HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Panthers rip Red Devils, run win streak to 21

Hibriten scores 63 on N-C, stays unbeaten through 5 games

Hibriten is 36-1 since 2016 and opens league play on Friday seeking its 15th consecutive conference victory, having beaten Hickory in the final game of the Northwestern 3A-4A schedule in 2015, going 7-0 in that league the next year and going 6-0 last season in the Northwestern Foothills 2A… The Panthers have won back-to-back league titles and six titles – five outright and one share – since 2003… Hibriten has 11 straight non-losing seasons, 10 winning records and a 6-6 in 2011 when it received two forfeits from Hickory (regular-season, state playoff game).


NEWTON – The wins — most of them by big margins — continue to stack up for powerful Hibriten High’s football team.

The Panthers rolled to their 21st straight victory on Thursday night, spanking Newton-Conover 63-19 at Gurley Stadium to go to 5-0 in rematch of a game a year ago that Hibriten won by a point (18-17).

This year’s game was not close, as Hibriten opened a 28-13 lead after one quarter and had the Red Devils (2-2) down 49-19 by halftime.


Gee Witherspoon ran for more than 200 yards on eight carries to spark the Panthers, defending state 2AA champions (16-0). They did not complete a pass and posted 599 yards on offense and held Newton-Conover to 238.

Witherspoon scored on runs of 40, 33, 40 and 51 yards, and Marqwone Jones had scoring runs of 62 and 56 yards in the victory. Jones ran for more than 140 yards and Aaron Logan added 80 yards and a rushing TD for the Panthers.

The 86th career win for Hibriten head Coach Clay Lewis featured eight rushing TDs and an interception return for a TD by Karson Pilkenton.

Allen Wilfong rushed for more than 162 yards for the Red Devils. He scored a rushing TD in the first quarter and quarterback Justice Craig threw a 39-yard TD pass to Kyjuan McClain in the second quarter.

Newton-Conover was within 28-18 after Craig’s TD throw, but the Panthers ignited for three scores to lead by 21 points at halftime.

Craig threw for 100 yards with 78 of those on throws to McClain.

Hibriten goes for its 22nd consecutive victory on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when it opens defense of its Northwestern Foothills 2A title against Bunker Hill on homecoming night at Hibriten.

The Red Devils, 11-5 in their last 16 games, start their South Fork 2A schedule on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Lincolnton.


Hibriten has won three straight in the series… Newton-Conover leads the series 9-4… The Panthers had last won at Gurley Stadium in 1996 (35-20)… The win margin in the three most recent games was the Red Devils by one in overtime in 2007 in Newton and Hibriten by five points in 2008 in Lenoir and by one point last year in Lenoir.

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