Southern High School’s Jordan Brown and Hillside’s Najee Reams were among the handful of Triangle players who helped North Carolina’s high school all-stars romp to a 54-39 victory against South Carolina last Saturday.
South Carolina still leads the series 44-31-4 after winning three of the last four contests.
North Carolina for years was a sizable disadvantage because the game often had been played the same week at the NCHSAA football championships. But this year’s NC-SC game was played late enough for all-stars like Brown, who played in the 3AA championship game on Dec. 12, to make his way to the 79th annual Shrine Bowl in Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College.
North Carolina QB and Oklahoma commit Austin Kendall won North Carolina’s Offensive MVP honors by throwing for 203 yards on 14 of 17 passing and three touchdowns as the Tarheels snapped a three-game losing streak to the Sandlappers.
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The 93 combined points scored between the two teams broke the previous record of 80 set in South Carolina’s 66-14 win in 2000.
J.H. Rose wide receiver Cornell Powell, a Clemson commit, had 264 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, including a 99-yard kickoff return to put North Carolina up 21-6 in the first quarter.
Already up 21-12, North Carolina scored two touchdowns in a span of 3 minutes, 17 seconds.
Rico Dowdle scored on a 15-yard run to make it 28-12 with 1:09 left in the first quarter. At the end of South Carolina’s next possession, Tyler Pistorio blocked Matt Graveley’s punt and North Carolina recovered on the South Carolina 21. Three players later, Kendall hit Virginia Tech commit Devine Diablo on a 24-yard pass to make it 35-12 with 12:52 left in the second quarter.
South Carolina answered with a pair of touchdowns, and K.J. Chamberlin’s 50-yard interception return in the second quarter got the Sandlappers within 35-26 with 1:46 left in the first half.
The Sandlappers got as close as nine points in the second half on two different occasions but couldn’t get the big play when they needed it.
36: Average yards per kickoff return for North Carolina
3: Combined number of blocked kicks and punts for North Carolina.
788: Combined total offense between the two teams.
RB Jordon Brown (Southern Durham) – North Carolina recruit had one carry for nine yards, two catches for 14 yards and two kickoff returns for 33 yards.
DB Tajh Deans (Southern Nash) – Had one catch for seven yards.
OL Jack Doyle (Heritage) – Played on offensive line.
QB Dylan Parham (Southeast Raleigh) – N.C. State recruit was 2 for 3 for five yards passing with an interception.
DB Najee Reams (Hillside) – Recorded one tackle.
WR Daeshawn Stephens (Hillside) did not play. The N.C. State recruit withdrew from the East squad a week before the game.