North Carolina beat South Carolina in every phase of the game in winning Saturday’s 81st annual Shrine Bowl game 55-24 at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg. It’s the third straight victory for the Tarheels, their first three game winning streak in the series since 1949-51. SC leads the series 44-33-4.
The teams traded touchdowns over the first 14 minutes. The Sandlappers scored on a five yard touchdown run by Dakereon Joyner of Fort Dorchester and a 40 yard scoring pass from Sam Hartman of Oceanside Academy to Bryce Thompson of Dutch Fork but missed the first extra point and failed on a two point conversion to trail 14-12.
Then, the game turned on a 92 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dyami Brown. That started a run of 21 unanswered points to give the Tarheels a 35-12 lead early in the third quarter.
The Sandlappers tried to rally with a 52 yard Hartman to Derion Kendrick (South Pointe) touchdown pass and a pick six of 36 yards by Braylon Peterson of TL Hanna. But 35-24 was as close as they would get. The Tarheels tacked on three rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, two by Offensive MVP Ricky Person Jr., to pull away to their largest victory margin since a 38-6 win in 1977.
The Tarheels rushed for 303 yards, 180 coming from NC State commit Person on 15 carries. SC’s offense boiled down to pitch and catch between Hartman and Thompson. Hartman, a Wake Forest commit and the Offensive MVP for SC, was 13-25 for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. Thompson, who committed earlier in the week to USC, caught 7 passes for 165 yards and 1 touchdown.
South Carolina’s Defensive MVP was Khalid Jones of Byrnes and a Northwestern commit. He had 9 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. NC’s Defensive MVP was Dax Hollified III who had 8 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Thompson was named SC’s Most Outstanding Player and QB Holton Ahlers won that award for NC.
Sandlappers’ coach Dave Gutshall post game interview
Dakereon Joyner on missing second half with shoulder injury
The Shriners announced at halftime they raised $2.85 million for their children’s hospitals in 2017. They also announced next year’s Sandlapper coaching staff. Jackie Hayes of Dillon will be the head coach assisted by Steve LaPrad of Fort Dorchester, Kenneth Tucker of Bethune-Bowman, Marion Brown of Baptist Hill, Chris Miller of Spartanburg and Steve Blanchard of Hanahan.