Chapel Hill High won the field position battle and ultimately the game in a 14-0 victory over Cardinal Gibbons in a tough Big Eight 3A Conference game.
With two weeks to go in the season, the Tigers, who lost a heartbreaker to Orange last week, and the Crusaders are both 3-2 in the league. Gibbons faces undefeated Orange next week. Crusader coach Steven Wright challenged his team to bounce back like the Tigers did.
“Yeah, it’s a character test for us,” Wright said. “Our kids played hard, our defense was unbelievable all night and refused to quit. I couldn’t be more proud of them. We’re going to find out if that’s who we are. They played with a short field all night and our defense was in a hole almost the entire night. They dug us out time and time again.”
Chapel Hill started first half drives at the Crusaders’ 30, 38, and 15 yard lines and scored just once, a 1-yard run by Brandon Wendel. In the second half they started four possessions on the Gibbons’ side of the 50 and again scored just once, another 1-yard run by Wendel.
Wright pointed to his defensive front of Stephen Albright, Steven Fedorovich, Drew Whiteley, and Brendan Schult and linebackers Stephen Scott, Chris Karazin, Neal Nelson, and Trevor Kirsch.
“Stephen Scott was phenomenal out there and really the whole defensive as a whole played well,” Wright said.
Chapel Hill’s defense held Gibbons to just 92 yards total offense.
“Coby Fisher, at linebacker and defensive end, played well and when he plays well the whole defense plays well, and they did tonight,” Chapel Hill coach Issac Marsh said. “And we played smart tonight. The plus for us is this is the first time we’ve beaten Cardinal Gibbons. We’ve just got to keep winning one at a time to get a good playoff seed.”