Brandon Wendel caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Connor Stough, and Austin Turner returned a fumble 40 yards for another touchdown as the Tigers scored twice 4 minutes apart in the second quarter to rally Chapel Hill to a 24-6 victory over South Granville.
A Viking penalty on a fourth down in (0-2) South Granville territory breathed life into a fourth-quarter Tiger drive and led to an 8-yard touchdown run by Ricki McDowell that iced the win for Chapel Hill (2-0).
South Granville’s Earl Green capped a 13-play, 68-yard drive in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run that answered a 30-yard field goal by Chapel Hill’s Connor Albrecht, but that was the most offense the Vikings mustered.
The Tigers held South Granville’s Sean Bowman in check with 78 yards on 14 carried and limited the Vikings to 143 yards of total offense, all but 4 coming on the ground.
“That’s what happens when you lose seven starting linemen, two of which are playing college football this year,” said South Granville head coach Don Colgan, a former defensive coordinator at Chapel Hill.
Last year, Bowman burned the Tigers for 181 yards and two touchdowns to lead the 2A Vikings to a 37-13 victory over 3A Chapel Hill.
“Last year, they crushed us,” Wendel said. “This year we knew we needed to come in, do our work, and just take care of business.”
Stough sparked Chapel Hill’s offense with his 13-of-19 passing for 173 yards without an interception.