The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Football playoffs get underway tonight and Sampson County has three teams that made it to postseason play. Hobbton and Lakewood will participate in the 1AA Playoffs and will each hit the road while Clinton will participate in the 2A classification and will play on their home field. Let’s go ahead and dive in and see what this week’s playoffs games could look like.
The Dark Horses had a thriller this past Friday night at home against the always tough Wallace-Rose Hill Bulldogs. Even the weather got in on the action, causing a brief postponement in play, but none of it derailed Clinton from claiming the East Central Conference Football Championship for the third time in a row, the final 36-27.
The Clinton Dark Horses finished the season undefeated at 7-0 overall and champions of the East Central Conference. The earned the No. 2 overall seed in the East and will host Eastern Randolph this Friday. The Wildcats finished 4-1 this season and were 2nd in the PAC-7 2A Conference behind undefeated Randleman. The winner of this game will advance to face the winner of No. 3 Northeastern and No. 6 Kinston.
Midway and Clinton met up for the first time this season out on the softball and soccer fields on Monday and the results were a pair of blow-out wins. Over on the soccer field, Clinton completely dismantled Midway to the point that the match was called off at halftime with an 11-0 blowout. In softball, the Lady Raiders dealt the Lady Dark Horses a loss, also by mercy-rule, after hitting 10-0 in the sixth inning.
Perfect weather greeted fans Wednesday night when they showed up for some East Central 2A Conference action at Midway High School. Wednesday marked the second time this week that the Lady Raiders and East Duplin had met up on the softball field, as the Lady Panthers yanked victory right out of Midway’s hands on a late 3-run home run in the bottom of the sixth on Monday. There would be no East Duplin heroics this time around; though they tried, Midway captured the victory and split the series, winning 2-0.
It was a night for huge celebration at Lakewood on Thursday. Facing off in a county rivalry game on Senior Night in Carolina 1A Conference football action, it was smooth sailing for the Leopards from the very beginning all the way to the final score that saw them race away to victory, 48-0.
The Hobbton Wildcats celebrated Senior Night on Thursday night before taking the field in their final home game of the 2021 Spring Football season. Gorgeous weather set the scene as the Wildcats welcomed in Carolina 1A Conference foe North Duplin to close things out. After the festivities, the two teams hit the field and duked it out, but it was the Wildcats that had everything bounce their way – literally. When all was said and done, it was Hobbton that came out on top, winning in impressive fashion, 53-12.
The Lady Leopards and Wildcats softball teams squared off in a back and forth tussle this past Monday at Lakewood. With a conference win on the line, the game went down to the wire before the home team pulled off the victory, 10-8.
It was a one-sided afternoon of women’s conference soccer at Lakewood on Monday between the Lady Leopards and visiting Hobbton. The Wildcats didn’t mess around in this matchup, keeping their undefeated streak alive in dominating fashion over their county rivals with a 6-0 win.
This week marks the regular season finale for our local football teams, and for several programs, will also mark the end of the 2021 Spring Football season. As of right now, Clinton is the only local team that will surely advance to postseason play. Midway has a long shot to get in as a wildcard, but they can’t afford any set-backs this week at James Kenan. For our 1A teams, Union, Hobbton, and Lakewood, things look far bleaker.
Clinton High School men’s soccer head coach Brad Spell unveiled four of his players have earned the selection of All-Conference for the 2021 East Central Conference soccer season. They are Lyle Brewington, Kristhian Cabezudo, Ashton Apolinario, and Caleb Kennedy.
It was a wild night in Wallace this past Friday night when Wallace-Rose Hill and Midway met up at the Thell B. Overman Football field in East Central 2A Conference action. After the Bulldogs put on quite a show in the first half to lead 33-0 at halftime, the Raiders mounted a furious comeback that fell just short. In the end, what was a game on the verge of a blowout ended in heartbreaking fashion as Wallace-Rose Hill staved off Midway’s heroics for a 40-35 victory; setting the stage for a battle with Clinton this week in the conference championship game.