Southern overwhelms Chapel Hill to advance in 3-AA
Southern started slow and finished fast with a 40-6 win over Chapel Hill in the first round of the 3-AA playoffs on Friday night.
After turning the ball over on its first two possessions and trailing 6-0 after the first quarter, Southern (10-2) clamped down on the Tigers (4-8) and dominated the final three quarters.
Southern coach Adrian Jones said he was glad to see his team bounce back from its early lack of focus. But that is a luxury his team may not have in the second round as the Spartans host Cardinal Gibbons next week.
"We talked all week about not taking (Chapel Hill) lightly because we knew they would come out with a good game plan," Jones said. "We definitely came out sluggish and hopefully we'll learn from that because we're going to be another team from the conference. We can't make the same mistakes we made tonight."
Chapel Hill coach Issac Marsh the way his team played in the first half probably had a lot of people shocked.
"I can pinpoint the plays that determined the outcome of this game," Marsh said. "Our players came to play and I felt confident in them. I'm proud of them. I can't think of how many times we were down in the scoring area and we walked away with no points.
"If we could have scored on those two that we had at the goal line, I feel like it would have been a different outcome."
Southern won the regular-season matchup 59-20 but the Spartans allowed Chapel Hill to stay in the rematch with some early miscues. But once those were corrected, the Spartans rolled as quarterback Kendall Hinton ran for two touchdowns, including a 67-yard scamper, and threw for another.
Hinton said the Spartans didn't panic despite giving Chapel Hill the ball on a fumble and an interception to start the game.
"We're pretty disciplined and there is good team chemistry," said Hinton, who finished with 110 yards on nine carries and 190 passing yards on 12 of 18 throwing and interception. "We came out pretty rough but as time went on we picked it up. We understood they came to play and we handled the adversity well."
The Tigers took advantage of Will Cameron's fumble on Southern's second play of the game to drive for the opening score. Fullback Brandon Wendel capped off Chapel Hill's first possession with a punishing four-yard touchdown run with 8:14 left in the opening quarter.
Chapel Hill was unable to score the rest of the game despite driving deep into Southern territory on two other occasions before turning the ball over with the goal line in sight.
Kameron Johnson tied the game at 6-6 on the first play of the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown run but Southern kicker Leonardo Orozco missed the extra point.
Then after Southern's defense held and got the ball back for the offense following a Chapel Hill punt, Hinton broke free up the middle for his 67-yard touchdown run with 9:03 left in the second quarter to make it 13-6.
Chapel Hill looked poised to tie the game on the ensuing possession as the Tigers drove to the Southern 4. But quarterback Grant Deselm threw an interception in the end zone that was picked off by Josh Manss and returned to the 42.
The Spartans went on to score a touchdown on Hinton's one-yard keeper with 3:18 left in the half to make it 20-6. Southern's drive was kept alive by a defensive pass interference penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the same play that pushed the ball to the Chapel Hill 12.
The Spartans added three more touchdowns in the third quarter as Jordan Brown scored on a 16-yard pass from Hinton, James Taylor fought his way in to the end zone on a one-yard plunge and Marvin Tillman returned a fumble 96 yards to round out the scoring.
SOUTHERN 40, CHAPEL HILL 6
Chapel Hill 6 0 0 0 — 6
Southern 0 20 20 0 — 40
CH — Brandon Wendel 4 run (kick failed), 8:14
S — Kameron Johnson 1 run (kick failed), 11:57
S — Kendall Hinton 67 run (Leonardo Orozco kick), 9:03
S — Hinton 1 run (Orozco kick), 3:18
S — Jordan Brown 16 pass from Hinton (Orozco kick), 8:34
S — James Taylor 1 run (Orozco kick), 7:23
S — Marvin Tillman 96 fumble return (kick failed)
RUSHING — Chapel Hill, Grant Deselm 7-37, Ricki McDowell 10-70, Brandon Wendel 8-24, Lonnie Baldwin 7-10, Team 1-(minus-1). Southern, Derrick Mason 1-(minus-3), Maurice Trowell 1-12, Will Cameron 8-10, Jordan Brown 5-34, Kendall Hinton 9-110, Kameron Johnson 2-4, Toney Bass 7-41, James Taylor 1-1, Greg Washington 1-98, Kerry Ivory 1-7.
PASSING — Chapel Hill, Deselm 6-21-154 2, Jacob Guskiewicz 0-5-0 0. Southern, Hinton 12-18-190 1, Washington 1-1-12 0.
RECEIVING — Chapel Hill, Aaron Hirsch 4-95, Austin Turner 1-29, Noah Layden 1-30. Southern, Kerry Ivory 2-20, Maurice Trowell 2-15, Mason 7-138, Brown 4-22, Bass 1-7.
Records — Chapel Hill 4-8, Southern 10-2.