Jason Estep unveiled a new offense for Charlotte Christian at its season opener.
From the final results, it appears the Knights’ gameplan might lead to success this season.
Charlotte Christian jumped ahead early in its Charlotte Kickoff Night showdown with Charlotte Catholic, then held on to upset the Cougars 20-13 Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Garrett Shrader threw for 159 yards and one touchdown, Justus Woods added a second score in the first quarter, and Christian Vansickle connected on two field goals – 36 and 19 yards – for the Knights, who began the season No. 15 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 rankings.
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Christian’s no-huddle, up-tempo offense threw Catholic – the reigning NCHSAA 4A state champions, and ranked No. 4 in the Sweet 16 – off balance early.
That allowed the Knights to score twice in the first quarter – on Shrader’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Josh Eboboko, and Woods’ 1-yard run – and lead 17-0 late in the second quarter.
By the end of the first quarter, Christian had piled up 170 yards of offense and 10 first downs. By comparison, the Cougars had run just eight plays for 57 yards, and didn’t have a first down.
Catholic began getting its offense on track late in the second quarter, with Jack Brigham capping an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the Knights’ lead to 17-6 at halftime.
Vansickle’s second field goal late in the third quarter pushed Christian’s lead back to 14 points, but the Cougars began making a run in the fourth quarter.
Catholic pulled within seven points on Brady Berger’s 82-yard touchdown pass to John Newman with 3 minutes, 5 seconds remaining. But two other potential Cougars scoring drives stalled on turnovers, and their final possession ended on downs.
Records: Charlotte Christian 1-0, Charlotte Catholic 0-1.
Worth mentioning: Berger finished with 252 passing yards for the Cougars, completing 16 of 29 attempts with an interception. … Newman had three catches for 100 yards. … Woods led Christian with 50 rushing yards on 16 carries.
What’s next: Both teams have home games Friday night – Charlotte Christian will host the Carolina Pride, and Charlotte Catholic will play Providence Day.
CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN 20, CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC 13
Charlotte Christian 14; 3; 3; 0;–;20
Charlotte Catholic 0; 6; 0; 7;–;13
CCh—Josh Eboboko 10 pass from Garrett Shrader (Christian Vansickle kick), 7:26.
CCh—Justus Woods 1 run (Vansickle kick), 3:28.
CCh—Vansickle 36 FG, 3:08.
CC—Jack Brigham 1 run (kick failed), 19.4.
CCh—Vansickle 19 FG, 4:21.
CC—John Newman 82 pass from Brady Berger (Connor Demaine kick) 3:05.