Talking Preps: Previewing high school football games Friday, Sept. 13
After 34 straight games, the Hopewell Titans finally found themselves back in the win column on Friday.
The Titans took down the Garinger Wildcats 49-6 to earn their first win of the season. Before Friday, the Titans’ last win was also against the Wildcats -- back in August 2016.
Hopewell’s special teams play in the first quarter provided the spark for the first win of the season. On Garinger’s first two drives of the game, the Titans blocked back-to-back punts. Fred Bates had the first block that led to quarterback AJ Simpkins taking the ball in for a one-yard touchdown. Ace McGrew blocked the punt on the following drive that led to running back Jakari Johnson taking the ball in for a two-yard rushing touchdown. Johnson scored twice.
Julian Gray was the offensive playmaker of the game, totaling over 100 scrimmage yards and catching a touchdown. Simpkins provided steady play at the quarterback position, throwing a five-yard touchdown to Matt Flanders; who recorded two catches on a couple two-point conversions. Jacquez Johnson added a rushing score to open up the scoring in the first quarter. DJ Maultsby also added a rushing score in the Titan’s offensive output.
Hopewell’s defense was phenomenal all game long, especially in the 1st half where they wouldn’t allow Garinger to cross midfield. The lone Garinger Wildcats’ score came from running back Shawn Hatchett late in the third quarter.
Records: Hopewell is 1-2; Garinger is 0-4
THREE WHO MATTERED
Julian Gray (Hopewell): Involved in the running and receiving game with over 100 scrimmage yards
Matt Flanders (Hopewell): Caught a touchdown and caught two passes for two point conversions
Xavier Gaddy (Hopewell): Provided a great defensive effort with a sack and interception
Hopewell hosts West Mecklenburg next Friday (9/20); Garinger has a bye next Friday (9/20) but will host Myers Park on Friday, September 27.