LENOIR — Having won three of four games and playing its best football of the season to keep a late playoff push alive, Patton simply ran into the wrong opponent Friday to end the regular season.
Fourth-ranked Hibriten finished off its fourth consecutive undefeated conference title season with a 52-0 rout of the visiting Panthers in Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference play. It was Hibriten’s 27th consecutive league win since an October 2015 loss to Patton.
Hibriten led 14-0 after one quarter and 35-0 by halftime, ushering in the running clock at 42-0 with 6:31 left in the third period on a Zion Norwood 52-yard touchdown run.
Norwood had scored on the ground from 80 yards out early in the second period shortly after PHS’ most productive opening-half drive ended in a blocked field goal.
Marcus Jones bookended the first half with touchdown receptions from Daren Perry (19, 30 yards), and Trey Piercy and Elijah Suddreth also rushed for TDs prior to halftime. A Kobe Morrison 67-yard TD run and Griffin Bryson 27-yard field goal in the fourth completed the scoring in the contest.
Patton (4-7, 3-4 NWFAC) was led offensively by three seniors playing their final prep game. Weston Fleming had 58 total yards of offense (35 passing, on 4 of 9 attempts), Jackson Vance rushed for 34 yards and Bryson Ratliff had 43 yards from scrimmage (28 receiving).
Patton allowed 385 rushing yards and fumbled twice, the game’s only two turnovers. The Panthers miss the postseason for the first time since 2014.
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