The Call: Butler High’s Jamal Worthy
Butler High running back Jamal Worthy said neither he nor his teammates were bothered in the least bit by having to come back to the Matthews Sportsplex on Friday to finish a game with Mecklenburg County power Hough.
The Bulldogs (1-0) began their 21-10 win Thursday night, but the game was stopped just after midnight late in the third quarter with Butler leading 14-7.
Thursday’s game was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. as the second in a kickoff doubleheader with Charlotte Christian playing Indian Trail Sun Valley in the opener. But the first game had a two-hour delay before Christian beat Sun Valley 35-13.
That pushed Butler-Hough way back and ultimately forced the teams to come back Friday to finish. Day 2 took about 30 minutes and resulted in one Butler score.
“It was quick,” Worthy said. “We had our game plan ready, and we were just ready for this win today. It was not that hard. We stayed in touch during the night to see what we could fix. We had a lot of penalties and fixed that. And we capitalized.”
Butler (1-0), No. 8 in the Sweet 16, built its lead by blocking three Hough kicks Thursday: a field goal and two punts. Butler recovered both punt blocks inside the Huskies’ 10 and scored two touchdowns.
On Friday, the game resumed with No. 7 Hough (0-1) on offense, and the Huskies immediately drove deep into Butler territory. But the Bulldogs’ Trey Richburg sacked Hough quarterback Darius Ocean on third down at the 7, and the Huskies settled for a 34-yard field goal.
Hough’s next possession ended near midfield, when Butler’s Jacalyn Morrison picked off an Ocean pass.
The Bulldogs put the game out of reach with 1:51 remaining, when Worthy scored on a 2-yard run. A 25-yard pass from Parish Metzger to Worthy set up that score.
“Our defense and special teams made the difference,” Butler coach Brian Hales said. “Our D-line kept pressure on their quarterback without us having to blitz. And the special teams? Blocking three kicks [Thursday] night was huge.”
Hough coach Matthew Jenkins said his team learned some important lessons.
“We’ll learn from this, and we’ll get better,” he said. “Winning games is always important to us, but what’s really important is improving. We were better today than last night. We’ll be better on Monday. And you can bet we’ll be better by late October and November.”