High School Sports

Providence holds off Hough behind Julian Boddie’s running, Kendren Smith’s defense

Julian Boddie ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns, and Kendren Smith answered a big-time challenge Friday night, leading Providence to a 31-27 victory over visiting Hough.

Boddie wore down the Huskies in the fourth quarter, carrying the ball 36 times in the game.

But it was Smith, a defensive back, who had two of the game’s biggest plays.

Boddie’s third touchdown of the game brought Providence to within 27-24 of Hough with 8:59 to play. On Hough’s third play of the ensuing drive, Smith stepped in front of a Huskie pass and dashed 27 yards into the end zone for what proved to be the winning score.

Hough, ranked No. 13 in the Observer’s Sweet 16, got the ball back with less than a minute to play. Huskies quarterback Kennique Bonner-Steward tried to connect on a long pass with standout wide receiver Nolan Groulx, but Smith managed to get a hand on the ball and break it up. That left eight seconds on the clock, and Hough tried the same play again. This time, Smith leaped into the air and picked off the pass.

Providence coach Brad Bowles said he told Smith during the week that he could match up well with Groulx, a heavily recruited transfer from Davidson Day.

“I told him, ‘You are good enough to stop him,’ ” Bowles said.

Two Hough penalties played a key role in the game. The Huskies had a third-and-1 from their 32 but were called for illegal procedure. That forced them into a passing situation – the pass that Smith picked off for the touchdown.

On the next possession, Hough drove to the Providence 31 but was called for a personal foul. They were unable to convert and forced to punt.

Quote: “Julian is an outstanding runner, but I want to credit our offensive line, because they really blocked well tonight.” – Providence coach Brad Bowles.

Records: Hough is 0-2; Providence is 2-0.

Worth mentioning: Boddie, who carried the ball 36 times, left the game shortly before the half. Bowles said Boddie got overheated. He returned early in the second half … Rashad Williams had a big game for Hough, carrying 10 times for 120 yards … Hough kicker Cam Lewis was just a few yards short on a 59-yard field goal attempt shortly before the half. He also punted five times for a 41.5-yard average.

What's Next: Hough is home next Friday against Concord; Providence plays next Friday at Myers Park.