Hobbton got a huge game from senior Bobby Dial to end a drought in its football rivalry with Midway on Friday night at Tommy Sloan Stadium in Spivey’s Corner.
Dial scored five touchdowns in a rainy 40-32 triumph for the Wildcats, who had not beaten their Sampson County neighbors in their annual showdown since October 28, 2011, when Hobbton hosted a 1-A conference clash and took a 48-34 victory.
Midway has since moved to the 2-A class.
Dial helped the visitors to a 14-0 lead in the most recent renewal with scoring runs of one and 19 yards, the first coming after a botched punt attempt by Midway deep in Raiders territory and the second on a 4th-and-1.
After Midway cut the deficit to 14-7 on a 2-yard run by Trey Gregory, Dial took the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to provide a 20-7 lead with 6:07 left in the first half.
The teams traded touchdowns by Gregory (1 yard) and Dial (22 yards) and fourth-down stops that left the Wildcats with a 27-14 lead at the half.
The defensive element was missing for the most part in Midway’s record-setting 80-73 road win in 2021.
Cole Weeks passed to Noah Adams for a 19-yard TD that extended Hobbton’s lead to 33-14.
A 41-yard fumble return for a score by Hunter Tyndall and 2-point conversion run by Gregory brought the Raiders within 33-22 with 26.4 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats went up 40-22 with 6:19 to go on a 22-yard TD run by Dial.
Midway answered with a 60-yard pass from Casey Culbreth to Tyndall to set up a 6-yard scoring carry by Gregory. The Raiders trailed 40-30 with 5:04 remaining but the only points scored the rest of the way were on a safety that Hobbton took voluntarily.
The Wildcats broke up three Midway passes in the final 17 seconds after the Raiders took possession at the Hobbton 35 following a free kick from the safety. Garret Britt intercepted in the end zone as the game ended.
“Super proud of players and coaches,” said Wildcats coach Joe Salas. “Total team effort. The defense, led by Garret Britt and Torren Melvin, played great all night.
“Special teams made two huge plays that resulted in 14 points. The offense, led by Bobby Dial and Cole Weeks, played great. The offensive line and receivers keep getting better.
“We’re looking forward to playing at home this week.”
Hobbton hosts Trask (0-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. The 2-A Titans are coming off a 20-8 home loss to Topsail in their season opener. The Wildcats outscored Trask, 90-63, on the road in 2021.
Midway will be home to take on South Brunswick on Friday night. South Brunswick defeated visiting Richlands, 30-10, to start the season. The Cougars topped Midway, 33-0, in Southport last year.