UNC Commits Lead N.C. Win

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – One North Carolina commit and another one of its recruiting hopefuls took offensive and defensive MVP honors, as the Tarheels won the 69th annual Shrine Bowl 28-24 in front of over 10,000 at chilly Gibbs Stadium on Saturday.

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    Jacksonville White Oak's Deunta Williams, in his first game ever at linebacker, tallied six tackles, a tackle for loss, four pass breakups and a forced fumble to take home the N.C. Defensive MVP honors. Williams verbally accepted a scholarship to play for UNC last summer.

    Meanwhile Richmond County tailback Norman Whitley (pictured, below), a Tar Heels' prospect, garnered Offensive MVP honors after rushing for 132 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.

    The Tarheels took a 21-7 lead into halftime when, you guessed it, another Carolina commitment, Charlotte Independence receiver Hakeem Nicks hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass with one second left before intermission.

    But behind the arm of quarterback Stan Doolittle, the Sandlappers battled back to within three early in the fourth quarter.

    Prince Miller's one-yard touchdown run and Doolittle's pass to Foxy Foxworth for a two-point conversion pulled S.C. to within 21-18 with 13:35 to play.

    Until that point, N.C. had held a 10-minute time of possession advantage.

    The Tarheels would answer quickly however, as on their next possession, quarterback O.C. Wardlow, a Virginia commitment from Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor, led the Tarheels on a 13-play, 80-yard drive which resulted in a 14-yard scoring run by Whitley.

    The drive consumed 6:15 to put the Sandlappers in hurry up mode behind by 10.

    And they nearly made the comeback attempt a reality quickly scoring with 2:56 to go on Doolittle's second touchdown pass of the day to Matt Quinn. But Davie County's Raeshon McNeil blocked Richard Jackson's PAT attempt to keep the score at its final margin.

    Now needing a touchdown to win, Jackson's onside kick attempt was almost too perfect, as the ball took its desired hop but could not be handled by players on either team and sailed out of bounds.

    Still, the Tarheels, which converted 4-of-4 fourth down conversions on the day, would have to punt and give S.C. one last chance with 1:02 remaining.

    But thanks to a third down sack of Doolittle by UNC commit Tavares Brown of Richmond County -- his second, the Sandlappers would utlimately turn the ball over on downs to end the threat.

    Doolittle (19-23 237 yards passing, two touchdowns) and Dekoda Watson were named the S.C. Offensive and Defensive MVPs, respectively.

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