The Hough Huskies pulled off quite the upset on Friday, defeating the Vance Cougars 42-28 in the regular season finale for both teams. With the win, the Huskies locked up the second seed in the I-MECK 4A conference as they now set their sights on the playoffs.
Hough came out with a purpose on Friday as they sought revenge against Vance, which shut the Huskies out last season 25-0.
After Vance’s opening drive stalled, Hough scored on their first offensive play of the game. Quarterback Darius Ocean hooked up with Evan Pryor for the first of Pryor’s four touchdowns on the night, on a 53-yard pass. Vance quickly responded when Jordan Payne returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for the score. Pryor scored his second touchdown on the game last in the first quarter on a four yard run to put Hough up 14-6 going into the second quarter.
Vance responded to that score in the second quarter, when quarterback Austin Grier hit Jordan Payne on 67-yard touchdown pass, which was the first of Payne’s two in the game.
Stefon Thompson tied the game at 14 all with a two-point conversion run. However, with less than 30 seconds left in half, Ocean threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Pryor as Hough took a 21-14 lead into halftime.
The biggest point of the game came in the third quarter as Pryor scored his third touchdown on a 55-yard run and the Huskies scored on a 25-yard fumbled kickoff return as Vance was attempting a reverse.
Late in the third quarter, Austin Grier went down with an injury and backup Donta Armstrong came in to throw a 36-yard pass to Payne for his second receiving touchdown of the game. In all, Payne was the only offensive playmaker for Vance in the contest, totaling 181 receiving yards and two scores.
In the fourth quarter, Hough sealed the win on a Kwesi Kyel-Fordjour 6-yard run. Donta Armstrong added a 1-yard quarterback sneak score but it was too little too late for the Cougars.
After the game, Matthew Jenkins stressed that last week against Mallard Creek wasn’t the type of football he knows his team can play. But on Friday against Vance, the team came out focused and ready to go.
“After Mallard Creek, we didn’t really show who we were as a football team,” he said. “This week our kids wanted to come out to show the (Charlotte) area and the state the type of team we can be. I thought we played really well and I was impressed with the effort.”
RECORDS: Hough (7-4, 6-1 conference); Vance (8-2, 5-2 conference)
THREE WHO MATTERED
Evan Pryor (Hough): The junior RB/WR finished with 160 total yards (88 rushing, 72 receiving) and scored four touchdowns.
Darius Ocean (Hough): The senior quarterback threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns (both going to Pryor) in the win for the Huskies
Jordan Payne (Vance): Payne carried the Cougars offense in both receiving and in special teams. Payne finished with 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Payne also scored on an 82 yard kickoff return in the first quarter
Before Friday, the most points Vance had allowed during the regular season was 21 to Lake Norman
Hough won five out of their last six games to end the regular season (lost to Mallard Creek last Friday)
Hough’s 42 points were the second most points they scored in a regular season game (scored 54 against Hopewell)
The Hough defense made it difficult all night for Vance, providing constant pressure and getting home on six sacks and an interception by Storm Monroe. Julian Rawlins led the team with three sacks of his own.
THEY SAID IT
“We take pride in getting better every single week. We have gotten better every single week and whoever we see in the playoffs, they will see a better football team” Hough Head Coach Matthew Jenkins
“It was a really good team effort and a lot of people set up plays for other people and we created great defensive pressure all night” Hough defensive end Julian Rawlins
Hough 14 7 14 7 -- 42
Vance 6 8 6 8 -- 28
HOUGH: Evan Pryor 53 pass from Darius Ocean (Cole Maynard kick)
VANCE: Jordan Payne 82 kick return (Benitez kick no good)
HOUGH: Pryor 4 run (Maynard kick)
VANCE: Payne 67 pass from Grier (Stefon Thompson run 2pt conversion)
HOUGH: Pryor 19 pass from Ocean (Maynard kick)
HOUGH: Pryor 55 run (Maynard kick)
HOUGH: Jackson Ennis 25 fumble return on kickoff (Maynard kick)
VANCE: Payne 36 pass from Donta Armstrong (Benitez kick no good)
HOUGH: Kwesi Kyel-Fordjour 6 run (Maynard kick)
VANCE: Armstrong 1 run (Grier 2pt pass good)