Wilson, Beasley Done for the Season

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Updated: October 30, 2017

Payton Wilson and Marvante Beasley have played their final football games at Orange High.

Wilson was diagnosed with a torn ACL on his right knee after an MRI Monday morning at Triangle Orthapedic. Wilson suffered the injury on the opening kickoff of Friday’s night game against Cedar Ridge, where he stepped across the field to make a tackle. Wilson wasn’t touched as he collapsed. After being helped off the field, Wilson emerged from the locker room on crutches. He faces a six-month recuperation.

Beasley was carried off the field on a stretcher in the 3rd quarter against Hillside on the open carry of the 2nd half. He was carried off the field on an ambulance and taken to Duke University Hospital. Beasley was diagnosed with a bruise on his spinal column on Monday morning. Though he was released from the hospital the day after the HIllside game and announced he had been cleared to play for the following week against Northwood, Beasley was unable to receive a second opinion about his injury until Monday, forcing him to miss the past two games.

Beasley rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first six games and was only 23 yards away from his 2nd consecutive 1,000 yard season. Last season, Beasley rushed for 1,040 yards and eleven touchdowns. Beasley, who received a scholarship offer from Division II Lenior-Rhyne and recently visited Appalachian State, started playing linebacker on the varsity level as a sophomore. He ends his Orange career having rushed for 2,017 yards and 22 overall touchdowns.

Beasley and WIlson were the offensive cornerstones to the 2016 Orange team that went 13-1, leading the Panthers to its second consecutive Big 8 Championship and its first undefeated regular season since 1978.

Wilson’s injury ends arguably the most accomplished athletic career in Orange High history, possibly rivaled only by his brother Bryse. In 2014, Wilson made his varsity debut as a freshman in a 2nd round playoff game against Corinth-Holders, registering double-digit tackles despite having just been called up from junior varsity. Orange won 42-13, a season-low for a Pirates team what won the Two Rivers Conference Championship.

His sophomore year started with disaster as he broke his right ankle running hills on the first day of practice. He missed Orange’s first eight games.

Wilson was such an accomplished athlete, he played linebacker, running back, punter and punt returner as a junior. In the third game of the season against Riverside, then-coach Pat Moser inserted Wilson into the game as a punt returner. On his first return, Wilson scored a touchdown, the first of five punt return touchdowns for the season. He scored 16 touchdowns and immediately jumped on the national recruiting radar, receiving offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Penn State, among countless others. He was named the Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year.

This season, he was the starting quarterback in four games while also playing linebacker and punt returner. But the grind soon became apparent after he carried the ball a combined 41 times against Southern Durham and Hillside. Following the victory over the Hornets, Wilson walked off the field with his right arm in a sling.

Wilson also has the designation of being the final state champion coached by Orange’s Bobby Shriner, who retired in May. Wilson defeated Dan Louba of Hickory Ridge 4-3 in a crazy finish at the Greensboro Coliseum. With seconds remaining in the third period, Louba shot in and appeared to have scored a 2-point takedown in the final second. Louba celebrated like he had won the championship, and many in the crowd thought the same. When the referees talked with a mat maid, they ruled the takedown occurred after the final buzzer.

In 2016, Wilson won the 3A Eastern Regional Championship as a sophomore, but fell to North Gaston’s Latham Bumgarner 10-4 in the championship.

WIlson also was an all-conference midfielder for the Orange lacrosse team, who had a school-record 11 wins last spring.

Remarkably, Wilson and Beasley end their careers having never lost a regular season road game. Orange’s win over Cedar Ridge was the Panthers 24th consecutive regular season road win.

Wilson is the 2nd quarterback lost for the season for the Panthers. Rodney Brooks suffered a torn ACL in the 1st quarter against Riverside on September 15th. Senior Brendan Huss threw for 277 yards and four touchdowns against Cedar Ridge on Friday in a 42-0 victory.

Orange faces Chapel Hill on Senior Night Friday. If the Panthers win, they will clinch a share of its 3rd consecutive Big 8 Championship.

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