Voters are giving Orange High School the respect it deserves with its 7-0 record, but many fans sill continue to overlook the fact that the Panthers do more than score a lot of points.
Orange is ranked No. 8 in The Associated Press statewide 3A poll and No. 2 among all Triangle football teams.
A lot of that is based on the Panthers’ versatile offense that’s scoring 44 points a game. But what’s probably more important is that Orange is beating teams by 37 points a game – and holding opponents to an average of 7.1 points a game.
Coaches know how important that is. Asked what stood out for him in Orange’s 59-7 victory last Friday against Cedar Ridge, Panthers head coach Pat Moser noted A.J. Bradsher’s three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
“He was really important for us,” Moser said.
Orange (7-0, 3-0 Big-8) held Cedar Ridge (0-7, 0-3) to less than 110 yards of total offense. Nonetheless, Cedar Ridge scored first in Friday’s game on a 4-yard run by Julius Walton, gaining the distinction of becoming the first team to lead Orange this season. It held up for 3 minutes, 27 seconds, before Patrick Pettiford scored on a 6-yard run to tie it at 7-7.
“That first score woke us up a bit,” Moser said. “I was really glad to see how well everyone responded and got fired up real quick.”
Tigers want better finish
Chapel Hill High School enjoyed homecoming last Friday – if by “enjoy” you mean getting a good scare. The Tigers were up 28-0 with 3:22 to play before allowing winless Northern Vance to score three touchdowns and three, two-point conversions in the closing minutes.
Jammond Obie ended up being one of the Tigers’ heroes after falling on the Vance Vikings’ final on-sides kick.
“There are a lot of little things we’ve got to do to get better,” Chapel Hill coach Issac Marsh said. “We’ve got to learn how to close out a game better than that.”
Chapel Hill’s problem’s were exacerbated by running backs Darius Allen, and then Lonnie Baldwin, limping off the field in the first half.
East struggling with injuries
Durham Riverside running back Joel Evans was held to “just” 148 yards, but the Pirates defense still got the job done in a 42-10 blowout win Friday over PAC-6 opponent East Chapel Hill.
Riverside’s defense allowed East Chapel Hill only 39 rushing yards in the first half and 118 in the game as the Pirates (5-2, 1-0 PAC) won their fourth straight overall.
East Chapel Hill (1-6, 0-1) has lost four straight as its ranks have been thinned by 22 injuries. Virtually none of coach John Sherman’s original starting line is left.
Wildcats senior running back Ty Woodard was carried off the field within the first half last Friday, but he returned in the third quarter to score the Wildcats’ lone touchdown on a 67-yard pass from Connor Stough.
“It meant a lot to have him return. He did all he could,” Sherman said. “But we want to compete and we expect to, but it’s tough right now.”
The Wildcats scored their only points of the first half – a 30-yard field goal by from Ellis Llewellyn – on their first possession.
Northwood keeps rolling
Though offensive coordinator Bill Renner is a fan of wide-open passing games, Northwood’s offense continues to display remarkable balance under head coach Bill Hall. In their 33-21 Big-8 win against Oxford Webb, the Chargers gained 204 rushing (Kadarus Rone, 19-149) and 138 passing (Ti Pinnix, 12-35-2, 138 yards).
Northwood’s defense held Webb to 169 yards of offense – 63 rushing – but had trouble taking the ball away from the run-oriented Warriors, who gave up just one turnover despite the slippery conditions.