Triton’s varsity football team returned from a layoff since Sept. 7 on Friday night and perhaps rustiness was a factor in a 22-14 Homecoming loss to Western Harnett.
The Eagles got their first win under second-year coach Blake Culbertson, taking a 7-0 lead on a 16-yard pass to Kentarius Thompson from Tristin Ung after a scoreless first quarter.
The Hawks (0-4) answered with a drive covering 76 yards that was capped by an 11-yard run from Austin Riewestahl. The conversion kick by Paul Wells tied the score at 7.
Triton led 14-7 on a 62-yard touchdown run by Malihk Giles, but Tamarius Davis brought the Eagles (1-5) within 14-13 on an 8-yard scoring reception.
Western went ahead to stay at 19-14 on a defensive return for a touchdown by Chris Smith with 11:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Dillon Smith’s 43-yard field goal for the Eagles completed the scoring.
The matchup marked the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference opener for both programs. In league contests Friday night, the Hawks travel to Union Pines and Western visits Lee County.