Having a three-day break didn’t do Hough coach Miles Aldridge any favors.
But his players made sure Aldridge felt a lot better Monday night, with the Huskies battling back for a 31-29 rain-delayed victory over North Mecklenburg.
Zach Stearns hit a 31-yard field goal with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining to put Hough (7-3, 5-1 MECKA 4A) in the lead. Mark Fields II then sealed the Huskies’ fourth straight win over the Vikings (3-7, 2-4) with an interception less than 10 seconds later.
Hough’s win – its third straight – also sets up a battle for second in the MECKA 4A standings with Vance (8-2, 5-1), with the two teams facing off in Friday’s regular-season finale.
“They were just as good as we were – we just wound up two points better,” Aldridge said. “This one had kinda lingered with me all weekend. I’m not used to having to worry about two games.”
North Mecklenburg had led by as many as 10 points in the first half, and was up 17-14 when play was called Friday because of heavy rain and lightning.
But once the game resumed Monday night, keeping the lead proved to be a problem for both teams, with five lead changes in just over a quarter and a half.
Bishop Ford ran for 193 yards and three touchdowns for the Huskies, with his 5-yard touchdown run on Hough’s first possession of Monday’s resumed game giving them a 20-14 lead.
A weird blocked punt by North Mecklenburg – Robbie Quinlan’s kick went off the back of teammate Kendall Coles and out of the end zone for a safety – put the Huskies up 22-14.
But the Vikings came back – Corey Patton, who ran for 135 yards and two scores, drove in a 19-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for a 23-22 North Meck lead.
Van Smith capped an 82-yard Hough drive with his 3-yard touchdown run for a 28-23 lead with 6:13 remaining, but Nolan Beasley put the Vikings back on top 29-28 with 2:59 left with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Malik Byrd.
“We went toe to toe with the team that’s going to play for second place in the MECKA 4A,” said North Mecklenburg coach Brad Baker. “The ball bounces the wrong way, it seems like, and it bounced the wrong way for us tonight.”