5th Quarter Team of the Week: New Hanover Wildcats


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–If you thought that the football schedule couldn’t get even crazier for New Hanover High School, well you are wrong. Last Friday night the Wildcats clinched their spot in the Class 3AA Playoffs beating the Topsail Pirates 38-14. Now, in the first round of the playoffs, New Hanover will once again play Topsail.

The Wildcats started slow in the game last Friday night leading just 17-14 at the halftime break, but outscored the Pirates 21-0 in the second half.

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“Well all in all we came back and did what we needed to do in the second half. Like you said it was a complete second half. Our kicking game just keep continuing to improve and that is something that is going to be a factor in the state playoffs,”said New Hanover head coach Earl Smith.

The Wildcats have had their ups and downs this season as a team, but one thing that hasn’t wavered for Earl Smith’s team is their drive to be the best in the State. The Wildcats got the taste of a State title last season.

“I don’t think everybody wants to be just satisfied with one. I think the guys that are returning from last year, they want another one. So, hopefully we can go out and get it,”said senior Quarterback Blake Walston.

The NCHSAA released their State football bracket on Saturday afternoon and the Wildcats drew a familiar opponent in the Topsail Pirates. The two teams will square off in a winner go home game on Friday night, but this time its on the Wildcats home turf.

“It doesn’t make a difference wherever we play. Were still going to come out to the best of our potential that we have. We have to give it our all regardless whether were home or away,”said senior ZyKwan Mcquillan.

The playoff road will be a tough one for the New Hanover Wildcats, but the coaching staff thinks they have the intangibles to repeat, come December 15th.

“I think absolutely all the ingredients are there. They understand because so many of them did play in those games last season. In the five game we played, four of them we were behind. So that is something that will be part of it,”said Smith.

New Hanover and Topsail will kick-off at 7:30 P.M. on Friday night from Legion Stadium in Wilmington.