New Hanover 51 Topsail 28
With the game tied headed into the fourth quarter, New Hanover scored 23 unanswered points over the final 12 minutes of the game to break away from Topsail 51-28 at Legion Stadium.
The Wildcats extended their win streak to six straight and sealed the top spot in the Mideastern Conference, while Topsail fell to 2-3 in league play and 5-5 overall.
Quarterback Burke Estes set the regular season school record for passing yards last week and followed the performance with five touchdown passes to five different receivers. He completed 20-of-25 pass attempts for 276 yards, while Keegan Santos had 12 rushes and two catches for 75 all-purpose yards.
Estes hit Lamont Howard on a one-yard touchdown pass to put the Wildcats in front just two minutes into the ballgame after Topsail fumbled the snap during a punt to give New Hanover possession on the doorstep.
The senior connected with Garrett Walston on a 15-yard pass for his second scoring strike to make it 15-0 late in the opening frame, but the Pirates used an 11-play drive to get on the board thanks to a one-yard run by Drew Gaither early in the second quarter. Walston finished with five catches for 44 yards.
New Hanover’s offense continued to move the ball at will early as Estes threw his third touchdown of the first half on a nine-yard hookup with Carl Scott as the Wildcats went up 22-7 before Justin Smith took a 55-yard run to the house to cut the Topsail deficit to nine.
The Pirates scored points on three straight drives before the break and used a two-yard run by Jacob Floyd to pull within one at the half.
New Hanover extended its lead on the opening drive of the third quarter on Freddie Taylor’s touchdown reception from Estes to go up 28-21 until Smith answered with a seven-yard trip to the end zone late in the period.
Santos put the Wildcats back in front minutes into the final frame and Estes found Wiz Vaughn on a 35-yard strike to put the game in check before Nas Brown finished off the effort with a scoop and score on a nine-yard fumble recovery.
Vaughn finished with three receptions for 79 yards and Taylor had four catches for 46 yards.
New Hanover moved to 5-0 in conference and 8-2 overall. The Wildcats look to close the regular season unbeaten in league play with a trip to South Brunswick on Friday, Nov. 6.
New Hanover 15-7-6-23=51
Hoggard 34 Ashley 6
Former longtime Hoggard defensive coordinator Jeff Turner made his return to Braswell Stadium for the first time as head coach of the Screaming Eagles on Friday night, but the Vikings spoiled his arrival with a big first half in a 34-6 victory on senior night.
Hoggard improved to 4-1 in conference and 6-4 overall, while Ashley dropped to 2-3 in league play and 3-7 on the year.
Bryant Sasser used a quarterback sneak to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead with 5:07 left in the first quarter before Josh Jones took over under center and hit Hunter Louthan on a 39-yard touchdown pass early in the second frame.
Rashod Wallace added a 60-yard run with about six minutes to go in the half before closing the drive on a one-yard dive into the end zone for the 20-0 cushion at the break.
After both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter, Evan Allegret took a jet sweep 16 yards in for the score and Sasser hit senior Tim Conway late in the game for his first touchdown of the season.
Juwan Williams had a nine-yard touchdown reception for Ashley’s lone score of the night.