CHAPEL HILL — Carrboro's Trai Sharpe rushed for two first-half touchdowns 212 total yards on 27 carries Friday, while teammate Marlin Johnson caught an 86-yard touchdown pass and recovered two loose balls in a wild fourth quarter to help the 2A Jaguars outlast 3A Chapel Hill, 29-28.
Carrboro (3-0) led 22-7 after Johnson's catch-and-run TD midway through the third quarter, and the Jaguars were up 29-14 after Rowe Mellott's 10-yard touchdown run with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter.
But Chapel Hill (0-3) answered with three second-half touchdown passes by Grant Deselm and pulled within one point on Deselm's 8-yard run with 1:27 left in the game.
Emmett Thorpe bounced the ensuing onside kick off a Carrboro player and Tiger special teams player Sean Dawson fell on the ball at the Jaguar 49-yard line, but Chapel Hill promptly caught called for holding on its next play and gave the ball up on downs, letting Carrboro kill the final 57.6 seconds for its first win ever at Culton-Peerman Stadium.
"This was a great environment for a classic high school football game," Carrboro coach Jason Tudryn said. "I'm really happy for our guys. They made the plays they had to make to win this one."
The Tigers' failed last series overshadowed a good performance by Deselm, who completed 22 of 41 passes for 255 yards, including TD passes of 50 and 22 yards to Noah Layden and six yards to Brandon Wendel.
Luck seemed to be with Carrboro all night.
Sharpe scored on runs of 36 and three yards in the game's first 14:47 of play, the second of which preceded a poor snap to Mellott on a conversion attempt; instead of falling on the ball, Mellott scrambled around and found Samuel Blobe in the endzone for a two-point conversion and 15-0 Carrboro lead.
Down 22-14 in the fourth quarter, Chapel Hill thought it got the break it needed when Carrboro muffed a punt, but Johnson beat the Tigers to the ball. Nine plays and 70 yards later, Mellott scored standing up.
Deselm's TD pass to Wendel cut the margin to 29-22 with 3:16 left, and CHHS tried its first onside kick, but Johnson again came up with the ball.
Tudryn said a 67-yard touchdown run by Sharp called back on a penalty with 2:40 left in the game typified the junior running back's night.
"That just sums him up," Tudryn said. "He went out and did some video moves out there."
Chapel Hill has done better against Carrboro than any other area team, but the Jaguars took a 3-2 lead in the series with the Jaguars second straight win over CHHS.
In other area games Friday night, East Chapel Hill (1-2) held on for a 24-21 victory over Cedar Ridge (0-3), the Wildcats first win under new head coach John Sherman; 3A Orange (3-0) shut out 4A Riverside 38-0; and Northwood defeated Jordan Matthews 22-6. See Wednesdays Chapel Hill News for more.