Hibriten races past Pioneers 38-18
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
LENOIR — Watauga coach Tom Wright handed freshman Aaron Dobbins the keys to the Pioneers’ offense Friday night. For a first-time start, the reviews were positive.
Dobbins couldn’t bring Watauga a victory, but the 6-foot-2, 14-year old, who was on the junior varsity roster just two weeks ago, gave the Pioneers’ offense a spark.
Watauga’s problem was Hibriten’s offense; specifically the Panthers’ running game, was an explosion. Hibriten rolled up exactly 400 yards rushing and raced to a 38-18 victory at Jeff Storie Memorial Stadium.
Hibriten used its speed in the backfield mixed with a solid offensive line to crank out big play after big play. The Panthers scored three touchdown runs of at least 35 yards, and averaged 9.5 yards per rush.
Before Friday night, Dobbins’ playing time on the varsity was regulated to mop-up roles in three games. But Dobbins, who quarterbacked the Watauga Wolverines middle school team in 2011, showed poise in his first start. He completed 19-of-29 passes for 170 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown to Hunter Isaacs in the first quarter.
The pass capped a four-play, 53-yard drive that was aided by a pass interference penalty on a deep pass to Cameron Baker.
Isaacs’ touchdown answered a 62-yard touchdown run by Devell Maxwell on Hibriten’s second play from scrimmage. Hibriten answered Isaacs’ touchdown with a 6-yard Daquan Suddreth touchdown set up by a kickoff return that went to the Pioneers’ 19-yard line.
Dobbins also led the Pioneers on two more scoring drives. Watauga took advantage of a bad snap on a Hibriten punt by moving 47 yards in just 38 seconds. A 12-yard completion to Baker, and a key pass interference penalty gave the Pioneers a first down at the Panthers’ 19.
Dobbins found DeWayne Mackey for a 14-yard pass that gave Watauga a first down at the Hibriten 5-yard line. After Dobbins stopped the clock by spiking the ball, Stephen Shirley made a 22-yard field goal to pull the Pioneers to 21-10 as time ran out of the first half.
Running back Collin Augustine helped out Watauga’s final scoring drive by running the final eight yards of a nine-play, 71-yard drive into the end zone for a touchdown. Augustine, who played for the first time after missing six games because of a broken collarbone, ran the final 42 yards of the drive, including a 17-yarder that set up the touchdown.
Augustine got off to a slow start in the first half, but gained 51 of his 58 yards rushing on Watauga’s final scoring drive.
Hibriten barely tried to passing, but didn’t really need to. Daniels gained 92 yards on just six carries. Suddreth also gained 92 yards, but was on seven carries. Zac Walker added 71 yards on 12 carries.
Nine Panthers carried the football against the Pioneers.
Watauga hosts St. Stephens in the Pioneers’ final regular season game. A victory increases Watauga’s chances of receiving an at-large playoff bid. A loss could ruin those chances.
Hibriten 38, Watauga 18
Watauga 7 3 0 8 18
Hibriten 14 7 10 7 — 38
H—Maxwell 62 run (Vasquez kick)
W—Isaacs 32 pass from Dobbins (Parsons kick)
H—Suddreth 6 run (Vasquez kick)
H—Daniels 80 run (Vasquez kick)
W—Shirley FG 22
H—Vasquez FG 36
H—Suddreth 35 run (Vasquez kick)
H—Taylor 0 fumble recovery (Vasquez kick)
W—Augustine 8 run (Mackey run)
First downs 17 15
By rushing 5 14
By passing 9 0
By penalty 3 1
Rushes-yards 28-96 42-400
Avg. rush 3.4 9.5
Yards gained 123 423
Yards lost 27 23
Passing yards 170 0
Passes 19-32-0 0-2-0
Avg. att. 5.3 0.0
Avg. comp. 8.9 0.0
Sacks-by yards 0-0 1-5
Total plays-yards 60-266 44-400
Avg. gain 4.4 9.1
Punts-avg. 3-38.0 1-31.0
Net avg. 36.7 31.0
Inside 20 1 0
Fair catch 0 0
Penalties-yards 5-31 8-75
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0
Third down conv. 2-11 3-7
Fourth down conv. 2-6 0-2
Time of poss. 25:22 22:38
Rushing: Augustine 11-58, Accardi 2-20, Dobbins 4-10, Poulos 8-7, Mackey 1-5, Williams 1-(-1), Harrill 1-(-3).
Passing: Dobbins 19-29-0 170, Harrill 0-1-0 0, Team 0-2-0 0.
Receiving: Baker 6-79, Mackey 5-41, Steury 3-16, Williams 2-6, Isaacs 1-32, Deiters 1-0, Augustine 1-(-4).
Rushing: Suddreth 7-92, Daniels 6-92, Walker 12-71, Maxwell 2-66, Caldwell 4-28, Jones 3-27, Freeman 3-24, Taylor 3-18, Davenport 1-0, Team 1-(-18).
Passing: Caldwell 0-2-0 0.