SPARTANBURG – On Saturday, December 20, 2014, the 78th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas acted as a culmination of a week-long schedule full of activities involving both teams from North Carolina and South Carolina.
Despite forcing five turnovers on defense and special teams – including four interceptions – the Tar Heels were unable to conquer the Sandlappers for the third year in a row. South Carolina defeated North Carolina 21-12.
There was no score after one quarter, but the tide turned in the second period on a huge special teams play by South Carolina’s Jordan Williams.
North Carolina was deep in Sandlapper territory, but like so many times throughout the afternoon it was unable to put the ball in the endzone. With quarterback Travis Sabdo (Havelock) holding, Tre Jackson (Avery County) lined up for a short field goal.
No one saw the South Carolina defender coming off the edge.
The kick was blocked, and Williams scooped it up and took it all the way for the score and tallied the game’s first points. The Sandlappers led 7-0 and never gave the lead up.
Trailing 14-0 at the half after a Matthew Colburn score, North Carolina needed a spark. It found one in quarterback Josh Sadowski (Lake Norman).
The North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year ran the ball on a draw play from eight yards out for the score. Jackson’s extra point would be blocked, leaving the Tar Heels with an eight point deficit with one and a half quarters remaining.
They would get the ball back once again a few drives later and march deep into Sandlapper territory, but stall. Jackson would once again line up for a field goal, but this time Sabdo would throw it.
Sabdo ran a bootleg to the left and then twisted back to the right, finding a wide open Joshua Ramseur who then proceeded to walk in for the score.
Sadowski took the snap for the two-point conversion attempt and looked for Johnny Frasier (Princeton) on the check down on the right side of the field. Frasier caught the ball just inside the pylon, but juggled it just enough for it to be called as incomplete.
South Carolina led North Carolina 14-12 at this point, and the Tar Heels would never get any closer than that.
The Sandlappers would score once more in the fourth quarter with 11:38 left in the game, leaving plenty of time for the Tar Heels to attempt to mount a comeback. No dice.
North Carolina Head Coach Hal Capps (Mooresville) gathered his players and staff one last time after the game at midfield. They prayed together as they had many times throughout the week, but this one meant a little more.
“If there’s anything I can ever do for any of you, you just call me,” Capps said.
North Carolina Student Correspondent
Western Harnett High School