UNBEATEN PANTHERS' DEFENSE STYMIES NORTHWOOD
Orange’s defense shut down Northwood, 14-7, in a battle of unbeatens Friday at Orange.
The two teams combined for all 21 points in the game’s first nine minutes, but the defenses tightened up the rest of the way, choking off the expected shootout.
The Panther defense harassed Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix all night, sacking him four times and chasing him from the pocket repeatedly. Orange added three tackles for loss on Northwood running backs and held the Chargers to 56 yards on the ground.
Orange also managed to shut down Northwood’s big-play wide receiver, Jalen Smith. Cornerbacks Keshawn Thompson and A.J. Bradsher took turns guarding Smith, holding him to two catches for 26 yards and several incompletions as Pinnix tried to find an opening to get Smith the ball.
The Orange defense also had two red-zone stands, preventing Northwood from getting the game-tying touchdown.
Live links to all Friday's area high school football games:
UNBEATENS NORTHWOOD, ORANGE TO CLASH IN HILLSBOROUGH
There was little to no doubt that the area’s top high school football conference this season would be the Big Eight 3-A.
With returning state 3-AA champion Southern, state 3-AA semifinalist Orange and 2013 playoff teams Cardinal Gibbons, Northwood and Chapel Hill all in the fold, things couldn’t have looked brighter for the second-year conference.
Turns out, through four games, the Big Eight might have been undervalued. And tonight, the Big Eight jumps into conference play.
The top four teams in the league — Southern, Orange, Northwood and Chapel Hill — are undefeated (4-0) and ranked no lower statewide than 34th in the 3-A ranks by MaxPreps.com, the online partner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
One of those four is assured of suffering its first loss tonight as Orange, which has outscored its four opponents by a combined 144-40, hosts Northwood at 7.
Three of Orange's wins have come at the expense of 4-A programs from the embattled PAC-6.
Northwood has outscored its four victims 172-29 and is ranked 26th (3-A), Orange 13th.
Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix made his return a memorable one. Pinnix, who sat out last week’s game due to injury, threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 162 yards and two TDs, as the Chargers ran up more than 600 yards offense in a 56-14 blowout of visiting Carrboro Friday.
For Northwood coach Bill Hall in his farewell tour season, his Chargers had a chance to do something historic against rival Jordan-Matthews Friday night and did just that, stopping the Jets 37-7 for their third straight win.
Northwood needed a 76-yard pass from backup quarterback Jacob Fowler to Montel Goods with 1:15 left in the game to steal the lead from Southern Lee and go on to a 14-8 victory.
Big Eight 3-A Conference Northwood scored touchdowns on nine of its10 possessions (excluding kneeldowns at the end of both halves) and allowed only one first down (via a roughing-the-passer penalty) in a 65-0 blowout win at PAC-6 4-A host East Chapel Hill Friday night.
A potent Northwood team will storm back into the Big Eight 3-A Conference this season with a motivational chip on the shoulder and a roster loaded with talented returners.
NCPreps.com has named quarterback Kendall Hinton of reigning state 3-A champion Southern High School to its preseason 3-A North Carolina all-state team. ... Hillside star OT Emanuel McGirt was named to the 4-A all-state team.
Carrboro, East Chapel Hill and South Granville continue searches to replace departed coaches. Northwood coach Bill Hall headed to retirement after 2014 season.
Nine area girls’ soccer players have been named to 2014 all-state teams by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association.
East Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill boys' tennis stars advance ... Sean Obi officially transfers to Duke ... More ...
PAC-6 Track & Field Championships reduced to one day (Thursday) at Hillside ... NCCU opens MEAC T&F Championships ... Duke, UNC men's and women's players named to NCAA individual and doubles tennis fields ... More ...
Jason Tudryn, who took Carrboro High School into the varsity football ranks and came within an eyelash of winning a state title in his sixth season at the helm, has left the program to join the staff of North Carolina coach Larry Fedora. ... Plus, rain claims much of Tuesday's schedule including some dual-team tennis playoff action, PAC-6 4-A track championships and PAC-6 golf championship.
Sports news from Northwood High School and elsewhere here in this edition of "Fanfare."
Area teams lead or share leads in five of six conferences that include area high school interscholastic athletic programs after the winter season in Wells Fargo Conference Cup competition.