Hobbton rolls for second win

By David Johnson - Sports Writer
The Wildcats’ Brayden Herring lunges over the goal line for the touchdown following a reception. - David Johnson | Sampson Independent
Hobbton’s Rubin Espino upends Spring Creek’s Javon Newsome. - Sarah Suggs | Sampson Independent

Four games into the new season under new head coach Joe Salas, the Hobbton Wildcats are now even on the season at 2-2 following an impressive 33-6 win over the Gators of Spring Creek this past Friday. The Wildcats celebrated Mom’s Night on Friday night as the mom’s wore the white jerseys of their player.

Also noteworthy from Friday’s game, during a halftime event the football field was renamed in honor of longtime Hobbton football coach Al Britt. The Wildcats kept the stands full with a great crowd until late in the game when it became obvious that the Hobbton was going to get their second win of the season after going without a win for two years before that.

“It was an awesome defensive effort,” commented defensive coach Steve Mallard. “The offense came out ready to play second half and put points up on the board. It was just a great job for everybody.”

Head coach Joe Salas said, “We are undefeated on the new Al Britt Field and I’m super proud of the kids. We won the takeaway battle with the defense doing a fantastic job of keeping us in the game. The offense got cranked up and started doing some things. That was a game that could have been super close but the takeaway ratio, I think it was 6-1, turned it into a fun, fun game.”

The Wildcats had the first chance but lost an onside kick to the Gators. It didn’t matter much, however, as the Wildcats defense pushed the Gators back, forcing the Gators to punt.

The Wildcats took over on their own 30-yard line and marched the ball down field 70 yards for the score on Greyson Rogers 28-yard run for the touchdown. The Wildcats elected to try the two-point conversion where Rogers was successful again for an 8-0 Wildcat lead with 8:56 left in the first quarter.

Spring Creek started over on their own 40-yard line but gave up a fumble recovered by Hobbton’s Kelvin Stevens. After the recovery, the Wildcats started at their own 41-yard line but the Gators defense stiffened, forcing the Wildcats to punt.

Spring Creek then took back over on their 25-yard line and scored with 2:13 left in the quarter. The two-point conversion failed, however, and quarter ended with an 8-6 Wildcat lead.

Later, the Wildcats stopped the Gators on fourth down to giving Hobbton the ball back at the 45-yard line. Rogers, though, was intercepted at the 1-yard line to thwart an scoring opportunity. The Gators then got a 99-yard run for a score on first down only to have it called back on a penalty. After the penalty, they started over at their own 18-yard line and were forced to give the ball up on fourth down.

The Wildcats continued to have problems with the Gator defense as gave the ball up again on another turnover. The Gators started at their own 20-yard line but Hobbton’s Daniel Britt intercepted a pass and returned it to the Gators 35-yard line before being forced out of bounds. Unfortunately for Hobbton, the Wildcats were unable to convert the turnover into a score as the half ended with a slim Wildcats lead at 8-6.

Spring Creek started the second half with the ball on their own 40-yard line. Burning the clock with a ground game, they lost the ball on a fumble at the Wildcat 10-yard line to waste a scoring opportunity. With 4:30 left in the third quarter, Brayden Herring scored on an 11-yard pass to put the Wildcats up 14-6. Jovanna Zapata’s PAT was successful and gave the Wildcats a 15-0 lead.

With a good return, the Gators started at the Wildcats 47-yard line. Cody Massey, though, recovered a Gators fumble at the Hobbton 30-yard line. On first down, breaking tackles and dodging defenders, DaCorris Morrison scampered 70 yards for another Wildcats touchdown. Zapata’s PAT kick went wide left, giving the Wildcats a 21-6 lead with 1:52 left in the third quarter.

The Gators started their next drive on the Hobbton 40-yard line after a 20-yard return but they again were stopped, this time on fourth down by the Wildcats defense when the running back was tackled in the back field.

With 22 seconds left in the third quarter, the Wildcats started at the Gator 49-yard line. Then, twenty-three seconds into the fourth quarter, Morrison sprinted for another 33-yard touchdown. The PAT was wide once again, leaving the score at 27-6.

The Gators ran another series that didn’t go anywhere and Hobbton took over at midfield. With 7:01 left in the game, Rogers hooked up with Herring again for 39 yards, however, he was hit at the goal line and the ball came loose. With good fortune on Hobbton’s side, Perry Daughtry recovered the ball in the end zone for the score. The PAT kick was wide again to give the Wildcats a 33-6 lead.

Spring Creek was threatening again late in the game, however, they gave up the ball on downs at the 1-yard line when a pass play came up short with 45 ticks left on the clock. Hobbton was then able to run out the clock after Morrison got the ball out to the 11-yard line.

For the Wildcats, Rogers was 9-for-14 in the air for 145 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 84 yards on 10 attempts. Morrison had 10 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns as Hobbton as a team amassed 388 yards total offense.

Also offensively for Hobbton, in the passing game Morrison caught three catches for 24 yards while Britt snagged two for 50 yards and Herring caught four for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Spring Creek had a solid night offensively on the ground, tallying 48 carries for 193 yards.

The Wildcats’ Brayden Herring lunges over the goal line for the touchdown following a reception.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_Brayden-Herring-2.jpgThe Wildcats’ Brayden Herring lunges over the goal line for the touchdown following a reception. David Johnson | Sampson Independent

Hobbton’s Rubin Espino upends Spring Creek’s Javon Newsome.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_Rubin-Espino.jpgHobbton’s Rubin Espino upends Spring Creek’s Javon Newsome. Sarah Suggs | Sampson Independent
Rogers, Morrison amass huge second half, as Wildcat D shines

By David Johnson

Sports Writer

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]