, talented Southern Alamance team, only to see the game turn on a couple of fourth quarter mistakes – a grounding penalty on fourth down at midfield and an interception returned for a touchdown – resulting in a 45-28 win for the visiting Patriots.
“We just have to wash this out of our system and get ready for Chapel Hill,” East Chapel Hill coach Jon Sherman said.
“Nobody likes losing – nobody,” he continued. “I hate it. I hate being 1-3. But we have Chapel Hill coming in here, and we need to focus on that.”
East out-played Southern Alamance for much of last Friday’s game against the Wildcats’ former conference rival. Patriots managed to hold East Chapel Hill back Colby Owens in check up the middle, but gave up ground on the corners and a TD to Chris Fowler, and to sophomore quarterback Connor Stough in the air.
Stough completed 10 of 21 passes for 319 yards. He threw first-half touchdown passes of 79 yards and 32 to Jack Hankins, and he completed a 68-yard strike to Arkavious Parks to set up his own 1-yard sneak for another TD.
In comparison, Southern Alamance’s highly touted Jonathan Lloyd completed 16 of 31 passes for 241 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 30 yards to Atwater and 24 yards to Tylin McAdams, and he ran in one himself from 7 yards out for the Patriots’ last TD of the game for a 43-28 lead with 4:06 left to play.
Chapel Hill (0-3) had last Friday off after losing a dramatic, 29-28 game to district rival Carrboro on Sept. 6.
Like East Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill hurt itself with mistakes in the second half against Carrboro.
“From what I can see, we’re coming together; we’re going to turn that corner,” Chapel Hill coach Issac Marsh said.
“When you have a young team, you’re going to go through some ups and downs. We coming out of that now.”
Northwood ends Carrboro’s streak
Associated Press voters might have to start taking Northwood seriously after the Chargers upset Carrboro 41-19 last Friday at Jaguar Stadium.
Ranked No. 3 last week in the state’s 2A AP poll, Carrboro (3-1) was crippled by the absence of blue chip running back Trai Sharpe, who sat out most of the game after twisting his right knee. He had ripped off four big gains against the Chargers before sitting down.
Carrboro had won 18 straight games in regular-season play before last Friday’s loss.
But Northwood has done better against Carrboro than any other area team, winning six of seven meetings, and Friday’s win avenged the Chargers’ 2012 loss at home to Carrboro. The final score was the most points given up by Carrboro since a 56-48 playoff loss to East Bladen in 2010, and it was the most points scored by Northwood against Carrboro since a 62-34 win in 2009.
“It’s a convincing win, a statement win, but Orange is a whole other level, and we’ve got to keep getting better.”
Northwood (4-0) and 3A No. 10-ranked Orange (4-0) both have an off week as they ready to meet Sept. 27 in the first Big-8 Conference game of the season.
Orange crushes Graham
Former Graham head coach Pat Moser showed little mercy on his old team when he brought the Panthers to Malone Memorial Stadium last week.
Three different backs scored for Orange (4-0) in its 35-0 win. Michael Bolden scored from 9 yards out to cap the Panthers’ first possession. Drew LeMasters led all rushers with 119 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Tay Jones ran in three touchdowns and ended up with 92 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards.
Graham (0-4) was held to 128 yards of offense as Orange first-team defense continued its streak of no touchdowns for opponents this season.
Red Wolves’ rally falls short
At Linny Wrenn Stadium, Riverside’s defense came up big in a 38-31 win over Cedar Ridge.
Cedar Ridge’s Peyton Pappas had already tied the game once in the fourth quarter before Riverside took the lead for good on an 8-yard scramble for a touchdown by quarterback Diante Strothers with 1:03 left to play. Pappas had the Red Wolves moving downfield again, but Darryl Smith picked off a Pappas pass in the final seconds to seal the win.
Joel Evans led Riverside’s ground game with 193 yards on 25 carries, including a 20-yard touchdowns run.
Pappas completed 25 of 39 passes for 311 yards, but gave up two interceptions. Strothers, with just 53 yards on 3-for-6 passing, ran in two touchdowns himself, including the game-winner.