The Midway Raiders entertained their rivals from Hobbton Friday night to close out the regular season. The game also marked the last time the two teams would meet as conference rivals until at least the next realignment. Next season the schools will open the season in a non-conference tilt.
The Raiders came into Friday night’s game looking to end a 5-game losing streak. Taylor Calcutt returned to the lineup following an injury, and Aaron Thurman, playing in his final home game, scored 5 touchdowns to lead Midway to a 40-21 victory over the Wildcats.
The visitors got first crack on offense and were held to three plays and out. The ensuing Hobbton punt was fumbled and the Wildcats were back in business on the Midway 28 yard line. On fourth and six from the 12-yard line, an attempted Wildcat field goal was wide putting the ball back in Raider hands at the 6:20 mark of the first period.
The home team drove the ball into Hobbton territory and Thurman ran 39 yards for his first score of the night. Jansen Wrench nailed the PAT giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 2:57 left in the opening frame.
The Wildcats started their possession on the 20 and marched to the Raider 35 yard line. On fourth and 12, quarterback Greg Herring found Zaiquian Barksdale for a 29 yard pass play. Rashad Davis hit pay dirt with 9:12 left in the second quarter. Escalera kicked the PAT and Hobbton had pulled even at 7-7.
The Raiders started the ensuing possession on their 46. A strong run by Calcutt, recovering from an injury versus James Kenan, put the offense at the 1-yard line. Thurman claimed the touchdown on the next play, and after the Wildcats blocked the extra point, the Raiders led 13-7. That would be the score at intermission.
Midway got the first possession of the second half. At the 10:33 mark of third quarter, Thurman ran 10 yards for his third score of the evening. Wrench hit the PAT, making it 20-7, Raiders.
The Wildcats answered quickly, thanks to 2 big runs by Charles Chestnutt. He found the end zone from 35 yards out putting Hobbton back within 6 points. Escalera’s PAT made it 20-14, with 8:47 to go in the quarter.
Moments later, Thurman returned for 6 more points on an 8-yard run and the home team extended the lead to 27-14. There was still five and a half minutes to play in the third period.
Once again, Hobbton wasted no time responding. Herring connected with Barksdale on a 41-yard play, and after the PAT, the score was 27-21 at the 3:11 mark. The quarter would end without further scoring.
As the final frame began, the Raiders found themselves at fourth and seven on the Hobbton 25. Calcutt found Tyler Pope for 16 yards and on the next play Thurman took it home for his fifth touchdown on his Senior Night. The 2-point conversion failed leaving the score at 33-21 with 9:01 left in the game.
The Raiders got one more touchdown. Calcutt connected with Pope for 14 yards at the 36 second mark making the final score 40-21.
The leading rusher for Hobbton was Chestnutt with 152 yards on 16 carries. Thurman finished with 206 yards on 28 rushes for the Raiders.
Barksdale was the game’s top receiver with 2 catches for 71 yards. Pope caught 2 passes for 23 yards for Midway. Thurman had 1 reception for 31 yards.
The only turnover in the game was the Raiders fumbled punt return. The Raiders did not punt in the game.
Midway was penalized 5 times for 45 yards. Hobbton drew 4 flags for 25 yards.
Luke Clark led the Raiders defensively with 6 tackles. Jordan Thompson and Michael Stewart had 5 each.
“Peanut was the man tonight,” declared Midway head coach Tommy Sloan, referring to Thurman. “We dressed five seniors tonight. Maybe things are looking up.”
The Raiders finish their regular season at 5-6. The Wildcats are 2-9. Both teams will wait to find out where they will play next week in the first round of playoffs.