CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State kept giving the ball to Reggie Gallaspy II, and he kept carrying it into the end zone. It added up to a historic day for the senior — and yet another victory over the Wolfpack's fiercest rival.
Gallaspy ran 1 yard in overtime for a touchdown, his school-record-tying fifth TD, and North Carolina State beat North Carolina 34-28 on Saturday in a rivalry game marred by a fight in the end zone after it ended.
N.C. State has won three straight and four of five against the Tar Heels.
"Just having the opportunity just to say you trampled these guys since you've been here, it's just very exciting," Gallaspy said.
Gallaspy rushed for a career-high 129 yards and scored on runs of 1, 4 and 34 yards before scoring the tying TD from 5 yards out in regulation. Ryan Finley was 16 of 28 for 200 yards for the Wolfpack (8-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won two straight.
"I've always said your attitude comes from your run game, and you can throw to score but you run to win," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "It's a DNA thing with your football team."
Freshman Cade Fortin, whose only snap since Oct. 13 was a last-second heave two weeks ago against Duke, put North Carolina up 28-21 with a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:29 left. He finished 19 of 40 for 276 yards with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Beau Corrales, Javonte Williams had an 8-yard TD run and Freeman Jones kicked two field goals for the Tar Heels (2-9, 1-7).
But Jones was wide left on a 37-yarder in overtime. N.C. State then ran the ball on seven straight plays, capped by Gallaspy's plunge into the end zone that ended it. Some pushing and shoving in the end zone after the winning score led to a quick but intense melee in which players from both teams were seen throwing punches.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack has taken control of their fiercest rivalry with their longest winning streak against the Tar Heels since they reeled off five straight against UNC from 2007-11. N.C. State has won four of five meetings and the past three at Kenan Stadium. "We nicknamed this stadium 'Carter-Finley North.' I don't lose here, and we don't lose here," said Finley, referring to the Wolfpack's home stadium that is located 25 miles southeast of Chapel Hill.
North Carolina: The story of the Tar Heels' season has been how frequently they found ways to lose close games, from the three-point home loss against Virginia Tech to the double-OT loss at Syracuse, though to their credit, they never quit even as they lost seven games by 10 or fewer points apiece. After leading this game in the fourth quarter, it's only fitting that their season would end in similar fashion.
"Our guys played hard, as they have the entire year, they fought all the way to the end, but we wasted way too many opportunities," coach Larry Fedora said.
Things became heated in the seconds after Gallaspy's game-winner. The television broadcast showed North Carolina LB Dominique Ross and N.C. State WR Kelvin Harmon appearing to bump each other, and the situation escalated after Wolfpack WR Emeka Emezie appeared to push Ross away from his teammate. That led to a full-on shoving match in the end zone, and the cameras eventually caught players from both teams throwing punches. Doeren said he didn't see what happened — he was headed toward midfield for the handshake with Fedora — and said "we'll find out" what happened.
GALLASPY'S BIG DAY
Gallaspy has always had a nose for the end zone — he scored touchdowns in seven consecutive games earlier this season. He joined T.A. McLendon against Texas Tech in 2002 and Stan Fritts against Wake Forest in 1972 as the only Wolfpack players with five-TD games.
"I told (Gallaspy) that I hope my boys have the same heart he has when they get older," Doeren said. "Because that kid is 100 percent heart. ... It was fun having the 'Bus' rolling today."
Hunter Lent lined up to punt from the end zone after the Tar Heels' second possession. He fumbled the snap and — under intense pressure from rusher CJ Riley — barely got off a 1-yard punt to the 3. Two plays later, Gallaspy scored his first touchdown.
N.C. State plays host to East Carolina next Saturday.
North Carolina's season is over.
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