Lined up side-by-side with one another, members of the East Chapel football team exited Wildcat Stadium to the sound of cheers as they high-fived fans after pulling off an improbable 9-7 victory over Carrboro, the school’s first at home since September of 2013.
For East Chapel Hill senior quarterback Brater Gerber, the moment was the culmination of a rewarding night, one that did not always look promising for the Wildcats.
Facing a do-or-die situation with his team trailing 6-2, Gerber completed a 23-yard pass on a fourth-and-14 with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and scored the game-winning touchdown one player later on a 1-yard run.
“It is very rewarding,” Gerber said about the win. “I remember that win being our freshman year, and now it’s great that it comes against a crosstown rival. We just came out, and played hard the whole game.”
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As rewarding and enjoyable the game was for East Chapel Hill, it was equally disheartening for Carrboro, which looked poised to end a 15-game losing streak that dates back to 2014.
With time on its side, all Carrboro had to do was not give up 14-plus yards on fourth down, and the Jaguars would most likely be winners. However, coach Ken Lathan’s team left East Chapel Hill senior running back Gary Bailey wide open, and Gerber made them pay.
THREE TO KNOW
Brater Gerber, East Chapel Hill: Statistically speaking, Friday was not a great night for Gerber. He completed only four of 12 passes, but stepped up when his team needed him, and added 46 yards rushing on nine attempts.
“He’s our leader, and all the guys know it,” East Chapel Hill coach Ryan Johnson said. “Brater is a kid who has short-term memory all the time. It’s always the next play.”
Majahid Turner, East Chapel Hill: The senior defensive lineman helped apply pressure all night, and sacked Carrboro quarterback Samuel Walker on fourth down with less than a minute remaining to seal the win.
Dan Blobe, Carrboro: Despite leaving with an injury late in the first half, the junior running back was the Jaguars’ most efficient player on offense. Using his 230-pound frame to roll over the East Chapel Hill defense, Blobe amassed 49 rushing yards on seven carries, while scoring Carrboro’s lone touchdown.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Interceptions by Carrboro safety Tyler Adams
7: Combined turnovers between the two teams.
16: Consecutive losses for the Jaguars.
THEY SAID IT
“You’re down to one play. I don’t want to say that one play will win you a game, or lose you a game, because obviously they were multiple plays in this game we could have done a lot better with. But that fourth down play, man. Just one of those things where they ran four verticals at us, and we got one guy out of position. They were able to make a play.” – Carrboro coach Ken Lathan.
East Chapel Hill travels to face Cedar Ridge, while Carrboro will host Chapel Hill.