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Tar Heels Rally and Win; Referee Suffers Heart Attack

September 28, 1997|From Associated Press

With North Carolina in trouble against Virginia, Tar Heel Coach Mack Brown knew where to turn--his defense.

No. 5 North Carolina forced four second-half turnovers and the Tar Heels scored 45 consecutive points to beat the Cavaliers, 48-20, Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Carolina trailed, 20-3, late in the first half before rallying to match the biggest comeback in school history.

"I had quite a few words for the defense at halftime," Brown said. "It looked to me that Virginia was being more physical than we were, we weren't tackling, we weren't in the right place, we didn't have any emotion. I was really unhappy and it needed to change or we would be embarrassed."

The nation's second-ranked defense responded, getting an interception and a fumble recovery to give the momentum back to North Carolina.

"You really do see this from the Top 5 or Top 10 teams," said defensive end Greg Ellis. "I'm not bragging on us by no means, but teams who are in the Top 5, like Florida State, really get the job done when their backs are to the wall."

The teams, a crowd of more than 57,000 and a television audience were shocked early in the second quarter when referee James Knight suffered a heart attack and collapsed. The veteran of 21 seasons was rushed to a hospital.

Knight, an official for 21 years in the ACC, was in critical condition. It was expected that he would face surgery within the next 24 hours.

Courtney Mauzy, an official watching the game on TV, drove from Raleigh to Chapel Hill--about 25 miles--and became the referee for the second half.

Virginia (1-2 overall, 0-1 in conference) had upset ranked North Carolina teams three times in the 1990s, including last year's 17-point comeback in the final 10 minutes. The Cavaliers appeared ready to turn the trick again, going up by 17 points early on the sluggish Tar Heels (4-0, 2-0).

Georgia Tech 23, No. 17 Clemson 20-- Brad Chambers kicked two field goals after the starting kicker was injured, including a 20-yarder with 1:54 remaining, to give the Yellow Jackets a 23-20 victory at Atlanta.

Chambers wound up playing a pivotal role for Georgia Tech (2-1, 2-0) after Dave Frakes suffered a concussion making a tackle on a kickoff return in the first half.

Clemson (2-2, 1-2) tied the score, 20-20, on Raymond Priester's six-yard touchdown run with 8:17 to go, but Matt Padgett missed the extra point and set the stage for Chambers' winning kick.

Duke 26, Navy 17--Spencer Romine passed for two touchdowns and helped set up another score with his running to lead the Blue Devils to victory in a nonconference game at Durham, N.C.

Sims Lenhardt kicked four field goals for Duke (2-2), including a career best 50-yarder. He also had field goals of 43, 38 and 29 yards to help the Blue Devils to their second consecutive victory.

Duke never trailed in winning consecutive games for the first time in two years. Navy dropped to 2-2.

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