Bishop Ford was nervous before his first game in a Hough High jersey.
The senior running back settled down by racking up 196 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries in the Huskies’ 34-20 victory against Sun Valley in the season opener at Memorial Stadium. Ford, a transfer from Gastonia Forestview, took advantage of gaping holes to get into the Spartans secondary for big plays when the Huskies needed them.
“The line was giving me big holes to run through all night,” he said. “It was just perfect all night.”
Hough (1-0) finished with 317 yards total offense, including 192 on the ground. Ford had the majority of the Huskies’ 29 carries and five were for double-digit gains.
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Hough took advantage of prime field position to fashion a 20-7 halftime lead, but three turnovers deep in Sun Valley territory spoiled scoring opportunities.
“We were sloppy, and I’ve got to do a better job of coaching,” said Hough first-year coach Miles Aldridge. “I didn’t do a very good job.”
The Huskies outgained Sun Valley 194 yards to 167 in the first half, including 109 yards on 10 running plays. The Spartans labored to crack Hough’s defense outside of a 59-yard touchdown pass from Demarco Reaves to Jeremiah Miller but got a second-half spark from running back Albert Funderburke, who ran for 192 yards on 23 carries, including a 76-yard touchdown run.
“We’re extremely tickled,” Sun Valley coach Tad Baucom said. “We’re really proud of our kids’ effort. It was an extremely hot night and nobody flakes out. Last year, we had guys dropping like flies right and left.”
Hough went in front on a 43-yard, four-play drive capped by a 15-yard scoring pass from Will Coleman to Marquill Osborne. Ford, who ran for 106 yards on 10 first-half carries, increased the bulge to 13-0 on a 76-yard burst through the middle and down the left sideline past the Spartans. A 30-yard connection on second and 15 from Coleman to Corey Sutton set up Ford’s second touchdown, a 4-yard run to cap a three-play 29-yard drive that put Hough on the verge of a blowout.
Sun Valley turned to a trick play to pull within 13 just before the half. Reaves took a backward pass from Isaiah Hicklin and tossed a strike to Miller, who broke free down the middle for the score with 55 seconds left.
Ford went back to work in the second half, scoring on a 49-yard sprint up the middle and a 9-yard run to cap the scoring with 7 minutes, 7 seconds left.
“It wasn’t all perfect,” he said. “We had a lot of turnovers. We’ve got room to get better.”