NC State football took home a 34-28 overtime win over the Tar Heels on Saturday to finish out the Wolfpack’s third straight win over UNC-CH, both in the series and at Kenan Stadium.
The Wolfpack’s seniors won their last three games in the series with the Tar Heels. Graduate quarterback Ryan Finley did not lose to UNC, and head coach Dave Doeren has not lost at Kenan Stadium.
“We nicknamed this stadium Carter-Finley North,” Finley said. “I don’t lose here, and we don’t lose here.”
The Wolfpack’s game-winning scoring drive was led by senior running back Reggie Gallaspy, who scored every one of NC State’s five touchdowns on handoffs from Finley. Gallaspy ran for a total of 129 yards on 27 carries.
“I thought Reggie Gallaspy was a war daddy,” said Doeren. “The way he ran at the end of that game — god, I’m so proud of that kid. Reggie’s got heart. He’s tough, he won’t be denied, he plays behind his pads. He’s so mentally and physically tough, and playing for his daughter. He just has it all together right now. You’re not going to stop that guy.”
After a sluggish first half saw the Wolfpack take a 7-6 lead to the break, the two teams combined for 43 points in the second half.
Gallaspy seemed destined to be the star of the game as he scored yet another touchdown late in the third period on a 34-yard run — his longest run of the season, and the the second longest this season for the team overall.
UNC didn’t let NC State stay ahead for too long as the Heels returned with a touchdown of their own, followed by a two-point conversion that tied the score at 21-21 with just over one minute remaining in the third period.
The Tar Heels opened the fourth quarter with an impressive 92-yard scoring drive, giving UNC its first lead of the game.
The Wolfpack caught a break with just over seven minutes left in the game on a 30-yard pass caught one-handed by Jacobi Meyers, which was only ruled complete after extensive review of the play by officials on the field. A 5-yard touchdown by Gallaspy with six minutes left in regulation tied the game.
“I just throw it to [Meyers],” Finley said. “You give him a chance, one hand, you know, he has a shot of coming down with it. Unbelievable play. One of the best catches I’ve ever been a part of. It was nice that we got the review, but for him to make that play, and on that drive, that was absolutely clutch.”
Neither team was able to get close to scoring again in the fourth quarter, forcing an overtime period of one drive per team to decide the winner of the game.
After the Tar Heels missed a 37-yard field goal to start overtime, NC State won the game on a 1-yard touchdown run from Gallaspy.
“The memory is just the fact that me and my boys did everything we can to beat UNC,” Gallaspy said. “It’s an amazing feeling. They knew I grinded everytime I stepped out on the practice field, anytime I stepped in the weight room. I busted my ass for them. They respect me for that. And they respect me because no matter how down I get on myself or how hurt I am, I’ll do whatever it takes for them.”
NC State will face East Carolina for the final game of the regular season on Dec. 1 at Carter-Finley stadium.