GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central grabbed its first Region 5-5A win of the season 49-20 over Hunters Lane on homecoming night Friday night behind an offensive showcase, particularly in the first half.
Hunters Lane won the coin toss and decided it wanted the ball first. Quickly, the stout Wildcat defense allowed Hayden Shults and the Wilson Central offense to take the field after a three-and-out drive.
Blake Hobbs took no time to open up the scoring as he scampered 9 yards to the end zone for the first touchdown of the night. A bad snap would not allow Esteban Hurtado to convert the extra point, so the score stuck at 6-0 Wildcats.
The Warrior offense continued to be held in check and a fourth down came up where they would be forced to punt from their own end zone. The snap was low and the punt would not get off. Seaton Hapner got to the Warrior punter in the end zone for a safety, and the Wildcats now led it 8-0 with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
The scoring did not end there as the ensuing possession after the safety kickoff resulted in seven more points. Hobbs found a hole and blasted through the line for 16 yards and TD No. 2 of the night. Hurtado completed the drive with the extra point as the lead grew to 15.
The second quarter came along and it started with just as much firepower. Hunters Lane opened up the quarter with a 4-yard QB keeper as Elijah Bailey found his way to six points. The Warriors’ 2-point attempt was no good and so the lead stuck at 15-6.
After the kickoff set the ball up at the 27-yard line, Robbie Spickard took the handoff and turned the jets on for a 73-yard touchdown run. Less than a minute into the quarter, two scores had already been put on the board and it was Wilson Central leading 22-6.
Warrior offense was still hard to come by, so the Wildcats got the ball back. On his first pass attempt of his senior year, Hayden Shults fired a pass down the field where he connected with Tavin Hardin for 30 yards and another touchdown.
The lead grew to 29-6 but they would still not be finished. Hapner completed the first half scoring with a 12-yard run where he found paydirt and the Wildcats boasted a 36-6 lead going to the locker room.
Opening up the second-half scoring was, only fittingly, Hobbs. After a long TD reception was called back, Hobbs busted through the line and found nothing but green grass ahead of him and now sat with three touchdown runs on the night.
Twenty-seven unanswered points later it was Hunters Lane finally putting the ball back into the end zone. De’Ontay Ramey ran the ball in from 2 yards out, while the 2-point conversion was no good and the lead was trimmed to 42-12. The scoring drive capped off the third quarter which consisted of much running clock as the mercy rule came into effect off-and-on throughout the period
Only two scores came from the fourth quarter, one by either team. Alex Atwell punched it in from 16 yards out for his first touchdown of the season. Hurtado’s kick went through the uprights and the lead was 49-12.
In a last-chance effort to bandage the pain, Hunters Lane manufactured the final scoring drive of the game. Bailey connected with Marke Mangum for 59 yards and a good 2-point conversion later, the score sat at 49-20 where it would stick until the clock hit triple zeros.
Hayden Shults lined up in victory formation to give Wilson Central region win No. 1 against a loss and improve its record to 4-1.
Offensively, the Wildcats totaled 334 yards on the ground from a variety of contributors. Spickard led the way with 88 yards on three carries and a TD while Hobbs fell just short of 100 at 84 while tallying three more touchdowns to his season total. Hapner and Atwell followed as each recorded a touchdown with 55 yards and 37 to their names, respectively. In his first game as QB, Shults completed 2 of 4 passes for 41 yards and a TD. Hardin recorded the lone score in the receiving game.
On the defensive side, the unit combined for seven tackles for loss and a sack. Ethan Kimes recorded a sack while Hobbs (1.5), Kimes (1.5), Bek Anvarov (1), Reece Bevis (1), Bryce Booth (1), Shults (0.5) and Spickard (0.5) all recorded a TFL.
Now 4-1, the Wildcats will now advance to the week everyone looks forward to. Wilson Central hits the road for the ‘Bear Den’ as it takes on longtime rival and undefeated Mt. Juliet Bears (5-0) in a classic rivalry week matchup. Kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. this coming Friday at Mt. Juliet’s Mel Brown Athletic Complex/Elzie Patton Stadium.