Carrboro starts slow, finishes fast in opener at Cedar Ridge
After Carrboro advanced to the 2012 2-AA state title game last year, coach Jason Tudryn said his team spent the offseason reading about how great they were.
The Jaguars received a wake-up call in their season opener Friday night.
Carrboro led by one at halftime against Cedar Ridge, which went 1-10 last season, before Trai Sharp scored three third-quarter touchdowns to lead the Jaguars to a 36-19 win.
“It’s hard when you’re dealing with teenage boys to humble themselves when they’ve been told for six months that they’re awesome,” Tudryn said. “Cedar Ridge obviously didn’t think so in the first half, so we’ve got a lot of improvements to make.”
Sharp, a junior who is being recruited by all the major colleges in the area, finished with 123 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. That was enough to overcome three touchdown receptions from Chris McKoy as the Red Wolves’ played their first game in a new spread offense.
“We’re not a very good team right now,” Tudryn said. “We turn the ball over, too many penalties, too many mistakes. We have to get a lot better because the road’s going to get a lot more challenging as we go down this thing, but we’re going to celebrate this one tonight because it was hard-earned.”
Carrboro’s defense came out firing — Cedar Ridge lost five yards on its first two running plays, sweeps by Elijah Richardson and Marquez Hunter, and then Carson McKay sacked Peyton Pappas on third down.
The Jaguars then went exclusively to Sharp on its first possession, and the junior gained 44 yards en route to the game’s opening touchdown.
Cedar Ridge moved the ball on its second drive when Julius Watson ran for 37 yards on the first play. That possession stalled at the Carrboro 19, but the Red Wolves made it to the end zone on their next drive when Pappas lofted a 20-yard touchdown pass to McKoy to tie the game at 6-6.
Sharp returned the ensuring kickoff 69 yards, and Grayson Magee scored from 10 yards out to put Carrboro back in front.
But the Jaguars fumbled on the first play of their next possession, giving Cedar Ridge the ball at their 28. Pappas found McKoy for nine yards on fourth-and-8, and then for a 15-yard touchdown, again on fourth-and-8, to get the hosts within 13-12.
Cedar Ridge missed the 2-point conversion, and the game slipped away when Carrboro scored 23 straight points after halftime.
Facing third-and-24 after a bad snap on Carrboro’s first possession of the third quarter, Marlin Johnson got behind the defense and Jonah Mendys hit him in stride for a 61-yard gain. Sharp then got his first score of the quarter to make it 20-12.
After a three-and-out by Cedar Ridge, Sharp caught a 23-yard pass before running it in from seven yards out. Then, after running for 19 yards on a draw play on third-and-14, Sharp scored his third touchdown of the third quarter from three yards out with 35 seconds left.
“We’re real thin, we have a lot of guys going both ways, and I think that showed in the second half,” Red Wolves coach Chris Casey said. “We’ve played well in the scrimmages but it’s different going 15 plays and then having some time off. … I think we got mentally tired, I think we got physically tired. But the first half we played well.”
Tudryn credited the play of two-way linemen Rakim Satterwhite, Ezavian Dunn, Andy Ixcajo and Gerald Atwater, while middle linebacker Sam Blobe did well in his first game directing the defense.
But after finishing so close to a state title last season – the Jaguars gave up the winning touchdown with 19 seconds left against South Iredell — this year’s team was only up 13-12 Friday after a sloppy first half.
“They read all the headlines and they think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it’s not 2012 anymore,” Tudryn said. “We don’t have any of those seniors walking through the door to help them out. We just said to them, it’s on you. You better make a play, you better finish this game out.”
Carrboro 36, Cedar Ridge 19
Carrboro |13 |0 |20 |3 — 36
Cedar Ridge |6 |6 |0 |7 — 19
Carrboro — Trai Sharp 3 run (run failed), 9:02
Cedar Ridge — Chris McKoy 20 pass from Peyton Pappas (kick failed), 3:05
Carrboro — Greyson Magee 10 run (Simon Schlehubetre kick), 0:31
Cedar Ridge — Chris McKoy 15 pass from Pappas (pass failed), 7:01
Carrboro — Sharp 1 run (kick failed), 9:21
Carrboro —– Sharp 7 run (Schlehubetre kick), 6:57
Carrboro — Sharp 3 run (Schlehubetre kick), 0:35
Carrboro — Schlehubetre 25 field goal, 7:02
Cedar Ridge — Chris McKoy 4 pass from Pappas (Brandon Phares kick), 4:58
RUSHING — Carrboro, Trai Sharp 22-123, Greyson Magee 19-91, Rowe Merlott 1-2. Cedar Ridge, Julius Walton 13-70, Ben Rice 6-14.
PASSING — Carrboro, Jonah Mendys 7-12-118-0, Rowe Merlott 3-5-39-1. Cedar Ridge, 5 Peyton Pappas 14-25-134-0.
RECEIVING — Carrboro, Marlin Johnson 5-94, Kendrick Edwards 1-19, Greyson Magee 2-7, Darius Glover 1-12, Trai Sharp 1-23. Cedar Ridge, Marquez Hunter 4-38, Chris McKoy 7-84, Julius Watson 2-10.
Records — Carrboro 1-0, 0-0 Mid-State 2-A; Cedar Ridge 0-1, 0-0 Big Eight 3-A.