Chapel Hill Routs Palestine, 34-14, to Notch First Win of 2012
PALESTINE — The Chapel Hill Bulldogs are hoping Friday night’s performance at Wildcat Stadium aren’t the exception, but rather the rule.
The defending state champions, facing the possibility of opening their daunting 16-3A schedule 0-4, dominated Palestine in the second half en route to a 34-14 victory at Wildcat Stadium.
After a sloppy first half that saw the Bulldogs clinging to a 13-7 lead, Chapel Hill turned it on in the second, beginning with the first play from scrimmage.
On that play, Chapel Hill quarterback Andrew Black found Corey Starks for a 37-yard touchdown pass off of a play-action fake, and Starks went in untouched to put the Bulldogs up 20-7.
Palestine drove right down and appeared ready to answer, however. From the Bulldogs 12-yard-line, PHS quarterback Gee Clark handed the ball to Darrius Stephens, who burst through a hole into daylight and appeared to be head to the end zone.
But, a Chapel Hill defender managed to hit Stephens just as he approached the goal line and the ball popped free, resulting in a touchback for the Bulldogs.
The Palestine defense, however, clamped down and forced a Chapel Hill punt, but the Palestine return man couldn’t hold onto the kick, giving the Bulldogs the ball back inside Palestine territory.
From there, all the Bulldogs had to do was put the game away — and they did.
Chapel Hill took full advantage of the second chance, and capped the scoring drive with a one-yard run from Joseph Clark. That score put the Bulldogs up 27-7, and effectively put the game away.
Chapel Hill added its final touchdown with less than a minute to play in the third quarter, when Black found Sammy Guzman for a 15-yard pass-and-catch touchdown.
Palestine tacked on a somewhat meaningless score late, when Clark found Paul Barksdale in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
On the night, Clark led all rushers with 91 yards, while Stephens finished with 57 for the Wildcats.
Black was 7-of-15 passing for 157 yards and his three touchdown passes.
Chapel Hill (1-3) opens up 16-3A play Friday when they host Jacksonville, while Palestine (2-2) continues its non-district slate as they welcome Athens in to Wildcat Stadium.