CARRBORO — Carrboro, the 2012 North Carolina 2A state title runners-up, raced past East Chapel Hill 34-21 in a non-conference game on Friday night..
"I'm excited for our kids because all summer long they've been told they're really good," Carrboro coach Jason Tudryn said. "It's a tribute to our senior class — they didn't want to be the first class to lose to East. I'm happy that they're not."
Trai Sharp equaled his four-touchdown performance against Cedar Ridge last week, opening with three rushing touchdowns in the first half and added a fourth at the beginning of the fourth quarter. He shredded the East Chapel Hill defense for 263 yards.
Carrboro also seemed more confident in its passing attack than it had against Cedar Ridge on Aug. 23.
Quarterback John Mendys seemed composed in only his second game under center and uncorked some truly impressive throws, including a 22-yard pass to Greyson Magee that set up Sharp's first touchdown.
The standout senior found the end zone again from short range on the next drive early in the second quarter. The two-point conversion fell short, leaving the score at 13-0.
East Chapel Hill marched far enough down the field to attempt a field goal from 33 yards out, but the Jaguars emphatically blocked that kick.
But the Wildcats returned the favor. The defense held fast, and East Chapel Hill's special teams squad was able to deflect Rowe Mellot's punt to provide the offense with excellent field position. Connor Stough flashed some speed, breaking out down the left sideline for 25 yards and diving past the goal-line to put the Wildcats on the board.
Sharp answered, driving the Jaguars down the field for another 1-yard touchdown a minute before halftime to give his team a 19-7 lead at the break.
"A lot of kids are competitive, but he wants to compete and win every play," Tudryn said. "He's so competitive. Thank God he's on our team."
Mendys’s 76-yard touchdown pass to Marlin Johnson plate in the third quarter proved Sharp wasn’t all opponents would have to worry about.
But just as it did against Cedar Ridge, though, the shallow Carrboro roster seemed to lose its edge in the second half. East Chapel Hill, meanwhile, seemed to find its footing. Stough redeemed a spotty first-half performance with a couple of long-range bombs to senior wide receiver Jack Hankins, including a 47-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline in the fourth quarter.
Then, with just 30 seconds remaining, Stough connected with Hankins again from eight yards out. The two-point conversion was successful, and East Chapel Hill closed the final margin to 34-21.