Hoover 29, Hewitt-Trussville 28 Final | Friday - October 2, 2020 | Class 7A, Region 3 Game
RB #2 Jaylen Taylor (Hoover) on a touchdown run against Hewitt-Trussville Friday night
TRUSSVILLE, Alabama -- The #2 Hoover Bucs trailed for most of the game, but took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter to defeat Hewitt-Trussville 29-28 in a classic Class 7A, Region 3 game Friday night. Hewitt-Trussville drove deep into Hoover territory, but the Bucs defense held on downs to end the game. The Hoover defense held the Huskies scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Hoover (7-0, 4-0) kept Hewitt-Trussville out of the end zone on two fourth quarter drives, while the Huskies had two very good opportunities in the quarter to get the game winning score but was turned away by the Bucs defense. "We didn't help ourselves early in the game, but God be the glory," said Bucs Head coach Josh Niblett. "You have to find a way to persivere and fight through it and we did that. We made some plays when we needed to. We got off the field when we needed to. We have to get a lot better if we want to play in December, but we will get it fixed. I'm proud of our kids the way they hung in the game. They have a lot of fire power offensively. Championship teams find a way to win even not on your best days. This isn't an easy place to play."
The Huskies had two big opportunities on scores when they fumbled at the Bucs 1-yard line and had a personal foul block down the field on a touchdown run that was wiped away due to the penalty in the second half.
The Bucs had opportunities to come away with more points but had to settle for four field goal opportunities on drives as the Hewitt-Trussville defense did a good job of keeping Hoover out of the end zone. "They gave us some different looks on defense that wouldn't let us get the one-on-one matchups we have got all year," added Niblett. "So they had help over the top, but when we did we found some success. We were very good in the run game that helps us be very good in the passing game."
Hoover scored first in the game. Constatine Hontzas kicked a 26-yard field goal to give the Bucs an early 3-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter. Hewitt-Trussville responded on an 80-yard, seven play drive and Cade Ott Carruth scored on a 1-yard touchdown run gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead. On that drive, Sean Jackson made some big runs for the Huskies.
Hoover took the lead back with 11:07 left in the second quarter, when Josh Lundy hit Malik Thomas on a 5-yard touchdown pass play. Thomas caught the ball on the four yard line but busted through a tackle to get the score. With the touchdown, Hoover led 10-7. Hewitt-Trussville responded when Connor Thomas took back a kickoff return to midfield and on the next play Auburn commit Armoni Goodwin went 49-yards for a touchdown. With the score, the Huskies took back the lead at 14-10 with 10:48 left in the second quarter. Goodwin finished the game with 161 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.
Hoover scores right before the half as the Bucs go 71-yards on less than two minutes to get a Hontzas 31-yard field goal as the Bucs cut the Huskies lead to 14-13 going into the locker room at the half.
Right out of halftime, the Huskies get the ball and drive right down the field and get a score when Carrutt hit Omari Kelly on a 39-yard touchdown pass play. With the score, Hewitt-Trussville leads 21-13 with 11:40 left in the third quarter. Hoover runs it right back and gets in the red zone on a big pass by Lundy to RJ Hamilton. Hontzas kicks his third field goal of the game on a 26-yarder and Hoover cuts the Huskies lead to 21-16. "Constintine is a very good kicker for us," added Niblett. "I'm proud of him kicking some big kicks."
Hewitt-Trussville responds on an 8-play, 80-yard drive and Carruth throws to Jackson for a Huskies 26-yard touchdown pass play. With the score, the Huskies lead 28-16 with 5:36 left in the third quarter and Hewitt-Trussville was rolling. Jackson had a big night with 100 yards on 14 carries and 2 receptions on 43 yards and a touchdown on the night.
Goodwin had a big run to setup the Huskies touchdown on this drive. Late in the third quarter, Marcus Clark recovered a Huskies fumble at the Bucs 1-yard line to turn away a Huskies score. A 99-yard drive by Hoover kept the Bucs in the game and it ended on a Jaylen Thomas big 45-yard touchdown run for the Bucs. With the score, Hoover cut the Huskies lead to 28-23. On that drive, Thomas made an one handed unbelievable catch to keep the Bucs drive alive and out of their own end zone. Lundy put the ball in the right spot on a perfect pass and catch.
After the Bucs score, the Hoover defense and Marcus Willliams turned the tide for Hoover with an interception late in the third quarter to setup the Hoover offense for the winning score. "We saw it on film all week and I knew exactly what was coming so I had to make a break on the ball," said Bucs linebacker Williams. "We have a bend but don't break mentality. We can't give up and we had to fight for this. We practice against the two minute drill and you can't get rattled. We have to keep your focus when the game keeps moving fast. You just have to keep doing your job."
With 10:28 left in the game, Taylor scores on a 1-yard touchdown run and the Bucs took the lead that they would not give up. With the score, Hoover led 29-28. Hewitt-Trussville had a chance for the score but Matthew Palmer defended a fourth down play for the Bucs and turned away the Huskies scoring opportunity. Taylor finished with 141 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Brian Porter had 53 yards on nine carries.
Lundy completed 21-of-40 passing for 214 yards and a touchdown. Hamilton had seven receptions with 108 yards and Thomas 96 yards on seven receptions and the touchdown. DJ Estes led the defense with 7.5 tackles on the night.
Up next for both teams, Hoover will host Spain Park while Hewitt-Trussville will travel to Vestavia Hills.