DURHAM – The score was tied when the lights went out in Durham, but when the electricity was restored East Chapel Hill powered past Jordan with two unanswered touchdowns for a 21-7 win in a PAC-6 conference game.
Early in the third quarter with the Wildcats in possession, the stadium lights went completely dark. After a 20 minute delay, play resumed. The lights went out two years ago when East Chapel Hill played Jordan in Durham, with the Falcons winning that one 38-7.
“This group stays pretty loose and stays pretty focused,” said East Chapel Hill head coach Bill Renner. “We challenged them all week to just come play football and have fun on Friday night and not worry about anything else.”
The scored was tied 7-7 when East Chapel Hill’s Cameron Sieradzan blocked a Jordan punt that gave the Wildcats the ball at the Jordan 27-yard line.
East Chapel moved the ball to the Jordan 6-yard line where quarterback Ben Jones tossed a touchdown pass to Will Buckley.
The pass was intended for Troy Mitchell, but the pass bounced off Mitchell and Buckley dove to catch the ball in the end zone. The extra point by Kieran Sweeney put East Chapel Hill ahead 14-7 with 4:19 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcat defense forced a punt on Jordan’s ensuing possession and East Chapel Hill took over at midfield.
The Wildcats mixed the run and the pass to drive to the Jordan 10-yard line. Tailback Colby Owens muscled up the middle to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead early in the fourth period.
Jordan’s offense gained 224 total yards in the first half, but was held to only 96 yards in the second half.
After the Wildcats took the 14-point lead, the Jordan offense had four possessions but the Wildcat defense forced a punt, recovered a fumble, held on a fourth down conversion attempt and intercepted a pass.
The Wildcats are now 3-2 overall, and start 1-0 in the league. Renner is in his third year as head coach and is pleased with the program’s best start ever.
“It’s a big deal, it is a big deal,” Renner said. “No team had ever started 2-2 before and so I have challenged them to just play good football to put themselves in the position to win games and they are doing that for our program. They want to have a respectable program.”
Jordan scored on the second play from scrimmage when quarterback Matthew Gampe threw a deep spiral to John Brown, who caught the ball in stride and broke one tackle for an 83-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave Jordan a 7-0 lead 64 seconds into the game.
East Chapel Hill answered right back to tie the score when Jones fired a 26-yard touchdown pass on a post pattern to Buckley.