KANNAPOLIS The Hough Huskies have reason to favor playing their Cabarrus County conference opponents. For the second time in three weeks, Hough shut out a Cabarrus team in MECKA 4A play, turning back host Kannapolis Brown 14-0 on Friday.
Two weeks ago, the Huskies toppled Concord Robinson 73-0. Sandwiched between those two victories was last weeks loss to conference leader Mallard Creek.
Brown (6-2, 3-1) and Hough (7-1, 3-1) are tied for second behind Mallard Creek, which hosts the 14th-ranked Wonders next week.
Against Brown, Hough played ball control, scored just enough points to take pressure off the defense, and used interceptions by Mark Field and Cory Bell to secure the win.
I thought if the defense could come out and give us what they gave us tonight, we had a chance to win, said Hough coach Bobby Collins. We knew we had to come out and run the football which I thought we did well tonight.
The Huskies gained 133 yards on 33 carries. Senior Tylan Murrell gained 99 yards on 23 carries and scored Houghs first touchdown in the first quarter.
Quarterback Josh Stilleys precision passing in the second half was every bit as critical in Hough keeping control of the ball. He completed 9 of 13 attempts for 103 yards and led the Huskies to a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half to build a 14-0 lead.
Hough drove 83 yards on nine plays with Stilley completing 3 of 4 attempts for 59 yards, including a 27-yard score to Brett Walker.
On the touchdown, Walker lined up as one of three running backs but went in motion to the left. He got two steps behind the defense, caught the ball at the 2 and fell into the end zone as he was being tackled.
Murrell was Houghs first-quarter workhorse, gaining 63 yards on 10 carries.
Hough started its second drive of the game at its 40, and Murrells 26-yard run on third-and-1 put the ball at Browns 25. Twelve yards on two carries by Will McIntyre and 10 yards on a two runs by Murrell gave Hough a first-and-goal at the 3.
Murrell squeezed through walls of blockers and tacklers for a score on the next play as Hough led 7-0 with one minute, 51 seconds left in the quarter.
Successfully alternating running and passing plays on the ensuing possession, Kannapolis drove from its 21 to Houghs 22 in nine plays. Andrew Ramirez completions to Sandon McCoy (23 yards) and Gabe Lucero (17 yards) keyed the drive but Ramirezs pass in Casey Walkers direction in the end zone fell incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the Huskies 22.
A Kannapolis 72-yard drive in the third quarter ended on downs at the Hough 23.
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