WENDELL — CORRECTION: A missed extra point attempt was the major development at the end of this game. Corrected Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
A missed extra point attempt with just over two minutes left in the game cost East Wake a chance to tie East Chapel Hill in their season opener on Friday.
The Wildcats sealed the 14-13 win on the next possession with a 32-yard strike from quarterback Ben Jones to Will Buckley that gave the visiting team enough downs to drain the clock.
This group plays not to let each other down, and that gives us a chance, East Chapel Hill coach Bill Renner said of his team. We didnt get that touchdown down there early, but they didnt let it bother them. We overcame that, and thats a big deal in our first game.
Renner referred to first drive of the game, when the Wildcats marched as far as the East Wake 1 yard line but failed to score as the Warrior defense denied a fourth-and-1 ground attempt by Jones.
Warrior quarterback Trent Evans on the ensuing drive targeted Alex Cowan for an 82-yard touchdown, punctuating a drive consisting of just three plays. Dylan Reyes made the extra point for the 7-0 lead with about three minutes left in the first quarter.
East Chapel Hill responded with a 12-yard rushing score by Merritt Smith with under a minute remaining in the first half. Wildcat kicker Kieran Sweeney tacked on the extra point to knot the game at the break.
The teams traded punts throughout the second half until East Chapel Hill broke the silence halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Warriors were penalized for pass interference, setting the Wildcats up with a first-and-goal on the East Wake 4 yard line. Jones found Colby Owens through the air for the touchdown, and Sweeney completed a perfect kicking game to give his team the 14-7 lead.
Warrior tailback Damontay Rhem put East Wake in tying position after rushing 21 yards to the house, but Reyes kick sailed low and wide right.
Renner said the win was a full team effort.
The defense kept stopping (East Wake) and getting three-and-outs that allowed our offense to get in sync, he said. We ran a little and passed a little, but we didnt finish stuff. The defense, after giving up just one big play in the first quarter, stopped them and allowed our offense to find a way to make a play and get us up.