Carrboro, Trai Sharp steamroll East Chapel Hill
It took all of one play for the visiting Carrboro Jaguars to set the pace and take control of Friday’s cross-town rivalry against East Chapel Hill (0-2).
On the team’s first offensive snap, senior running back Trai Sharp broke through the line and was off.
“The D-end kind of went outside, and I didn’t see any linebackers or corners so I just put it into second gear,” Sharp said of his opening 72-yard touchdown run.
Sharp and the Jaguars remained in high-gear as the team rolled past East Chapel Hill 45-12 for Carrboro’s second win of the season.
After a narrow 39-38 victory over Cedar Ridge last week, Carrboro’s head coach Melvin Griffin spent the week preaching defense to his players and the importance of getting off the field on third down.
“For three quarters we did have some improvement defensively,” he said
Those three quarters were all the Jaguars needed to put the game away.
Carrboro (2-0) scored on each of its opening four possessions with Sharp scoring three touchdowns of 72, 18 and 25 yards.
Rowe Mellott’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Overbeck padded the score and gave the Jaguars a 26-0 halftime lead.
Much like last week’s matchup against Northwood, East Chapel Hill struggled to find any success on offense early on. Despite the Wildcats’ offensive struggles, head coach Mike Holderman said he was seeing improvement.
“The boys are going to watch the film tomorrow morning and they’re going to see that they’re a block or two away from popping them in the first and second quarter,” he said. “I’m pleased.”
Carrboro resumed its onslaught in the second half as Ted Bilden picked off East Chapel Hill’s Brater Gerber. The interception, deep in Wildcat territory, set up another scoring drive as Mellott connected with Greyson Magee on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Sam Blobe scored on a 21-yard rush on the Jaguars’ next possession to give the team a 39-0 third-quarter lead.
Even after Adam Bussian scored on a 27-yard run to extend Carrboro’s lead to 45-0 early in the fourth quarter, the East Chapel Hill offense refused to go quietly.
On the ensuing possession, East Chapel Hill’s freshman running back Amier Alston broke through several tacklers in the backfield to score on a 33-yard run — the Wildcats’ first score of the season.
The freshman scored again on a 72-yard rush with less than two-minutes remaining on the running clock. Alston finished the game with 185 yards on 23 carries.
“That’s what we’re preaching these guys,” Holderman said. “Every game is a new week and a new beginning because I just got here. … They’re fighting their butts off and that’s what we preach every week. It’s great to see.”
Sharp ran for 182 yards on 13 carries.
After missing a majority of last season with a knee injury, the senior running back has opened the season with seven touchdowns in two games.
“I feel great,” Sharp said. “I feel like I’m back and ready to keep going.”
While the offense shined again Friday night, the Carrboro defense — led by Bilden’s two interceptions — did its part in keeping East Chapel Hill off the field.
The win, Griffin said, served as a confidence booster for his young squad as Carrboro prepares for tougher competition in September.
“We needed it,” he said of the win. “We’ll take every victory we can. … Starting off with two good wins is helpful, but we know we have a bear of a schedule the next three weeks when we have Chapel Hill, Northwood and South Granville. I think we have a lot of work to do, and we’ll get back at it Monday morning.”
CARRBORO 45, EAST CHAPEL HILL 12
Carrboro |19 |7 |13 |6 — 45
East Chapel Hill |0 |0 |0 |12 — 12
C — Trai Sharp 72-yard run (Matt Junker kick), 9:11
C — Sharp 18-yard run (kick failed), 6:09
C — Sharp 25-yard run (kick failed), 3:05
C — Rowe Mellott 7 pass to Jackson Overbeck (Junker kick), 10:54
C — Mellott 12 pass to Greyson Magee (kick failed), 6:53
C — Sam Blobe 21 run (Junker kick), 1:41
C — Adam Bussian 27 run (kick failed),
ECH — Amier Alston 33 run (conversion failed), 6:48
C — Alston 72 run (conversion failed), 1:24
RUSHING — Carrboro, Trai Sharp 13-182, Adam Bussian, 4-24, Sam Blobe 2-21, Tabian Sales 2-2, Greyson Magee 1-10, Dan Blobe 1-6, Nathaniel Oqueaye1-2. ECH, Amier Alston 23-185, Josiah Browning 4-2, DJ Recny 2-6, Muhammad Mustafa 2- (minus 2), Brater Gerber 1- (minus 10).
PASSING — Carrboro, Rowe Mellott 2-2-2 19, Adam Bussian 3-3-0 24. East Chapel Hill, Brater Gerber 5-7-0-2 53.
RECEIVING — Carrboro, Jackson Overbeck 2-12, Austin Martin 2-19, Sam Blobe 1-12. East Chapel Hill, Amier Alston 3-26, DJ Recny 1-27, Will Schmidt 1-1.
Records — Carrboro 2-0, East Chapel Hill 0-2.