There’s an old saying that 12 plays decide every football game. With every game that Orange and Cedar Ridge wins, we like to take a look back at the 12 plays that decided the game for a feature we call the Dire Dozen. For this edition, we’ll look at Orange’s win over Person, which was the first time in 21 years they’ve met as conference rivals. The victory was Orange’s first in the Central Carolina Conference.
Play #1. Orange ball, 4th-and-10 from the Person 49-yard line.
This was the opening possession of the game where Orange got a first down off a 14-yard run by Nate Sorrells, which was forbidding. After the drive stalled out at midfield, Panther Punter Darius Satterfield had his best effort of the night with a 44-yarder down to back Person up to its 4-yard line. It forced the Rockets to climb uphill early.
Play #2. Person ball, 3rd-and-4 from the person 46-yard line.
It was a good game for Orange’s linebackers. Jackson Wood finished with 10 tackles, four of them for a loss. Senior Brendon Worsham had eight tackles. Outside linebacker Jake Wimsatt made the first of several big plays on the night when he stopped Person’s Daveon Marner for a three-yard loss after the Rockets had driven 39 yards away from the shadow of its own goalposts.
Play #3. Orange ball, 1st-and-10 from the Orange 41-yard line
This was the first of four consecutive touchdown drives for Orange. Sophomore running back Nate Sorrells had the longest run of his varsity career with a 59-yard touchdown. It would lead to Sorrells’ first career 100-yard game, and he broke the century mark before halftime. Key blocks came from offensive linemen Worsham and Acoya Isley.
Play 4. Person ball, 4th-and-3 from the Person 41-yard line
Person was without its top running back in Jerry Oakley, who had over 880 yards through the first seven games. Oakley was injured at the end of the Northwood game. The Rockets cycled through running backs the whole game, but after Marner was stopped for a 3-yard loss on first down, Person opted to go for it on 4th-and-3 with quarterback Cole Garrett. This season, Garrett has rushed for over 100-yards twice. On this play, linebackers Ronald Cooper and Jackson Wood, along with Kameron Harshaw, plugged the hole and sent Garrett down for no gain.
Play #5. Orange ball, 1st-and-10 from the Person 41-yard line.
Another one-and-done. This time it was junior Ronald Cooper, who had the biggest game of his career. Cooper would take a toss from quarterback Jared Weaver and ran around right end for a 41-yard touchdown, his second score of the season.
Play #5: Orange ball, 3rd-and-5 from the Orange 36-yard line.
Orange’s lead was narrowed to 12-7 after Garrett scored on a 7-yard touchdown drive in the preceding series to open the second quarter. Midway through the second quarter, this was only the second 3rd down that Orange faced in the game. Jared Weaver found Wynston Brown over the middle. Brown ducked a Person safety and outran everyone else for a 64-yard touchdown pass, the longest play from scrimmage this year for the Panthers.
Play #6: Person ball, 2nd-and-10 from the Person 41-yard line.
With Orange leading 19-7, linebacker Connor Ray came up with the first of two Orange takeaways when he pounced on a loose ball after a botched handoff by the Rockets.
Play #7: Orange ball, 1st-and-10 from the Person 11-yard line.
This was the most methodical touchdown drive of the night for Orange. After Ray’s fumble recovery, Sorrells and Cooper handled the ball for six straight plays. After Sorrells broke into the Person red zone with an eleven-yard gain, Cooper scored the Panthers’ final touchdown of the night with an eleven-yard score.
Play #8 Person ball, 1st-and-10 from the Person 20-yard line
Person ended the first half with a touchdown when Garrett threw to Daejon Hodge, a junior varsity callup. After having its lead reduced to 26-14, it was important for Orange to come out with a big play defensively. That’s what junior linebacker Jabari Albright did on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. After Satterfield sent the 2nd-half kickoff into the end zone for a touchback, Albright sacked Garrett for an 6-yard loss.
Play #9: Person ball, 1st-and-10 Person 22-yard line.
Orange caught a bad break on the preceding play when Ray intercepted a pass from Garrett, but it was called back because of a roughing the passer play. After Person got the ball back, Cooper made another big play, this time on defense when he sacked Garrett for a 9-yard loss. It was the third time in four snaps that Garrett was sacked.
Play 10: Person ball, 3rd-and-7 from the Person 48-yard line.
Orange had its best game from its pass rush this year. Kameron Harshaw and Jackson Wood pressured Garrett on this play, which led to Jake Wimsatt coming up with the interception.
Play 11: Person ball, 4th-and-goal from the Orange 4-yard line
The Rockets got into the Orange red zone trying to cut Orange’s lead to one score. An offside penalty against Orange put the ball at the Panther 6-yard line, but the Rockets committed a key delay of game penalty. It led to a 4th-and-goal from the Orange 4-yard line, where Wimsatt made another big play where he tackled C.J. Hill out of bounds on a reverse. This was the last Person drive of the game.
Play 12: Orange ball, 2nd-and-11 from the Orange 7-yard line.
Cooper finished a big night with a 48 yard run to help the Panther run out the clock and clinch its seventh straight win over the Rockets.