Chapel Hill finished a winless season with a 42-6 loss Friday night to state power Allatoona at Buccaneer Stadium.
The Panthers (0-10, 0-9 region) ran the ball pretty well against the Buccaneers (10-0, 9-0) but their drives would stall before the endzone. Turnovers also hurt Chapel Hill against the No. 2 ranked team in Class AAAAA.
Allatoona led 35-6 at the half thanks to touchdowns from Russell Halimon, Josh Bettistea, Kameron Bowen and Conner Larson. The Bucs ran out of the I-Formation and the Panthers had trouble making open field tackles once ball carriers got into space. Allatoona came into the game averaging 41 points per contest and showed why during the game.
The big highlight for Chapel Hill was an 85-yard touchdown run by Tyre Shelton, who got most of the carries on the night for the Panthers. Shelton picked up some key blocks near the line of scrimmage and took off once he got into the open. One Allatoona defender looked to catch him streaking down the sideline but Shelton outran him for the score.
“Tyre Shelton is a dynamic freshman, he’s done a great job,” said Chapel Hill Head Coach Justin DeShon. “I can’t say enough about him.”
Allatoona tacked on another touchdown in the third quarter, a pass from Tate Tatum to Chandler Watson. A running clock was used in the fourth quarter. DeShon showered praise on his senior players following the game.
“I love the seniors,” said DeShon. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked. They’ve had a tough road and we wish it could have been different for them. They’re a great group of kids and they’re going to be successful.”
The season was a struggle for Chapel Hill as it battled injuries and off-field issues which led to a youth movement. The Panthers also were playing their first season in class 5A after moving up two classifications in the offseason.
The team lost each contest by double digits and was shout out three times with an average of seven offensive points per game.
DeShon said his players will get a few weeks off before they start working to improve for next season.
“We told the kids they had the opportunity to play, we think, the best team in the state tonight,” said DeShon. “They got to see it, feel it in their bodies and tonight it’s about what we are going to do to close the gap on the people in front of us. We know that we’re winless, but we have improved immensely in the last six weeks. We think our future is bright. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the weight room and we’re ready to go to work.”