PURE PREMIUM ORANGE: It’s disappointing but probably appropriate that Orange is the lone remaining squad from our area to still be in the state high school football playoffs.
Despite a tough regular season finale loss at Southern Durham, Orange is a premier program in the entire region. The Panthers, whom we re-dubbed the ‘Crush’ as an homage to the John Elway/Tom Jackson Broncos of the past and this team’s awesome defense, moved on to the second round with a 31-3 win over Rocky Mount.
Orange lived up to its billing, collecting five sacks in yet another stellar defensive effort.
The ‘Crush’ will take on a tough Cleveland squad in round two. Cleveland thumped Gray’s Creek 33-13. Isaac Martin ran for 117 yards and three scores while Aaron Farmer threw for 114 yards and ran for 109 more to lead the victors.
DOWN AND OUT: Chapel Hill was thumped by Southern Durham 40-6 and Pittsboro fell to Eastern Alamance in a 56-21 rout, capping both their seasons.
Brandon Wendel, a WCHL/Chapelboro.com ‘Grid Great of the Week’ during the regular season, opened the scoring with a four-yard touchdown run but the Spartans rolled from there behind quarterback Kendall Hinton’s 67-yard scamper. The senior amassed 352 yards of total offense – 181 passing, 171 rushing – and two touchdowns.
The Chargers were never in their road contest, as Bill Hall’s troops fell behind 35-0 at the half. Malcolm Summers had three touchdowns – 40- and 50-yard rushing plays and a 73-yard pass reception for the winners, who travel to nemesis Western Alamance tonight.
‘MATT & MATT’ ROLL ON: Matt Oakes and I will recap all three playoff tilts, interview an area coach or two and select our WCHL/Chapelboro.com ‘Grid Great Of The Week’ Friday night at 6p on our weekly show. If time allows, which lately is has not in our jam-packed show, we’ll also run down our ‘Super Six’ poll of area teams.
Last week, Orange proved it’s a worthy No. 1 with the area’s lone playoff win, while No. 2 and No. 3 Northwood and Chapel Hill bowed out in the opening round. The Chargers still had an impressive campaign, while the Tigers competed in several games but failed to pull out a significant win.
No. 4 Carrboro opened the season 3-0, including a win over Chapel Hill, but floundered in dropping seven of eight. No. 5 East Chapel Hill and No. 6 Cedar Ridge capped their regular seasons with improved play but they are where they are in the poll for a reason.