Tarheels strike early to take Shrine Bowl

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- North Carolina parlayed a dominating first half into a 24-14 victory against South Carolina in the 73rd annual Shrine Bowl football game at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium on Saturday.

South Carolina's Davious Chestnut (right) hits North Carolina's Kevin Parks Jr. as Parks crosses the goal line during the Shrine Bowl. Early turnovers helped North Carolina go ahead early.  Associated Press
Associated Press
South Carolina's Davious Chestnut (right) hits North Carolina's Kevin Parks Jr. as Parks crosses the goal line during the Shrine Bowl. Early turnovers helped North Carolina go ahead early.

Fumbles by South Carolina led the Tarheels to two early touchdowns and a field goal. The first break came when North Carolina's Christopher Smith raced 67 yards off a fumble, with Kasey Redfern kicking the point after with three seconds left in the first quarter.

Redfern tacked on a 40-yard field goal, and the Tar Heels concluded the first-half surge with a 5-yard scoring burst to go ahead 17-0 with a minute to play in the half.

South Carolina began a second half rally on a pair of Marcus Lattimore 1-yard touchdown bursts in the third and fourth periods. But Keenan Allen sprinted the distance for a touchdown to clinch the Tarheel victory.

Lattimore -- the Byrnes star who claimed South Carolina's Mr. Football honor this year -- came to life in the second half to finish with 99 yards on 17 carries to go with his two touchdowns. He was named the Sandlappers' offensive player of the game.

Kevin Parks, who has committed to play at the University of Virginia, rushed for 97 yards on 19 attempts to get North Carolina's offensive honors.

South Carolina, which had North Augusta wide receiver Matt Hazel and Midland Valley offensive lineman Bryan Hadden on its roster, leads in the series 40-29-4.

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