Wildcats hang on to top Red Wolves
With Cedar Ridge trying desperately to get the ball for one last possession to complete what could have been a wild come-from-behind victory, East Chapel Hill coach John Sherman was looking for a sure thing in a game marred by penalties and turnovers.
He called Colby Owens’ number, and the bruising 6-1, 235-pound running back picked up 29 yards and a pair of first downs on carries of 10, 7 and 12 yards to run the final 2:04 off the clock. That iced Sherman’s first win as the Wildcats’ head coach 24-21.
“He was a stud last year, averaging 6 yards a carry,” Sherman said of Owens. “He’s having some issues this year because he’s playing both ways, he’s getting a little tired. I told him I’m going to give him the ball when time matters. He’s our workhorse when it comes to that.
“We had a couple of turnovers that shouldn’t have happened. The penalties killed a lot of drives in the second half. It’s hard to call plays second-and-30 or second-and-20.”
East Chapel Hill scored a pair of first-quarter TD’s. Sophomore quarterback Connor Stough fired a 17-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Jack Hankins, who found himself wide open in the end zone. Hankins then notched a 77-yard catch-and run, blowing past the coverage down the sideline and cutting back across the field to score.
Cedar Ridge’s Julius Walton zipped up the middle on a 7-yard rush in between those scores.
Sophomore kicker Ellis Llewellyn drilled in a 36-yard field goal for the Wildcats’ only second-half score.
Walton scored on a third period 19-yard reception, and Cedar Ridge came within a field goal of tying with 2:07 left in the game when sophomore wide receiver Marquez Hunter caught a 41-yard reception. The ensuing onsides kick failed, and East Chapel Hill ran out the clock.
ECH 24, Cedar Ridge 21
E. Chapel Hill |14|7|3|0—24
ECH—Jack Hankins, 17-yard reception from Connor Stough (Ellis Llewellyn kick) 7:19.
CR—Julius Walton 7-yard rush (Brandon Phares missed kick) 4:30.
ECH—Hankins, 77-yard pass (Llewellyn kick) 1:04.
ECH—Stough 1-yard rush (Llewellyn kick) 4:18.
ECH—Llewellyn 36-yard field goal 9:43.
CR—Walton 19-yard reception from Peyton Pappas (Pappas 2-point conversion) 1:40.
CR—Marquez Hunter 41-yard reception (Phares kick) 2:07.
RUSHING—Cedar Ridge, Julius Walton 3-17. East Chapel Hill, Chris Fowler 15-58, Colby Owens 9-54, Connor Stough 12-28, Jack Hankins 4-31, Jeremy Hubbard 3-17.
PASSING—Cedar Ridge, Peyton Pappas 18-31-292. East Chapel Hill, Connor Stough 12-19-227.
RECEIVING—Cedar Ridge, Hunter Marquez 4-85, Julius Walton 5-60, Matt Murty 2-32, Jonathan Hall 3-24, Elijah Richardson 1-17, Chris McKoy 1-15. East Chapel Hill, Jack Hankins 4-133, John Graham 4-67, Colby Owens 4-30, Justin Douglas 2-29.
Records—Cedar Ridge 0-3, East Chapel Hill 1-2.