Football: Chapel Hill and East both find their ground games on the road

ewarnock@newsobserver.comOctober 28, 2013 

Sophomore running back Ricki McDowell came into his own Friday night, running for 105 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

His emergence as a go-to player for Chapel Hill’s offense couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Tigers lost top running backs Darius Allen and Lonnie Baldwin two weeks before. Now with the nimble, 155-pound McDowell and physical, 180-pound Brandon Wendel complementing each other, Chapel Hill has a nice one-two punch for its ground. That should help take some pressure off quarterback Grant Deselm, who threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns at Cardinal Gibbons, despite the 47-36 loss.

“Ricki McDowell played an outstanding game Friday,” head coach Issac Marsh said. “It’s pleasing to see his progress. He’s turning into a premier running back.”

Owens leads ‘Cats to first PAC-6 win

At Roxboro last week, Person’s Rockets could see Colby Owens coming. They just couldn’t stop him.

The 6-foot, 1-inch, 240-pound Owens has drawn the interest of ACC and SEC programs, and he made it clear why Friday night at Roxboro. Owens rushed 19 times for 160 yards and five touchdowns against Person, and, perhaps most importantly, he ran in two touchdowns and two-point conversions in the final five minutes of play.

East led most of the game, thanks to two TDs by Owens and one thrown by sophomore quarterback Sean Moore, but Person got its only lead of the game, at 28-26, on a 44-yard run by Taymon Smith with 5:30 to play.

East answered with a long kickoff return by Arkavious Parks, and a late-hit call set up the Wildcats at the Person 32-yard line. Five plays later, Owens scored off tackle with 3:36 to play, and East never trailed again.

Owens, who doubles as one of East’s top defenders, sat out just three plays all night, said Wildcat head coach John Sherman.

“This game might have been a defining moment for this team,” Sherman said. “We’ve lost a lot of guys to injuries and had our backs to the wall, but everyone stayed together and got a real team win. The guys brought a lot of energy and excitement to this game. They played some amazing football.”

Chargers hit high gear

Northwood hit full throttle last week, scoring more than 50 points for the fourth time this season when the Chargers beat Northern Vance 51-17 in Henderson.

Northwood’s Ti Pinnix – who was 10 for 20 against the Vikings – is now the leading passer in the Triangle area, completing 208 of 361 passes for 279.7 yards a game and 26 touchdowns.

Kadarus Rone rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries, while Motnel Goods got 106 yards and two TDs on 18 rushes.

Pappas keeps going

Despite Cedar Ridge’s 1-8 record, quarterback Peyton Pappas has managed to throw for 1,445 yards (160.6 yards a game) and 23 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.

He produced the Red Wolves’ only touchdown in a 69-10 loss Friday to Southern Durham when he connected with Marquez Hunter on a 25-yard strike.

Orange back in step

Undefeated Orange looked like its old self last week as the Panthers blew out Oxford Webb 56-7.

That was a relief, said head coach Pat Moser, after the Panthers managed only a single touchdown – as time expired – in a 6-0 win at Chapel Hill. That was 35 points fewer than in 9-0 Orange’s next-closest win: 41-21 at Northwood in the fifth week of the season.

The Panthers held Webb to just 120 yards and a single touchdown that came late in the fourth quarter.

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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