Written by Brian Murphy, Producer at WRAL Multiplatform.
|Duke Blue Devils
|24North Carolina Tar Heels
Chapel Hill, N.C.
The students from North Carolina, who had rushed onto the Kenan Stadium field and were now gathered around the ACC Network set, cheered for their quarterback, urging him to create more unforgettable moments like the ones they had just experienced in their Tar Heel blue.
The crowd chanted “One more year!” to Drake Maye, who had scored the winning points for No. 24 North Carolina in their 47-45 double overtime win against Duke.
Reflecting on the support of North Carolina fans, Maye remarked, “It’s incredible to see how many people from my home state have shown their love. Growing up attending games at Kenan Stadium and being a fan, this truly feels like a fairy tale ending.”
This was rewritten multiple times.
The lead was exchanged three times in the last 5 minutes and 21 seconds of the fourth quarter, not including Noah Burnette’s 43-yard field goal to tie the game for North Carolina in the final seconds.
In the first overtime, both teams scored field goals, but in the second overtime, Maye secured the lead for the Tar Heels with a five-yard touchdown run. During the two-point attempt, Maye initially ran towards the end zone but then passed the ball to an unmarked John Copenhaver.
This was the final instance of exceptional passes and smooth maneuvers performed by the third-year quarterback.
Maye led the offensive drive for 75 yards which resulted in a touchdown that put them ahead, with only 1:55 remaining. Later, after Duke regained the lead, Maye quickly drove the Tar Heels 50 yards in just 41 seconds to set up Burnette’s game-tying field goal. Burnette successfully made six field goals throughout the game.
He displayed his imaginative abilities by executing a flip to Omarion Hampton, demonstrated his agility by consistently evading Duke defenders and attempting to jump over one, and showcased his passing skills with multiple long throws to Tez Walker.
Maye completed 28 out of 43 passes for 342 yards and scored one touchdown. He also ran for two additional touchdowns.
UNC coach Mack Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, praised his quarterback, saying he is as skilled as anyone he has worked with. Brown expressed his amazement and shared his thoughts with the team, stating that they have the top quarterback in the nation. He commended the quarterback’s performance, noting his unwavering confidence and poise on the field.
Maye, who is expected to be selected early in the NFL Draft, chose not to take part in UNC’s senior night celebrations. He previously stated that he has not yet decided whether he will turn professional or continue with school next season. However, Brown affirmed that it is definite that Maye will pursue a career in the NFL.
In 2022, Maye marked a 2-0 record as a starting player against Duke. He scored the game-winning touchdown with only 16 seconds left, completing a 74-yard drive and securing a 38-35 victory.
For two consecutive years, we were unable to prevent that young player from making game-winning plays,” stated Duke coach Mike Elko. “He is incredibly competitive and at times, he single-handedly leads his team to victory. And once again, he did just that.”
Maye’s impressive performance was necessary as Duke, who was missing their injured star quarterback Riley Leonard, managed to score 22 points in a dynamic fourth quarter. In his inaugural start on the road, young freshman Grayson Loftis threw three touchdown passes, all connecting with Jordan Moore.
Loftis successfully passed to Moore for a 30-yard touchdown during a fourth-and-7 play with only 41 seconds remaining. UNC had aggressively rushed forward, leaving Moore open to catch the pass and score. This touchdown put the Blue Devils ahead for the first time in the second half, after they had been behind by as much as 13 points in the first half and 12 points in the second half.
The Blue Devils were able to score a touchdown in the second overtime, but Loftis’ attempt to pass for two points missed its mark and went over the receiver, Jalon Calhoun.
Elko expressed pride in the team’s effort and determination throughout the game, particularly in their fourth quarter comeback. However, he also acknowledged that the loss was disappointing.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina have a record of 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the ACC. They will wrap up the regular season with matches against Clemson and NC State.
Duke, once more competed without their initial quarterback Riley Leonard, and currently hold a record of 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. They will face off against Virginia before concluding their regular season against Pittsburgh in Durham.
North Carolina’s Drake Maye scored a touchdown with a 1-yard run, followed by a successful kick from Noah Burnette, at 10:44 on the clock. The drive consisted of 10 plays, covering 75 yards and lasting 4 minutes and 16 seconds. The key play was Maye’s 43-yard pass to Tez Walker, which positioned UNC inside Duke’s 10-yard line. This resulted in the score of North Carolina 7, Duke 0.
North Carolina’s Burnette scored a field goal with 5 minutes and 53 seconds left on the clock. The drive consisted of 11 plays and covered 67 yards in a time of 3 minutes and 55 seconds. The key moment was when UNC easily advanced to the Duke 1-yard line, but despite three rushing attempts, they were unable to score and also committed a penalty on a fourth-down pass. As a result, they settled for a field goal, bringing the score to 10-0 with North Carolina in the lead.
At 11:38, UNC’s Burnette kicked a field goal, following an 11-play drive of 67 yards that lasted 3 minutes and 51 seconds. The pivotal moment was when Maye completed a pass to J.J. Jones for a 31-yard gain, as Duke was in the process of substituting multiple defenders onto the field. This increased UNC’s lead to 13-0 over Duke.
Duke scored a touchdown with 5:18 remaining in the game, thanks to a 10-yard pass from Grayson Loftis to Jordan Moore. Todd Pelino successfully kicked the extra point. The drive consisted of 9 plays, covering a total of 70 yards and lasting 6 minutes and 13 seconds. The key play was when Loftis connected with Jalon Calhoun for a 7-yard gain on third down, allowing the drive to continue. Moore also had a big play, catching a pass for 21 yards and advancing deep into UNC’s territory. However, despite this effort, Duke still trailed behind North Carolina with a score of 7-13.
Duke scored a touchdown with a 3-yard run by Loftis, followed by a successful extra point kick by Pelino. The drive consisted of 5 plays and covered 14 yards, lasting 2 minutes and 59 seconds. The key play was when Jaylen Stinson intercepted a pass from Maye in UNC’s territory after a muff on the kickoff, and returned it to the UNC 14. This brought the score to Duke 14, North Carolina 13.
UNC — Burnette scores a 25-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the game. The drive consisted of 8 plays and covered 66 yards in just 1 minute and 39 seconds. The crucial play was when Maye connected with Walker for a 48-yard pass down the right sideline, bringing them to the Duke 11-yard line. The score is now North Carolina 16, Duke 14.
North Carolina scored 27 points from a field goal by Burnette with 6 minutes and 49 seconds left in the game. The drive consisted of 16 plays, covering 55 yards in a total time of 6 minutes and 41 seconds. Two crucial plays on the drive were UNC successfully converting two fourth downs. The first was a pass from Maye to Walker for a gain of 9 yards on fourth-and-9. The second was a pass from Maye to J.J. Jones for a gain of 6 yards on fourth-and-4, after Maye managed to evade a defender from Duke. As a result, North Carolina took the lead with a score of 19-14 against Duke.
North Carolina scored a touchdown in the first quarter when Omarion Hampton ran for 2 yards and the extra point was made by Burnette. The drive consisted of 7 plays and covered 73 yards in 2 minutes and 23 seconds. A key play on the drive was when Maye ran for 14 yards, bringing the ball to the Duke 5 yard line. Hampton contributed 29 yards on the drive and two penalties by Duke resulted in a total of 30 yards gained for North Carolina. The score was now 26-14 in favor of North Carolina.
The Duke football team scored a touchdown with a 13-yard run by Jordan Waters, followed by a successful kick by Pelino, with 9 minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the game. The drive consisted of 7 plays and covered a total of 70 yards, taking 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The key plays were back-to-back catches by tight end Nicky Dalmolin for gains of 12 and 14 yards. Despite this score, North Carolina maintained their lead with a score of 26-21 over Duke.
Duke scores a touchdown with a 23-yard run by Waters, followed by a successful pass from Loftis to Calhoun. The drive consisted of 8 plays, covering 54 yards in a total of 4 minutes and 19 seconds. The key play was Duke’s recovery of an onside kick, allowing them to maintain possession after their previous touchdown. On fourth-and-1 at the UNC 27, Waters rushed for four yards. The final score was Duke 29, North Carolina 26.
North Carolina scored a touchdown with just under two minutes left in the game, with Bryson Nesbitt catching a 15-yard pass from quarterback Maye. Burnette’s extra point kick was good. The drive lasted 10 plays and covered 75 yards in a time of 3 minutes and 26 seconds. Key moments in the drive included Maye’s six-yard rush on third down to secure a first down, and a 15-yard completion to Nesbitt on third-and-14 despite facing heavy defensive pressure. This brought the final score to North Carolina 33, Duke 29.
Duke’s Jordan Moore caught a 30-yard pass from Loftis and Pelino successfully kicked the extra point with only 41 seconds remaining on the clock. The drive consisted of 9 plays, covering 75 yards in just 1 minute and 14 seconds. The crucial moment was when Duke scored the touchdown on fourth-and-7, despite UNC’s aggressive blitz. The final score was Duke 36, North Carolina 33.
North Carolina’s Burnette scored a 43-yard field goal with no time remaining. The drive consisted of 6 plays and covered 50 yards in 41 seconds. The score is now tied at 36 between Duke and North Carolina.
Duke made a 49-yard field goal, bringing their score to 39 points while North Carolina trails with 36 points.
Burnette scores a 24-point field goal for UNC, tying the score at 39 for both Duke and North Carolina.
UNC scored a touchdown on Maye’s 5-yard run and completed a pass from Maye to John Copenhaver for the extra point. The final score was 47-39, with North Carolina defeating Duke.
Loftis throws a 6-yard pass to Moore, but the pass is incomplete. North Carolina beats Duke 47-45.