Chapel Hill was beaten by South Paulding on the road Friday night, 47-0. The Panthers fell to 0-7 on the year and 0-5 in region 5-AAAAA, while South Paulding improved to 6-1 and 5-1 in the region.
First-year Panthers coach Justin DeShon knows his team is in a rebuilding year, and has stressed all season that he’s looking for improvement week to week and not focusing on the scoreboard.
“Our kids played hard, we just ran into a better football team,” DeShon said. “They were much stronger, more physical. They’re bigger in all areas. What we talked about to the kids is that our seniors are playing hard. We love our seniors. But our younger kids need to see that scoreboard and that’s what we’ve got to work though.”
South Paulding was led by running back Kameron Watts, who scored three touchdowns to double his total for the season, and by receiver L.J. Pope, who caught two passing touchdowns, his seventh and eighth this year. It was homecoming night for South Paulding.
The Spartans utilize a hurry up, no huddle offense out of the shotgun that gave Chapel Hill’s defense fits all night. In addition to starter Jake Oglesby, backup quarterback Chase Wilkerson led two touchdown drives late in the game.
The Spartans came in averaging 27 points per game, a number they improved on Friday night. The SPHS defense also performed better than their season average, recording their first shutout of the year.
The score was 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, 20-0 at the half and 33-0 when the third quarter ended before reaching the final score of 47-0.
Though the Panthers weren’t able to get on the scoreboard, running back Tyre Shelton was a standout for the team. Shelton ran the ball on almost every play of several offensive drives.
Other Chapel Hill highlights included a fumble recovery by William Profit off of a muffed punt and an interception by Keegan Moody. Chisholm Kingston converted a fourth-and-short play on a run in the second quarter, and in the third quarter, Jordan Kidd strip-sacked the South Paulding quarterback.
With the loss, Chapel Hill fell behind in the all-time series against South Paulding, 2-1. The Spartans won 21-10 in 2010, and Chapel Hill won 20-14 in 2011.
DeShon said he’s focusing on small improvements that can lead to a bigger turnaround down the road.
“We’ve got to hit the weights after the season’s over,” said DeShon. “We’ve got to get on their level.”
Next week, Chapel Hill faces county rival New Manchester at home on Senior Night. The Jaguars sit at 4-3 on the season and 3-2 in region play.
“We’ll go back and continue to do what we do,” DeShon said. “We’ll play hard, I can guarantee you that.”