September 2, 2017 / 8:22 PM / in 5 months

Bowers leads Cal past North Carolina

Bowers leads Cal past North Carolina

Ross Bowers threw four touchdown passes in his first collegiate start as California defeated North Carolina 35-30, winning in the coaching debut of Justin Wilcox on Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Bowers, a redshirt sophomore who had never thrown a collegiate pass until this season opener, completed 24 of 38 passes for 363 yards.

The go-ahead points came when receiver Jordan Duncan caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 12:58 remaining. That was one snap after the Bears converted a fourth-down play when 285-pound fullback Malik McMorris caught a pass.

California running back Vic Enwere added a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:56 to play before Tar Heels quarterback Chazz Surratt scored on a 1-yard run on the game’s last play.

Freshman running back Michael Carter scored on two touchdown runs for the Tar Heels in the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Surratt’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Jackson with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter sent the Tar Heels to a 24-21 lead. That came two plays after linebacker Andre Smith’s 73-yard interception return.

Earlier in the quarter, Patrick Laird turned a short pass into a 54-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 21-17 lead.

Carter gained 71 first-half yards on the ground. He ended up with 94 yards on 11 carries.

The Bears scored first on receiver Jordan Veasy’s 10-yard reception from Bowers.

Carter answered with a 2-yard touchdown run for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels led for the first time with 8:21 remaining in the second quarter on Freeman Jones’ 39-yard field goal on the junior’s first career field goal attempt.

California closed within 17-14 before halftime on receiver Vic Wharton’s 67-yard catch-and-run.

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