If you missed a little at Auman Stadium on Friday night, you missed a lot.
There was a career night from a senior running back, Orange’s first shutout win in three years, their starting quarterback threw his first varsity touchdown pass and there was a 37-yard touchdown pass from a tight end who is usually a cross country runner.
Needless to say, Orange’s first win of 2021 had its memorable moments. The Panthers (1-3) crushed Granville Central 47-0 at Auman Stadium. Senior running back Omarion Lewis rushed for a career-high 174 yards and two touchdowns, breaking his previous mark of 124 yards in his varsity debut against South Granville in 2019.
Senior Jared Weaver, who had played cornerback in Orange’s first three games, got his first start at quarterback. Weaver finished 4-for-4 for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
“I was happy for him,” said Orange Coach Van Smith. “He missed last spring and part of the summer. He got behind and it took him a while to get enough reps in. It was a good change of pace. The offense clicked for us and I was happy for him and the whole team.”
It was Orange’s first shutout win since they defeated East Chapel Hill 54-0 on September 21, 2018. Orange’s defense held Granville Central (0-4) to minus-19 yards. Central could only muster one first down and didn’t cross midfield.
Orange scored 14 points off turnovers. After Braden Homsey recovered a fumble, Lewis scored his first touchdown on a 28-yard scamper around right end with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter.
The Panthers piled up 402 yards total offense, easily eclipsing its previous season-high of 290 yards against Chapel Hill.
“We ran the ball really well,” Smith said. “We got outside and on the edge. Our backs got some good blocking from the offensive line. They sealed the edge and guys got on the second and third level. They were making the right cuts and knew when to get a foot on the ground and cut up the field. And when you run effectively, that opens up the passing game.”
Orange established its ground control game on its first series, a 10-play, 69-yard drive. The Panthers offensive line controlled the pace so thoroughly, they didn’t even face a third down. After Lewis rushed for 13 yards to invade the red zone, sophomore Nate Sorrells scored his second touchdown of the season with a five-yard run across the left corner of the end zone. Darius Satterfield ran a two-point play up the middle and Orange led 8-0 to start the rout.
Weaver had his first career touchdown pass when he found junior wingback Ronald Cooper on a 32-yard pass in the second quarter. After Jackson Wood picked off a pass, Cooper added another touchdown on a four-yard scamper to conclude the first half.
Before Wood’s interception, Kameron Harshaw had back-to-back sacks against Central quarterback Luke Sharon.
“Kameron caught fire,” Smith said. “He’s probably the fastest defensive lineman off the ball that we’ve had, particularly from the nose guard spot. When he catches fire, he’s awfully hard to block. He started making plays and that fired him up even more. He’s a good kid and I was happy for him.”
Lewis started the second half with a gorgeous 39-yard touchdown run with 10:16 remaining in the third quarter. The final touchdown came when Weaver found senior tight end Nick Pell, who ordinarily runs cross country. In fact, Pell passed up competing in the Friday Night Lights meet in Kernersville, one of the biggest in the state, to play football on Friday night. Pell comfortably hauled in the first varsity pass of his career, which was also his first touchdown.
Smith has had a soccer player kick a game-winning field goal with a conference championship on the line. Has he ever had a cross country runner catch a touchdown pass?
“I’ve never had a cross country runner play for me,” Smith said.
Orange will travel to Western Alamance to open Central Carolina Conference play next Friday.
ORANGE 47, GRANVILLE CENTRAL 0
GCHS–0 0 0 0-0
OHS–14 13 13 7-47
OHS–Nate Sorrells 5 run (Darius Satterfield run)
OHS–Omarion Lewis 28 run (kick failed)
OHS–Ronald Cooper 32 pass from Jared Weaver (Satterfield kick)
OHS–Cooper 4 run (kick blocked)
OHS–Lewis 39 run (Satterfield kick)
OHS–Nick Pell 37 pass from Weaver (kick failed)
OHS–Jabari Albright 1 run (Satterfield kick)
RUSHING: GRANVILLE CENTRAL: 18-(-51) (Ashton Applewhite (1-(-1), C.J. Alston 1-(-2), team 1-(-2), Ethan Kelly 1-(-7), Ryan Johnson 7-(-9), Luke Sharon 7-(-30).
ORANGE: 44-307(Lewis 15-174 2 TD, Sorrells 12-62 TD, Albright 4-24 TD, Cooper 5-21 TD, Nate Hecht 4-12, Jackson Wood 2-5, Jaki McDaniels 1-7, Connor Ray 1-2).
PASSING: GRANVILLE CENTRAL 5-13 13 yds INT (Sharon 5-10 13 INT; Alson 0-3)
ORANGE (Weaver 4-4 95 2 TD)
RECEIVING: GRANVILLE CENTRAL (Taisean Hester 3-19, Keandre Washington 1-7, Johnson 1-6)
ORANGE: (Pell 1-37 TD, Cooper 1-32 TD, Ray 1-20, Jake Wimsatt 1-6)