With just over two minutes left and fearing his Orange team was about to suffer its first loss of the year, Panthers running back Tay Jones went to the sidelines and admittedly had a heart-searing cry. Fifteen seconds later, he was the star of the game, scoring a breakaway touchdown and a 2-point conversion to stun Chapel Hill 38-37 in a huge Big Eight 3-A Conference showdown to determine the top cats in Orange County.
Four of the preseason Big Eight 3-A Conference powers, all of whom have lived up to their billings, are in action Friday, Oct. 17. In Pittsboro, reigning Big Eight and state 3-AA state champion Southern (7-0, 3-0 Big Eight) visits Northwood (6-1, 2-1) at 7, while in Hillsborough, Orange (7-0, 3-0) hosts Chapel Hill (6-1, 2-1).
Orange picks up 35-13 victory in game that was originally suspended and later deemed complete despite not reaching halftime before lightning forces halt.
Postponed, suspended Friday night high school football games to be made up tonight (Saturday, Oct. 11) and Monday. Only two games officially completed.
Defending PAC-6 champion Hillside opened its conference season with an abbreviated by impressive win Friday, stopping Jordan 27-0 before a thunderstorm ended the game at halftime.
The preliminaries are over. It’s down to business for the PAC-6 4-A Friday night (Oct. 10).
Trailing by just five points, 12-7, at the end of the first quarter, Northern Vance couldn’t sustain it as Orange exploded for 38 second-quarter points en route to a 57-13 win.
Southern and Chapel Hill, two of the area’s three remaining undefeated high school football teams meet Friday, Oct. 3 in Chapel Hill. A preview of Friday's seven area games.
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.
Big Eight 3-A Conference Panthers crush Mid-State 3-A Conference Red Devils 54-14 in homecoming for Orange coach Pat Moser, who won at state 1-A title at Graham.
Tay Jones and Eryk Brandon-Dean scored two touchdowns apiece and quarterback Garrett Cloer threw a pair as Orange dominated Riverside 45-12 on Friday night.
It has been said that football is a game of field position and that adage held true Friday night as visiting Orange (2-0) downed Northern (0-2) 18-0 at Durham County Memorial Stadium.
The visiting Panthers of the Big Eight 3-A Conference beat Roxboro Person 27-14. The final score projected a rather convincing Orange win. But the Panthers did not look like the dominant squad Orange coach Pat Moser fielded a year ago, when they played in the state 3-AA semifinals.
The Orange Panthers’ House of Pain was nothing if not an inhospitable wasteland for visiting teams last season, where seven foes were vanquished and outscored 312-60.