Tom Eanes, former Davie star, coaches 106-83 win – in football

Published 2:23 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The craziest thing happened in Friday’s football game between visiting Hobbton and Pender. The Patriots gave up 83 points, yet won going away.

The final score turned heads all over the state: Pender 106, Hobbton 83. There’s a Davie County connection to the highest-scoring game ever in the NCHSAA annals: Pender coach Tom Eanes, 67, is a 1974 Davie graduate. He quarterbacked the 1973 War Eagles to an 8-2-1 season.

Hobbton and Pender combined for 189 points even though the game was stopped with a little over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter because the field lights shut off at 11 p.m.

“I’m pretty tired,” Eanes told the Wilmington Star-News. “It was a heck of a ballgame. I don’t know if we could tackle anybody.”

The Patriots averaged about 2.2 points a minute on a night when they attempted two passes, completing one for three yards. They pounded away on the ground 76 times, with junior running backs Jeremiah Johnson (44 carries, 377 yards, six touchdowns) and Jassiah Hill (17 carries, 291 yards, six TDs) combining for 668 rushing yards and 12 TDs. In all, Pender rolled up 912 yards on the ground.

Pender had a 40-29 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Wildcats outscored Pender 20-14 in the second quarter, leaving the halftime score at 54-49 in favor of the Patriots, who took a 70-63 lead into the fourth. Pender went on a 36-20 run in the fourth and improved to 4-3.

“(The players) were just so excited to get a win, and it was a total team effort to get it done,” Eanes said.

This was not the first time the Patriots’ offense went bananas; they opened the season with an 88-34 win over Lejeune. The previous state record for combined points was 153 set in 2021 when Midway defeated Hobbton 80-73.