Hough coach Miles Aldridge encouraged his players to keep fighting for 48 minutes.
The Huskies, No. 6 in the Observer Sweet 16, took their coach’s words to heart as they made the winning plays down the stretch on offense and defense to earn a 14-10 win against No. 9 Mooresville.
Hough sophomore running back Rashad Williams (94 yards, 23 carries ) scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 48 seconds left, capping an eight-play, 61-yard drive.
Five minutes earlier, it appeared Williams might have cost his team the game when he fumbled inside the Mooresville 5-yard line as Hough looked to take the lead .
Hough junior quarterback Jackson Gibbs (12-of-17 passing for 118 yards) also overcame a slow start and made big passes and runs late.
But it was the Huskies’ defense that came up big twice in the game’s last five minutes, first stopping the Blue Devils (1-1) on downs with 3:53 left to set up the game-winning drive.
Hough’s defense sealed the victory when senior cornerback Adam Smith stripped Mooresville receiver Johnathan Knox with the Blue Devils driving inside the Huskies’ 20-yard line with10 seconds left.
Mooresville junior running back Donshel Jetton led his team with 179 rushing yards and a touchdown on 26 carrries.
Quote: “I didn’t make the tackle on the first try. But I knew I had to come back and make a play and get the tackle. I was able to get the ball and make a play for my team. ...We knew we had to have (win) this game to show everybody they we (Hough) are the real deal.”
–Smith after his game-clinching tackle and fumble recovery that ended Mooresville’s comeback with 10 seconds left.
Records: Hough 2-0; Mooresville 1-1.
Worth mentioning: 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior defensive tackle Jamil Dukes made one of the game’s most impressive plays , grabbing a tipped interception off a Hough helmet and rambling 39 yards to set his team up for a 31-yard field goal. ... After a tough start, Gibbs was key on the game-winning drive, going 3-for-3 for 25 yards and making a 9-yard run for a key first down. ... Hough avenged last season’s 38-7 loss at Mooresville .
What's Next: Mooresville will host Hopewell on Friday, and Hough will visit Lake Norman. Both are nonconference games.