The Hobbton Wildcats hosted the Midway Raiders Friday night in the football season opener. The Raiders came away with a 33-13 win; however, the Raiders and the Wildcats were tied at 13 at the half. Most of the fans missed it in the lights; however, a few of us watched the International Space Station fly across midfield during the half.
Wildcat offensive coach, Robert Hill, said, “For the first game it wasn’t bad. We have a lot of things we need to work on. We just got physically beat up front offensively and defensively. Midway does a good job with their offense and their offensive line did a good job on our defensive linemen and keeping our linebackers from making plays. We’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m proud of them. They’ve come a long ways since August first.”
Midway head coach Jason Fussell said, “At the beginning of the game we were sloppy. We had little effort. My hat’s off to Hobbton, they came out fired up. They got the edge on us and we didn’t play a few big plays right. They beat us over the top and we kept killing ourselves on offense: fumbles, lining up wrong, penalties. It’s the first game and we have a lot of new guys so you expect it. Second half, we challenged them and they came out played ball. We did our game and ran right at them so I was pleased with that. We really played well second half.
Hobbton defensive coach Steve Mallard said, “First half we ran right into them. I thought we did a really good job offensive and defensive first half. We got worn down in the second half. They were real physical with us up front. It was a good start and we just need to keep building. Our numbers hurt us too. We have several playing on both sides of the ball. It takes it’s toll.”
The Wildcats had first possession but punted after 3. They then stopped the Raiders on their first possession taking possession on the 48-yard line. Gregory Herring hit Josh Polk on a 45 yard pass play for the first score with 6:46 left in the firs quarter. The point after kick was wide.
On Midway’s next possession, they scored on a 1-yard dive by Shaking Warren to tie the game at 6. The point after kick was good capping a 68-yard drive and a 7-6 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Midway scored again on a 6 yard run by Akinlabi Olanipekun. The point after kick was wide leaving the score at 13-6. The drive covered 65 yards.
With 7:30 left in the second on a 4th and long, Omar Farrior took off around the left side instead of punting picking up 25 yards and a first down. Polk then took the ball to the 3-yard line on a run. Steven Bell scored on a 4-yard run with 4:56 left in the half. The point after kick was good for the tie at 13-13.
Early in the third quarter, Raider Austin Raynor was sacked by Bell on a great 4th down defensive play. However, the Wildcats were unable to get much in the second half.
With 3:58 left in the third quarter, the Raiders tallied again on an 8-yard run. The point after was good. Midway scored again with 1:01 left in the game on a 6-yard run by Larry Blanks. The point after kick was wide. The final score was 33-13.
For the Raiders, Olanipekun had 99 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown. Blanks had 52 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Warren had 48 yards on 7 carries and 2 touchdowns. The Raiders had 322 yards on 52 attempts.
For the Wildcats, Farrior had 51 yards on 4 carries. The Wildcats had 116 yards total.
Defensively for the Wildcats, Raekwon Bryant had 10 tackles, Ammando Alonzo had 11 tackles and Chris Faison had 8.
The Wildcats travel to Chatham Central Friday night. Game time is 7 PM. All games have been moved to 7 PM this year.