The Hobbton Wildcats’ football team took down a talented but inexperienced Chatham Central Friday night. This was the first win for the Wildcats since taking down the Bears two years ago. The final was 29-21, Hobbton.
The Wildcats had the first chance but a series of penalties killed their drive and they wound up punting. The Bears took over at their 37-yard line. On first down, they threw the ball right to Wildcats’ DaCorris Morrison, turning over the ball at the 29-yard line. Penalties came into play again. With six minutes left in the first quarter, the Wildcats were forced to kick it again.
The Bears turned the ball around at the Wildcat 44-yard line but wound up attempting a field goal with 1:10 left in the quarter. The kick was good; however, a penalty on the offense moved the ball back. The next kick hit the right upright of the goal post and bounced back onto the field.
With 55 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wildcats turned the ball around at their 20-yard line. On the second play of the second quarter, Hobbton quarterback Greyson Rogers found Jackson McLamb over the middle. McLamb scampered to the end zone. The play covered 69 yards. Hobbton’s kicker, Jovanna Zapata, hit the first of her three extra point kicks of the night. The Wildcats were up, 7-0, with 46 seconds into the second quarter.
The Bears got the football on their own 42-yard line. They moved the ball well; however, on a fourth and short, they came up just shy, when Morrison broke up a pass play to give the Wildcats the ball at their 27-yard line. The Wildcats moved the ball out toward mid-field where Rogers hooked up with Morrison on a 55-yard pass play to go up 13-0. The Bears jumped offsides on the point-after attempt moving the ball to the 1.5 yard line. The Wildcats elected to go for the 2-point conversion with Morrison sneaking in through traffic. The score, with 5:35 left in the half, was 15-0, Hobbton.
The Bears turned the ball around and completed a couple of passes with one of them being a 47-yard pass for a score. With the PAT kick, Hobbton held a 15-7 lead with 4:12 left in the half.
The Bears got another chance on offense and were threatening to scored when a penalty for an illegal receiver downfield stalled their drive. The attempted a field goal that went wide with 1:53 left in the half.
On the next series, the Wildcats lost and interception that set up the Bears in good field position resulting in a touchdown run with five seconds left on the clock. With the PAT kick, the Wildcats took a 15-14 margin into the break.
The Bears started action in the second half but didn’t get much. However, a Wildcat fumble after the Bears gave up the ball put them back in the thick of things. With 3:30 left it the third quarter, the Bears briefly took the lead at 21-15.
Early in the fourth, Morrison tied the game at 22 with a 30-yard run. Zapata’s kick gave the Wildcats a 22-21 lead. The Bears turned the ball around; however, the Wildcat defense proved too much and they gave up the ball on downs.
With 7:15 left, the Wildcats tallied again on a six-yard run by Rogers after Morrison got the ball down to the 6-yard line on a long scamper. With Rogers tocuhdown and Zapata’s kick, the score was 29-21.
The rest of the game was defense. With 1:15 left, the Wildcats’ defensive unit stopped the Bears on the Wildcat 8-yard line, where they were able to run out the clock ending with their first victory in two years.
“I’m super proud of the defense,” commented Hobbton coach Joe Salas. “They kept us in it. I think we were plus three on turnovers. We got one and gave them three. That’s like a 91 percent chance of losing. But, the defense kept us in it. They kept battling. The offense came through. The o-line played a 1,000 percent better than last week. That was the first win in two years, so our kids get to go to the first day of school on Monday 10-feet tall. So, they are going to be excited about the first day of school.”
The Wildcats are 1-1 on the season and will host the North Johnston Panthers Thursday night at 7 p.m.