There was no second-half letdown for Hough High.
The Huskies raced to a big first-half lead and made it stick in a 44-20 homecoming win against A.L. Brown in a MECKA 4A game on Friday, putting behind them last week’s 30-point collapse in a loss to Mallard Creek.
“We just knew we had to come out and fight after halftime, not get happy with the lead,” said Hough running back Bishop Ford, who ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. “After we got up a lot at halftime, we just had to focus when we came back out.”
Said Hough coach Myles Aldridge: “Bishop’s had a great year. He’s probably up to 900 yards rushing by now. He’s been a very strong point of our offense all year – in fact, he’s our strongest because we’re not really consistent at throwing the ball, protecting and blocking.”
Hough (5-3, 3-1) never lost focus on the mission, cruising along on a 31-point advantage early in the third quarter. The Huskies’ ground game kept them in front by chewing up chunks of yardage while controlling possession. Of Hough’s 400 yards total offense, the Huskies ran for 252 compared to Brown’s 267. Most of the Wonders’ total came on a pair of long touchdown runs (75 and 55 yards) by Damon Johnson, who rushed for 144 yards on eight carries.
“When you’re playing a team that has six or seven (Division I) players on it and a lot of talent as big as they were and physical as they were, you have to play a perfect game,” Brown coach Mike Newsome said. “We didn’t play a perfect game.”
The Wonders’ first-half highlight was Johnson’s 75-yard scoring run on the first play from scrimmage. After that, Brown (4-4, 2-2) was limited to another 42 yards total offense before the break as Hough seized control of both sides of the ball.
Hough made liberal use of the ground game, churning out 242 in the first half in grabbing a 38-7 lead at recess. Ford ran for 153 yards and touchdowns from 15 and 9 yards in the first half and the Huskies had four runs of at least 15 yards, including Carl Tucker’s 71-yard sprint for a score.
“I just had to make a couple of guys miss,” Ford said. “Overall, it was pretty good. I just need a little bit of a seam.”
Hough’s defense stymied the Wonders, keeping Brown out of the Huskies’ end of the field other than Johnson’s long runs and a 29-yard run by Jalen Cagle in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.
“You hope things would be different,” Newsome said. “We thought we had a good game plan. We put our defense on the field way too much. Offensively, we made too many mistakes and left our defense on the field and that was unfortunate for them because I thought all in all they played pretty well.”