Chapel Hill, N.C. – Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams took his head coach Mark Speir’s weekly charge to heart on Saturday afternoon in the season-finale at North Carolina – go play until there are zeroes on the clock at Kenan Stadium.
On the final play of regulation, long after the final result of Saturday’s game had been determined, Adams scrambled 18 yards and etched his name into the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record books. Adams became just the 10th player in FCS history to throw for over 2,000 yards while also amassing over 1,000 rushing yards in the same season.
In the waning moments of Saturday’s finale, the Catamount defense forced a stop on fourth down to give Adams and the offense the football back with nine seconds remaining. Sitting 12 yards shy of the milestone, Adams scampered into the record books – the second Catamount in consecutive years to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in Chapel Hill as former RB Detrez Newsome capped his career with a third-consecutive 1,000-yard season in 2017.
North Carolina erased an early 7-0 deficit to the Catamounts for a second-straight season as the Tar Heels claimed their second victory of the season, downing WCU 49-26.
Adams finished with 104 yards rushing and two touchdowns to pace the Catamounts, while also completing 18-of-34 passes for 290 yards. The St. Petersburg, Fla., native additionally tallied a 10-yard reception on a pass from Nate Mullen. RB Connell Young caught a team-best four passes for 40 yards while his backfield counterpart Donnavan Spencer amassed a career-high 106 receiving yards.
Catamount placekicker Will Horton connected on a career-best four field goals, splitting the uprights from 43, 45, 33, and 26 yards on Saturday afternoon. His special teams cohort redshirt senior punter Ian Berryman closed his career by writing his name in the school record books, finishing with a record punting average of 43.8 yards over his 206 career punts.
UNC QB Nathan Elliott threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns while tailback Javonte Williams scored three times on 17 rushes, recording 93 yards in the winning effort to place the Tar Heels who scored a season-high 49 points.
Defensively, the Catamounts forced three turnovers with a pair of interceptions including picks by Michael Murphy and John Brannon with the latter also pouncing on a fumble forced by Jarquavius Wortham. Mitchell Chancey led two WCU defenders in double-figure tackles, reaching double-digits for the 11th-straight game – each game played by the Catamounts this fall. He was joined in double figures by Ty Harris, credited with 11 total stops.