The Hobbton Wildcats tamed the Alleghany County Trojans in Friday night’s first round of the high school football playoffs. The final score was 31-6, Hobbton, after an initial scare when Alleghany scored first.
“We had to focus on offense,” said Wildcat coach Jeff Byrd.
“Henry Barnes pulled his ham string during warmup, and we had to do some switching around. Ira Moore did an outstanding job stepping in for him. Defensively, we played pretty well. We had that long run, and we had to switch up on them a little bit. They have a good football team. Up front, they may be as good as anybody we have played. Maybe we will get the opportunity to play Princeton again. The boys have been wanting to.”
The Trojans had first chance at the ball and burned just over 6 minutes of the first quarter on a drive that came up short deep in Wildcat territory. The Wildcats took over but fumbled with Alleghany recovering at the Wildcat 4-yard line with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Trojans turned that fumble into a score 51 seconds into the second quarter. Sebastian Sandoval got around the left side breaking several tackles and scampered 88 yards for a score. They tried a 2-point conversion that failed on a pass broken up by Wildcat Ira Moore.
Both teams jockeyed for field position most of the rest of the quarter. The Wildcats got the ball with 2:40 left in the half at the Alleghany 16-yard line. They marched 84 yards with Xavier Thompson going the final 7 up the middle. Brad Evans kicked the point after to make it a 7-6 ballgame with 55 seconds left in the half.
In the final few seconds, the teams traded interceptions with Evans picking one and then losing one to Hunter Greene. The half ended with the score 7-6, Hobbton.
The Wildcats had first chance after the break. They marched 75 yards with Moore going the final 28 yards through the middle with 7:55 left in the third period. Evans kicked the point after for a 14-6 lead.
The Wildcats never looked back, although Evans lost another pick from Jake Murphy late in the third. Early in the fourth, Moore broke out on a 5-yard TD run. Evans kicked the point after to make it 21-6.
Alleghany turned the ball around but lost another interception to Moore at the 47-yard line. With 8:37 left, the Wildcat drive stalled. Evans then booted a 20-yard field goal to make it 24-6.
Alleghany tried again but came up short as the Wildcat defense stiffened even more.
Wildcat offensive coach Al Britt put the second stringers in for some experience. They lost a fumble with Alleghany recovering. Later, Alleghany, in desperation, tried to convert a fourth and 16 but came up short.
The Wildcats took over at the Trojan 35-yard line. Giovante Devone got outside the defense to the right and scampered 35 yards for a score. Evans kicked the point after to make it 31-6 with 3:50 left.
Alleghany tried again but wound up running the clock down to just over a minute before giving the ball up on downs. Jamie Tyndall then kneed the ball to run out the clock.
The Wildcats will play Princeton next week.
For the Wildcats, Eli Chestnutt had 125 yards on 16 carries; Xavier Thompson had 56 yards on 14 carries and 1 touchdown. Ira Moore led all rusher with 159 yards on 10 carries and 2 touchdowns. The Wildcats had 379 yards rushing and 84 yards in the air. Evans completed 6 of 11.
For Alleghany, Sandoval had 94 yards on 14 carries with 1 touchdown. Jake Murray had 23 yards rushing.