Duke

UNC’s Austin Proehl hurt in game against Duke. His replacement comes up big.

UNC’s Anthony Ratliff-Williams, left, hauls in a touchdown pass against Duke.
UNC’s Anthony Ratliff-Williams, left, hauls in a touchdown pass against Duke. cseward@newsobserver.com

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina lost one long-ball threat Saturday.

The Tar Heels quickly found another.

Wide receiver Austin Proehl burned Duke with a 47-yard pass play in the first quarter, on a well-executed post pattern. But Proehl, UNC’s leading receiver this season, left the game soon after the big play, apparently with an injury.

Enter Anthony Ratliff-Williams. The sophomore wideout from Matthews had five catches for 67 yards before Saturday, producing his biggest play of the season with a 94-yard kickoff return against Louisville for his first college touchdown.

But in the final seconds of the first half Saturday, Ratliff-Williams came up big again. After UNC blocked a 24-yard field-goal attempt by Duke’s Austin Parker, quarterback Chazz Surratt twice gunned deep throws down the field — the first down the left sideline, the second down the right.

Ratliff-Williams slipped inside the defensive back for a 35-yard completion to the Duke 45. On the next snap, it was a 45-yarder to Ratliff-Williams for a touchdown.

Just like that, UNC, outplayed much of the half, had a 10-10 tie.

Chip Alexander: 919-829-8945, @ice_chip

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