South Granville’s Sean Bowman runs over Chapel Hill

ewarnock@newsobserver.comAugust 31, 2013 

For some reason, the public address announcer Friday night at Viking Field couldn’t keep the names of Chapel Hill football team straight.

He confused Chapel Hill quarterbacks Grant Deselm and Jacob Guskiewicz most of the first half. He tried to award Harrison Young’s nine-yard touchdown reception to a different Tiger sophomore.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The only name he needed to remember—Sean Bowman— played for the Vikings.

Bowman rushed 28 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns, leading the 2A Vikings to a convincing 37-13 victory over 3A Chapel Hill.

The 6-foot, 165-pound junior, had 131 yards in 19 carries in the first half. His four-yard run on South Granville’s first play of the second quarter put the Vikings ahead 16-0. He played sparingly in the second half, coming in long enough to cap the night’s scoring with a five-yard touchdown run for the game’s final margin.

“Our line came out and took care of business,” Bowman said. “And I just did what I needed to do to take of business, too.”

South Granville (1-1) led from start to finish, scoring on the game’s opening kickoff with Craig Wilkie’s 85-yard return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Matt McCutcheon put South Granville ahead 23-7 just before the half with a one-yard keeper. He added a 17-yard touchdown pass to Maury Armstrong for a 30-13 lead with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

Chapel Hill (0-2) struggled throughout the first quarter, throwing an interception on the first play from scrimmage, which Tyler Bunts returned 25 yards to Chapel Hill’s 10-yard line. Four plays later, Kaleb Chamberlain kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 10-0 South Granville lead.

A Chapel Hill fumble late in the first quarter set up South Granville’s first real drive, a six-play, 65-yard series capped by Bowman’s first touchdown.

Chapel Hill answered with its own 10-play, 7-yard drive, keyed by three Deselm passes over the middle, the last being a 27-yard touchdown pass to Noah Layden with 6:38 left in the first half.

South Granville came right back with another good drive, this one for 55 yards. Bowman, already over 100 yards total, ran eight times for all but the final yard. With one first-and-goal-to-go, McCutcheon faked a handoff to Bowman into the center and ran around left end untouched for the score and a 23-7 lead.

Chapel Hill got as close as 23-13 on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Deselm to Young with 5:22 left in the third quarter, but the Vikings clamped down after that and allowed the Tigers just 23 total yards over the game’s final 17:22.

This has been one of the best series in the Triangle – currently split at 2-2 after CHHS won in 2011 and 2010. Both of those were decided by less than a TD and last year’s went to OT before CHHS pulled it out.

South Granville has been to the playoffs six straight years. Head coach Mike Hobgood, who coached the offensive line at Northern Durham when the Knights went to the 1993 state championship game, has seven starters are back on offense from a team that averaged 30.2 points per game last year. Quarterback Matt McCutcheon passed for about 1,000 yards in a run-first offense that featured junior tailback Sean Bowman (1,257 rushing yards).

Both teams lost their season-openers: Chapel Hill 17-14 in OT to Riverside, and South Granville 27-14 to Rocky Mount.

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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