Story by Justin Mathis
SPARTANBURG: After a two-year absence, the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas made its triumphant return for the 86th edition of the game, held at Viking Stadium on the campus of Spartanburg High School.
It took a bit for the offenses to click, but both teams found their stride. When the dust settled, the South Carolina Sandlappers emerged with a 17-13 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels, giving South Carolina its second win in a row.
After a scoreless first quarter, South Carolina drew first blood on a 25-yard field goal from Daniel Deneen Jr (St. James HS) with 8:52 left in the first half. North Carolina answered with a 16-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard Kemarion Baldwin score with 38 seconds left and a 7-3 Tar Heel lead at intermission.
Midway through the third quarter, LaNorris Sellers (South Florence) dropped back and hit Tyler Brown (Greenville) in stride for a 55-yard touchdown, which put the Sandlappers ahead 10-7 with 6:55 left in the frame.
Trailing by three with 11:28 left in regulation, the Sandlappers methodically marched their way downfield on a 12-play, 78-yard drive that lasted six minutes and 48 seconds. During the drive, Elijah Caldwell (Northwestern) hauled in a pass off a deflection and advanced to the Tar Heel 44-yard line.
Jarvis Green punctuated the Sandlapper drive with a one-yard touchdown run on third and goal, which gave South Carolina a 17-13 lead with 4:28 to play. The Sandlappers forced a North Carolina punt with 2:55 left and ran out the clock to secure the win.
Sellers completed nine of 13 pass attempts for 121 yards and a touchdown, while Green racked up 58 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Mikey Rosa (Wando) notched a team-high seven tackles for South Carolina and Littlejohn added a sack. Noah Quinn (Broome) finished with four total tackles.
For the Sandlappers, Sellers and Rosa earned Offensive and Defensive MVP honors, respectively. With the victory, South Carolina now leads the overall series 46-32-5.