Lineman seals win for Chapel Hill over Cedar Ridge
With all the rushing prowess and high-powered passing on display, who would have thought the difference in Chapel Hill’s 30-28 victory over a stubborn Cedar Ridge squad would have been a scoring play by a hulking, 300-pound defensive lineman.
“You look to guys like Logan Tisch to make plays like that. I’m proud that he was able to get through and get the safety,” said Chapel Hill coach Issac Marsh.
“So that was the difference when you actually look at it, the safety. We didn’t play well tonight, but we played well enough to walk away here with a victory,” Marsh said of the Big 8 Conference showdown.
With the score knotted at 21 and 7:27 left in the game, Cedar Ridge had just completed a goal-line stand to deny the Tigers a score. Taking over on downs at their own 1-yard line, the Red Wolves set up a pass play, but Tisch, a 6-foot-3 junior, crashed through and sacked quarterback Peyton Pappas in the end zone.
And now Chapel Hill has its eyes on state playoff selections, which will be announced today.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed and right now if I could cross my my toes -- if they weren’t frozen I’d cross them,” Marsh said.
“We played well enough down the stretch in the conference to maybe get a look at, but with the playoffs nothing is guaranteed,” he said. “Four wins and you qualify, and that’s all we have done right now is qualified. There’s other teams in the state that have better records than we do.”
Marsh is hoping to get a closer look by the selection committee.
“What I’m hoping is if there’s a team that’s .500, 5-5, and they look at maybe the team has had three nonconference wins and only two conference wins, there’s a possibility of maybe knocking them out because we have three conference wins,” Marsh said.
“Our majority of wins are in the conference and the way I’m looking at it, based upon the enrollment numbers Orange was a large 3A, and Southern Durham because they just dropped down from 4A they’ll be large, and Cardinal Gibbons, so that’s three. Northwood is small because they just came up from 2A and hopefully to balance it out we might be able to sneak in there,” he said.
“It’s definitely a strong conference,” and could have a bearing on the selection, he said.
Despite getting sacked five times, Pappas had a stellar night passing, hitting on 15 of 19 passes for 264 yards. His hottest target, wide receiver Chris McKoy, gathered in eight passes for 206 of those yards.
On the other side of the ball, Tigers running back Ricki McDowell had 156 yards rushing on 26 carries, and quarterback Grant DeSelm was 12-16 passing for 99 yards.
On the Tigers’ second possession, McDowell exploded through a gaping hole on the left side of the line, zigged left, cut back right and scored on a 17-yard gallop to put Chapel Hill up 7-0 at 3:06 of the first quarter.
Tigers running back Brandon Wendel bulled straight ahead through the heart of the offensive line for a 3-yard TD and a 14-0 Chapel Hill lead at 9:38 of the second quarter.
A series of misadventures followed.
McKoy coughed up the football on the kickoff runback, and Jeremy Peck recovered for Chapel Hill. On 2nd and 10 DeSelm threw an interception to Cedar Ridge defender Julius Walton. After picking up a first down, Pappas hit wide receiver Marquez Hunter on a short pass, but Hunter tipped it away and Hudson Price was there to fall on the ball for the Tigers.
When action settled down, Pappas hit McKoy on a picture-perfect, 89-yard scoring strike when McKoy got behind the coverage to make it 14-7.
Red Wolves defensive back Ryan Weaks intercepted DeSelm on the next Chapel Hill possession and Cedar Ridge put it in with a little trickery when the center snapped the ball to Walton, the halfback, who ran in for the 5-yard TD to tie the game.
In the third quarter McKoy, playing D-back, intercepted DeSelm in the end zone, but Chapel Hill defensive back Connor Korfas got it back with an interception of his own.
Wendel later ran 10 yards up the middle to score for Chapel Hill, followed by another McKoy receiving touchdown for Cedar Ridge from 17 yards out.
After Tisch’s sack, a wide open Tigers Aaron Hirsch caught a scoring strike from DeSelm deep in right corner of the end zone.
Walton hauled in a 34-yard TD pass from Pappas down the left sideline with 46 seconds in the game, but the Tigers' Jammond Obie fell on the ensuing onsides kick to ice the game.
CHAPEL HILL 30, CEDAR RIDGE 28
Cedar Ridge 0 14 7 7 — 28
Chapel Hill 7 7 7 9 — 30
Chapel Hill—Ricky McDowell 17 run (Connor Albrecht kick), 3:06
Chapel Hill—Brandon Wendel 3 run (Albrecht kick), 9:38
Cedar Ridge—Chris McKoy 89 pass from Peyton Pappas (Brandon Phares kick), 3:17
Cedar Ridge—Julius Walton 5 run (Phares kick), 0:12
Chapel Hill—Wendel 10 run (Albrecht kick), 3:46
Cedar Ridge—McKoy 17 pass from Pappas (Phares kick), 1:56
Chapel Hill—Logan Tisch, safety, 7:22
Chapel Hill—Aaron Hirsch 3 pass from Grant DeSelm (Albrecht kick), 3:22
Cedar Ridge—Walton 34 pass from Pappas (Phares kick), 0:46
RUSHING — Cedar Ridge, Julius Walton 14-42, Ben Rice 3-20, Chris McKoy 1-minus 16, Peyton Pappas 6-minus 30. Chapel Hill, Ricky McDowell 26-156, Brandon Wendel 10-23, Grant DeSelm 6-9, Lonnie Baldwin 2-12.
PASSING — Cedar Ridge, Peyton Pappas 15-19-264. Chapel Hill, Grant DeSelm 12-16-99.
RECEIVING — Cedar Ridge, Chris McKoy 8-206, Julius Walton 6-58. Chapel Hill, Brandon Wendel 4-33, Noah Layden 2-28, Austin Turner 4-27, Albert Nyamayaro 1-8.
Records — Cedar Ridge 2-9, 2-5 Big Eight 3-A; Chapel Hill 4-7, 3-4 Big Eight.