Hobbton’s varsity football team picked up its first win of the season in a 63-6 rout over visiting Carolina 1-A Conference foe Union on Homecoming on Thursday night.
“We’ve been such slow starters this year, that was a real focus was come out of the gates and be explosive and they did,” said Hobbton coach Joe Salas. “The seniors are playing their second to last game ever on this grass and its Homecoming, so it was emotional for everybody. And we needed a W bad, so I was super proud of them. Super proud of the seniors. The young guys got in there in the second half and I’m super proud of them. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there.”
Junior Loden Bradshaw completed 11-of-15 passes for 292 yards and seven touchdowns, with no interceptions and ran for two yards to lead the Wildcats (1-5, 1-3 CC).
“He was on the money tonight,” Salas said. “He keeps getting better. He started out shaky in our first game of the year, but every game he gets better. He’s a great leader, he’s a hard worker and he’s just a good kid, a good guy to have on a team.”
Daniel Britt had six receptions for 139 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a nine-yard touchdown. Colby Weeks had three receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Bobby Dial ran for 100 yards and a touchdown on two carries and had two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.
“Offensively, I think we have two freshmen starting on O-line, a freshman and a junior that had never played football before,” Salas said. “And then a new quarterback and a new running back. We’ve obviously had some growing pains, but they’re great kids and they’ve worked their tails off. It’s going to be fun down the road.”
Hobbton forced four turnovers on defense, led by senior Ruben Espino, with two fumble recoveries and an interception. Senior Hector Gonzalez also had a fumble recovery.
“In the FCA huddle this week, the question was, ‘Who’s mind would you want to be in,’ talking about professional athletes,” Salas said. “Half the team said they wanted to be in Ruben’s mind. They wanted to know how he thought and how he prepared. I thought that was a great testament to his mental fortitude and his mental toughness.”
Hipolito Soto ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and Charles Lane ran for 64 yards on 22 carries to lead the Spartans (0-5, 0-4).
Hobbton scored 63 unanswered points before Union’s lone touchdown came late in the fourth quarter.
Hobbton ends the season at home against conference foe North Duplin (3-3, 2-1) on Thursday.
“We’ve got our second biggest rivalry of the year next year,” Salas said. “It’s been nail-biters the last two years. It literally goes down to the last second of the game. They’re getting better each week, just like us. It’s going to be a great finale to the regular season.”