For Merritt Island Christian, giving the ball to Caleb Hobbs near the goal line was a good idea Friday night.
Hobbs scored all five Cougar touchdowns on runs of five or less as Merritt Island Christian dominated International Community 34-7. What makes the performance that much more amazing is the fact that he was dealing with an ankle injury that was also somewhat re-aggravated in the game.
“He tweaked his ankle on a kick return in the game last week,” said Merritt Island head coach David Nevad on Hobbs. “We tried to be easy with him in practice but he’s a tough kid and he fights through strong and he didn’t slow down at all. Even though he got stepped on again, he just needed a couple plays and he was good again.”
Hobbs’ first score came with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter and capped off a methodical opening drive that set a tone for the game with the Cougars having a huge edge in time of possession. His second two scores came in the second quarter, which gave Merritt Island Christian a 21-0 halftime lead.
His final two scores came within four seconds of each other in the third quarter. Hobbs scored on a five-yard run with 6:09 left to make the score 28-0, and he scored again from two yards out after the Cougars recovered the subsequent kickoff, though Merritt Island Christian missed the extra point attempt.
International Community notched its lone score of the game late in the third quarter when Cruz Mendez scored on a 5-yard run with 3:05 to play, but that was all the Comets would muster on this night against a tough Cougars defense that did a good job against the run and relentlessly rushed the passer.
KEY PLAYERS: Hobbs ran 17 times for 84 yards in addition to his five scores. Max Power led the team in rushing yardage with 137 yards on 18 carries. Daniel Venable added 48 yards on 14 carries. Mendez ran 12 times for 54 yards for the Comets in a losing effort.
THEY SAID IT: “We preach, we’ve been saying it in film,” said Nevad about his offensive line. “Stay on, stay on, stay on. We get off our blocks too quick and I think we stayed on a little bit longer tonight and that helped us spring rather than a 2-yard gain or a loss we’re bumping out to five, 10-yard gains.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Cougars have the week off before playing at Seffner Christian on Oct. 19.