Purcell Scores 3TDs, Paschall Runs for 152 Yards as Orange Wins Share of Big 8 Title 56-16 over Chapel Hill

Updated: November 4, 2017

After the fire/the fire still burns/the heart grows older/but never, ever learns/the memories smolder/and the soul always yearns/after the fire/the fire still burns—Pete Townshend 

There was a melancholy feeling around senior night at Auman Stadium on Friday night, which is standard most years.

When training camp started in August, anyone could have told you that watching Payton Wilson and Marvante Beasley play their final regular season game in Hillsborough would be emotional. But no one was prepared for it to end the way it did.

Wilson watched on crutches wearing shorts, a week removed from tearing his ACL against Cedar Ridge. Beasley, all of 23 yards away from rushing for 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, joined his teammate on the bench after being diagnosed with a bruise on his spinal cord. While Beasley has dedicated the last year to earning a football scholarship (and has a visit planned to Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday), those close to the Orange program deem it “very doubtful” Beasley will play football again.

When the news of Wilson and Beasley’s season-ending injuries became public on Monday, the Orange coaches and players knew what they were losing. Their starting quarterback. Their leading receiver. Their leading rusher. And tackler. And punt returner. And kick returner.

51% of its offense, to be exact.

All of this for a team that dubbed 2017 “Keep it Rolling,” based on the unsatisfying finish of the 2016 season when Havelock handed the Panthers its only loss of the year in the 2nd round of the 3A playoffs.

That was only the beginning of Orange’s problems. Hunter Pettiford, the backup to Beasley, missed Friday’s game against Chapel Hill with a sprained ankle. Even the defensive line coach, Eric Villines, missed the first Orange game of his 13-year career after tearing his ACL.

Despite all that, Orange found a way to win a share of its 3rd consecutive Big 8 Championship.

Orange will receive the top automatic bid to the 3A state playoffs after Northern Durham defeated Northwood 34-7 on Friday night at Durham County Stadium. The Knights also claimed a share of the Big 8 title, its first conference championship since 2004.

Orange will receive a home game in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association will announced the playoff pairings on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Morgan Paschall rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Milton Purcell scored three touchdowns in the 2nd quarter as the Panthers defeated Chapel Hill 56-16.

Orange coach Van Smith knew the loss of his two biggest playmakers would be a major shakeup for his team with the playoffs starting next week.

“Our first thought was with Payton and Marvante as people,” said Smith. “We care about their careers. We weren’t thinking about how this would affect us in the playoffs.”

Eli Haithcock and Wyatt Jones each had interception returns for a touchdown. The Panthers had five takeaways and scored 35 points off turnovers, both season-highs.

Paschall broke the game open with a 96-yard touchdown run with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter. Paschall scored the initial touchdown earlier in the frame on a 15-yard scamper.

Purcell scored the first of his three touchdowns in the 2nd quarter off a tap pass from quarterback Brendan Huss. After defensive end Ryan Sellers recovered a fumble off a misguided snap to Chapel Hill quarterback Alex Stough, Huss found Purcell on a 21-yard touchdown. On the next play from scrimmage, Purcell picked off a Stough pass and returned it 57 yards for his 2nd touchdown in 22 seconds.

“I think our offense is getting adjusted to the spread now,” said Smith. “Games like this are good for a teenager’s confidence because every teenager is insecure, in some way. They need to build their confidence.

In the third quarter, Corbin Kenion rushed for 16 yards around left end for his first rushing varsity touchdown.

Stough rushed around right end for a nine-yard touchdown with 8:00 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stough found Bradley Kenyon for a 21-yard touchdown pass on the final Tiger drive.


CH-0    0    0    16-16

OR-21   21  7     7-56

O-Morgan Paschall 15 run (Tucker Krogstad kick)

O-Paschall 96 run (Krogstad kick)

O-Eli Haithcock 51 interception return (Krogstad kick)

O-Milton Purcell 16 pass from Brandon Huss (Krogstad kick)

O-Purcell 25 pass from Huss (Krogstad kick)

O-Purcell 57 interception return (Krogstad kick)

O-Corbin Kenion 16 run (Krogstad kick)

O-Wyatt Jones 38 interception return (Krogstad kick)

CH-Alec Stough 9 run (Caleb Clegg run)

CH-Bradley Kenion 21 pass from Stough (Clegg run)

RUSHING: CHAPEL HILL (Clegg 23-146, Stough 4-22 TD, Javon Cobb 2-2, Leo Tun 1-0) ORANGE (Paschall 15-152 2 TD, Kenion 4-70 TD, Purcell 1-9, Tre Richardson 2-(-4), Huss 1-(-11)

PASSING: CHAPEL HILL (Stough 6-26 94 TD 4 INT) ORANGE (Huss 8-15 79 2 TD, Wyatt Jones 0-1)

RECEIVING: CHAPEL HILL (Kenion 5-89 TD, Clegg 1-5) ORANGE (Purcell 2-39 TD, Kendall Whitted 2-23, Noah Robinson 2-8, Sebastian Flores 1-16, Colin Guentensberger 1-(-4)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar