On a foggy night in Spivey’s Corner, Midway edged visiting Sampson County rival Hobbton 44-38 in a non-conference varsity football shootout Tuesday.
“We did what we had to do to pull it out there at the end,” said Midway coach Cory Barnes. “The kids played hard. We put some balls on the ground (fumbles), which has happened some in the past three weeks. It almost came back to bite us again, but we somehow hung on and finally got back in the win column.”
“Hat’s off to them,” said first-year Hobbton coach Joe Salas. “They stopped us. We had a chance to win and they stopped us. It was there for the taking. I’m proud of the guys. We improved the things we focused on.”
Junior Deantae Byrd ran for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and senior Dante Blue ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries and had a nine-yard reception to lead the Raiders (3-7).
“You try to get your athletes the ball,” Barnes said. “We thought we’d take advantage of them up the middle a little bit.”
Carson Calcutt completed 10-of-19 passes for 130 yards and ran for 74 yards on eight carries. Cameron Barefoot had five receptions for 72 yards. Carsse Lucas had two receptions for 19 yards. Cal Tyndall had a 17-yard reception. Jaden Covington had a 13-yard reception.
Grayson Rogers was 24-of-33 passing for 304 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 34 yards on 18 carries, Daniel Britt had seven receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown, Dacorris Morrison ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and had four receptions for 24 yards and Preston Daughtry had a nine-yard reception for the Wildcats (5-6).
“They actually took away our best run,” Salas said. “They did a great job on defense. We had the ability to throw it and they did a great job. We
Hobbton senior kicker Jovanna Zapata was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra point attempts. She also made a 24-yard field goal.
Midway scored on the opening drive on a seven-yard Byrd run. Calcutt ran for two.
Hobbton answered with a one-yard Morrison run, Josh Royal recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Rogers completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Herring to give the Wildcats the lead.
Midway tied the game when Byrd scored on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive on a 71-yard run. The conversion attempt failed. Midway reclaimed the lead for good late in the first on a seven-yard Blue run. Calcutt ran for two.
Byrd and Morrison each broke the 100-yard rushing mark in the first quarter.
Rogers found Herring for a 17-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, but Midway responded with a pair of touchdown runs from Blue, one 16 yards and the other 35 yards, with Calcutt throwing to Barefoot for two after each.
Hobbton cut into the lead late in the second with a 24-yard field goal from Zapata.
The Wildcats had the lone score in the third quarter when Rogers completed a 53-yard touchdown to Britt.
Byrd had been out with an ankle injury for Midway since the first quarter, but returned early in the fourth, scoring on a 59-yard run on his first play back. The conversion attempt failed.
“He goes in there and does what he did most of the night,” Barnes. “He breaks one, which ends up being the game-winner.”
Late in the fourth, Morrison made it a one-score game with a three-yard touchdown run.
Following a Midway fumble at the goal line, Hobbton had one last chance late in the game, but was stopped on fourth down near midfield and Midway was able to run out the clock.
Tuesday’s game was the regular season finale for Hobbton, which will await the release of the NCHSAA 1-A state playoff brackets.
“We’re fired up,” Salas said. “That was our goal from the first day of the spring and we made it. I couldn’t be more happy for these guys. They’ve battled and grown and keep getting better.”
Midway ends the regular season Friday, hosting East Central 2-A Conference foe Spring Creek (1-9) for Senior Night.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re healthy,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to win Senior Night. Hopefully, if we can win, it puts us on the bubble to make the playoffs, to sneak in. That’s what we’re playing for. We’re playing for the seniors and to hopefully sneak into the playoffs. From what I’ve seen, Spring Creek runs Wing-T and we’ve played some really good Wing-T teams. Hopefully that helps us going into Friday since it is such a short week.”