Jones Scores in OT as Northwood Upsets Orange 21-20

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Updated: October 20, 2017

Photo by Jackson Fuqua 

The grind of playing in the deepest conference in the Triangle, 145 yards in penalties, a banged up starting quarterback balancing the load of his team on his back and no Marvante Beasley finally caught up to Orange.

Northwood’s A.J. Jones scored on a four-yard run in overtime and Lupe Amezquita kicked the game-winning extra point as the Chargers stunned Orange 21-20 in overtime to ruin Homecoming night at Auman Stadium.

Orange (6-2, 3-1) quarterback Payton Wilson, clearly feeling the effects of making 56 carries over the last three games, scored on a eight-yard touchdown run. Kicker Francisco McKinley pushed the extra point wide right, triggering a raucous celebration on the Northwood sideline as the Chargers defeated the Panthers for the first time since the two teams became conference rivals in 2013.

Northwood (7-2, 4-0) has the inside track on winning the Big 8 Championship for the first time. They will enter the penultimate week of the regular season next Friday in sole possession of first place with senior night against Hillside in Pittsboro, following by a road date at Northern Durham.

”They have a big old offensive line and a big old power running game,” said Orange Coach Van Smith. “They get a lot of blockers at the point of attack and they know how to follow those blockers. I thought defensively, we played pretty well. We gave up a fumble for a touchdown.

Yet with :46 remaining in the first half, all seemed comfortable for the Panthers. They led 14-0 after an interception by Corbin Kenion at the Orange 8-yard line.

Things started to unravel on the next play from scrimmage, when Morgan Paschall fumbled right into the arms of Northwood’s Brendan Harrington, who scooped up the ball and scored from eight yards to saw the Orange lead in half just before intermission.

The Chargers didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the first half despite Orange committing four personal foul penalties, including three for facemask violations.

“Our halftime discussion was ‘Guys, we can’t continue to get 15-yard penalties,” said Smith.

Orange responded by getting hit with a late hit penalty—on the opening kickoff of the second half….which was immediately followed by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty when a player mouthed off to a referee. 30 yards in penalties without a second going off the third quarter clock.

“Are you kidding me?” Jones said to himself on the sideline.

With the drive starting from the Orange 35-yard line, Harrington scored on a 21-yard scamper with 11:02 remaining in the third quarter. Orange’s 14-point lead was erased in 1:47 of game time, and they didn’t get it back.

Orange played without leading rusher Marvante Beasley, who wasn’t cleared to suit up after being taken off the field on a stretcher last week against Hillside.

His absence was never more apparent when Orange mustered one first down in the entire second half. Wilson’s hit flanker Kendall Whitted for a 42-yard strike early in the fourth quarter, the Panthers’ longest play from scrimmage. The drive stalled at the Northwood 13-yard line when McKinley pushed a 31-yard field goal wide left.

The Panthers were held to 69 yards in the second half. Pachal alone rushed for 91 yards in the first half.

Orange coped well without Beasley pretty well in the first half, storming out to a 14-0 lead. It started with a 84-yard drive that ended when Hunter Pettiford roared 15-yards for his second touchdown of the year with 9:58 remaining in the first half.

Subsequently, the Chargers mounted its longest drive of the game, driving to the Panther 4-yard line. But Amezquita banged a 23-yard field goal off the left upright.

Orange came back with a 80-yard drive, several strong runs by Paschall. Pettiford rushed for a 34-yard touchdown as Orange bolted ahead 14-0 with 2:14 remaining. No one could have known that would be the final Orange points in regulation.

Now, Orange will need help from Hillside or Northern Durham to earn a share of its third straight Big 8 Championship.

”I told our team afterwards to look down the field at Northwood celebrating,” said Smith. “They deserve to celebrate, but that celebration is the upmost respect for the program. They are happy to have beaten Orange, which says something about where we are as a program.”

NORTHWOOD 21, ORANGE 20 OT

N    0     7     7    0      7-21

O    0    14    0    0      6-20

O-Hunter Pettiford 15 run (Francisco McKinley kick)

O-Pettiford 34 run (McKinley kick)

N-Brendan Harrington 8 fumble recovery (Lupe Amezquita kick)

N-Harrington 21 run (Amezquita kick)

N-A.J. Jones4 run (Amezquita kick)

O-Payton Wilson 8 run (kick failed)

RUSHING: NORTHWOOD (Josh Scott 12-80, Tyrell Baldwin 15-53, Harrington 8-40 TD, A.J. Jones 4-10 TD, Tanner Althoff 1-(-2), Alex Parker 1-(-9)

ORANGE: (Morgan Paschall 11-91, Pettiford 12-76 2TD, Wilson 14-47 TD)

PASSING: NORTHWOOD (Parker 6-12 45 yds INT) ORANGE: Wilson 4-13 59 yards, Brenden Huss 1-2 (-2))

RECEIVING: NORTHWOOD (Baldwin 2-22, Corey Smith 2-9, Jack Holeck 1-15, Scott 1-4, Dedric Powell 1-(-5)) ORANGE: (Milton Purcell 3-10, Kendall Whitted 2-49)

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