Triton’s varsity football team kept its playoff hopes alive with a 49-20 win over visiting Harnett Central on Friday night.
The Hawks improved to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference. Triton is one of five teams in contention for four at-large spots in the NCHSAA Eastern 3-A and 3-AA brackets, according to HighSchoolOT. Postseason pairings are scheduled to be announced on Saturday.
The Hawks bounced back from a 52-7 loss at Lee County on Monday to lead the Trojans (2-5, 2-3) by a 42-7 margin at halftime.
“Very proud of this team for overcoming the big loss on Monday,” said Triton coach Ben Penny. “They were focused on Tuesday morning and I knew they would be all in.
“Our seniors carried us. This is a great group of kids and a great group of leaders.
“We played well on both sides of the ball tonight.”
Hawk senior Malachi Batts had six rushes for 108 yards and a touchdown. He had two receptions for 118 yards and a score.
Freshman Javon “J.J.” Cowan ran 13 times for 170 yards and four TDs for Triton.
Senior quarterback J.P. Petoletti was 3-for-3 passing for 145 yards and two scores. Dylan Smith had a 24-yard scoring catch.
Ramsey Jones had an interception and a safety in the win. Ross Stevens also had a pick for the Hawks.
Cowan opened the scoring with a 35-yard run as Triton took a 7-0 lead. Devin Perry had a 3-yard touchdown run for Central to tie the score at 7.
The Hawks began to pull away as Cowan went into the end zone on a 10-yard run and Petoletti found Batts on a pass play that covered 71 yards. Triton led 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter scores for the Hawks included a 62-yard run by Batts, an 11-yard carry by Cowan, a 24-yard pass to Smith and a safety by Jones.
Cowan added a 49-yard run for 49-7 lead. Jaden Bryant moved to quarterback for the Trojans after an injury to De’Andre McAllister. Bryant had a 52-yard touchdown run and a 21-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Jones.