High School Sports

Hough takes advantage of Myers Park errors, wins 39-17

Jarrett Nagy’s running along with its error-free offensive football would have been all Hough needed Friday night against 4AA playoff foe Myers Park.

But the host Mustangs contributed three big mistakes, and Hough took advantage for a 39-17 victory.

The Huskies, ranked seventh in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, advance to the West Regional finals next Friday against conference foe Mallard Creek.

Nagy rushed for 167 yards, and teammate Nolan Groulx accounted for all nine of the Huskies’ pass receptions.

Sixth-ranked Myers Park, coming off its first victory over Butler a week ago, was hurt by a pair of safeties – each coming on bad snaps – and an interception returned for a touchdown. The Mustangs were outscored 23-0 in the first eight minutes of each half.

Hough opened the game by driving 79 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 9-yard run by Nagy. On Myers Park’s first play from scrimmage, the ball was snapped over quarterback Brayden Hawkins’ head and rolled into the end zone. Hawkins fell on the ball for a safety.

Hough then drove 44 yards on its next possession and scored on a 2-yard Nagy run.

Myers Park found itself in a 16-0 hole less than eight minutes into the game – and having run only one play on offense.

The other safety came early in the second quarter, when the ball was snapped over punter Tyler Dameron’s head and into the Myers Park end zone. Dameron outran several Hough players and landed on the ball.

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Hough wide receiver Nolan Groulx, left, fights for yardage as Myers Park defensive back Tre Bly, right, looks to make the tackle during first-half action of N.C. 4AA high school football quarterfinals action at Myers Park High School on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Myers Park battled back from the early deficit and closed to 18-10 at halftime.

But on the first play of the third quarter, Hough’s Jalen Frazier stepped in front of a Hawkins pass at the Myers Park 32 and returned the interception for a touchdown. The Mustangs closed to 25-17 on a Muhsin Muhammad touchdown catch midway in the third quarter, but Hough closed it out with touchdowns from Nagy (2-yard run) and Groulx (45-yard reception).

Records: Hough is 11-3; Myers Park finished 12-2.

3 who mattered

Jarrett Nagy (Hough): The Huskies’ 5-9 senior running back carried 25 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns. On a cold night, he never fumbled the ball.

Khamal Howard (Myers Park): In his final high school game, the Mustangs’ senior running back carried 21 times for 129 yards.

Nolan Groulx (Hough): He had nine receptions for 121 yards and scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass that clinched the victory. On that catch, Groulx evaded five Myers Park touchdowns on route to the end zone.

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Hough quarterback Kennique Bonner-Steward dives forward for yardage as a Myers Park defender looks to make the tackle during first-half action of N.C. 4AA high school football quarterfinals action at Myers Park High School on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Observations

▪  Hough kicker Cam Lewis did a good job of eliminating Myers Park kickoff return specialist Muhsin Muhammad as a weapon. Lewis’ first five kickoffs went into the end zone. Muhammad returned two kicks but not for big yardage.

▪ Give credit to Hough offensive linemen Jonnie Varga, Jack Carter and Je’rea Bethune, who repeatedly opened big holes for Nagy on the right side of the line.

▪ In addition to his interception return for a touchdown, Jalen Frazier also had two key pass break-ups for Hough.

Worth mentioning

▪ It was the third meeting all-time between the two schools. Myers Park won the first meeting, 55-28 in August 2011. Hough won a year later 35-11.

▪ Despite temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s, there were no lost fumbles in the game.

What’s next?

▪ Hough plays next Friday at Mallard Creek in the 4AA West Regional finals; Myers Park’s season is finished.

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