11/21/10 — Emotional Cats shut out Rosewood

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Emotional Cats shut out Rosewood

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 21, 2010 1:51 AM

NEWTON GROVE -- Hobbton, again, ran past Rosewood.

This meeting meant a little more.

The Wildcats won 35-0 and advanced to the western semifinals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A football playoffs Friday evening. However, they also remembered a teammate lost earlier the week.

Former starting quarterback Brad Evans took his own life and the team struggled to find answers. Evans would not have played in Friday night's contest due to a series of concussions earlier this season, but he certainly would have been in attendance to support his friends.

"Its hard to imagine what this community has been through in the last week," said Rosewood head coach Robert Britt. "I know that the folks here are in our prayers and they will be in our prayers going forward. It is a statement to the toughness of their kids and their coaches that they came out ready to play."

The Wildcats got off and running on their third offensive play of the game when Ira Moore broke free for an 80-yard scoring run.

Trailing 7-0, the Eagles put together an impressive drive that stalled at the Hobbton 25-yard line with a turnover on downs. Rosewood's second possession followed a similar script as a pass from Taylor McGill to Jykhia Applewhite came up just short of a first down on fourth-and-three.

The Eagles marched the ball down field again late in the second quarter, but were stopped at the one-yard line on fourth and goal.

"I thought the first half we really played well and we certainly had a chance to go into the half tied at seven," said Britt. "We just couldn't get that one play to get us over the edge."

Hobbton took advantage in the third quarter as Moore struck for a 68-yard score. After a failed Eagles possession, Zaiquain Barksdale found the end zone from 20 yards out. The Wildcats put the game away on a 33-yard scamper by Henry Barnes just 46 seconds later.

"We gave them a short field a couple times and they got their guys running down hill," said Britt. "I wouldn't have gone for it on fourth down as many times in a regular-season game, but in the playoffs you have to try everything you can to get back in it."

Gabriel Barksdale added a 25-yard scoring run for the Wildcats midway through the fourth quarter. Hobbton finished with 415 yards rushing as a team, 210 of those coming from Moore. The Wildcats won the game without attempting a single pass.

Applewhite led the Eagles with 83 yards on 13 carries. McGill completed six passes for 73 yards. Jamie Wooten hauled in three grabs for 41 yards.

Rosewood finished the season 5-8 overall.

"I think we had a good year and we built a nice foundation for the future," said Britt. "I am really proud of my guys and the work we put in as a team."

Hobbton (9-4) continues play Friday against Tri-County Conference rival Lakewood.