By DAVID BORAKS
CORNELIUS – A big running attack led by Dre’An Long‘s school single-game rushing record helped Hough beat Myers Park, 35-11, in an I-Meck 4A conference football game Friday night at Hough Stadium in Cornelius.
Long ran 29 times for 174 yards and 1 touchdown and the Huskies ran up 302 yards total rushing in a game that went exactly according to Coach Bobby Collins’ plan: just keep running the ball.
“That was the game plan. We got four guys returning up front (on the) offensive line so that was the game plan, to be able to run the football, to get the win,” a smiling Collins said afterward.
It was the Huskies’ first win at home since September 2010, when they beat Waddell at the beginning of their first season as a new school. The win evened both teams’ records at 1-1 on the year.
Hough’s running attack included Tory Burrell’s 9 carries for 69 yards and Bobby Howard’s 9 carries for 41 yards. Altogether, Hough had 450 yards total offense.
Quarterback Josh Stilley threw just 16 times, but completed 10 passes for 148 yards. That included a spectacular 48-yard pass to Nick Burrow with about 4:55 left in the third quarter that opened up a 32-11 lead over the Mustangs.
Burrow finished the night with 6 catches for 105 yards. Sanders Poff had 2 catches for 25 yards, including 18-yard touchdown catch in the second half.
Hough got on the board first with 8:47 left in the first quarter, when Long took a handoff from Stilley and ran it 18 yards down the left side for a touchdown left in the first quarter. Tim Gawert added the extra point to make it 7-0.
Six minutes later, Gawert kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it, 10-0.
The Huskies might have scored again in the first half, but for a big turnover with about 8:33 left in the second quarter. The Huskies fumbled on the 3-yard-line and Myers Park recovered to end what looked like another promising drive.
But Hough’s defense came right back with a big stop on the next play. Linebacker Ryan Lemke and defensive tackle Blake Dueitt pounded a Myers Park runner back into the end zone for a safety, to make it 12-0 Huskies.
Myers Park began to gain some traction toward the end of the half, and with 3:08 left Lucas Tcherkezian kicked a field goal to make it 12-3.
The Huskies defensive held strong against Mustang quarterback Ross Jeffries, but running back Jaquavion Alexander was able to break free for a couple of long runs in the second half.
Hough scored another rushing touchdown midway through the third quarter, on a 7-play, 50-yard drive. Burrell streaked 15 yards around the right side and in for the score. Gawert’s extra point made it 19-3.
But Myers Park came right back on the kickoff, as Steven Fulwiley ran the kick back 65 yards for the TD. A two-point conversion made it 19-11 with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter. But that was as close as the Mustangs could get.
Poff’s touchdown catch near the start of the last quarter and an extra point made it 26-11, then the 48-yard TD pass to Burrow made it 32-11. (The extra point after Burrow’s TD was blocked.)
Gawert kicked an 18-yard field goal in the last minute to wrap up the win.
NEXT UP: PROVIDENCE
Hough is at home Thursday Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. against Providence High.
HOUGH 35, MYERS PARK 11
HOUGH 10 2 7 16 - 35 MYERS PARK 0 3 8 0 - 11
Aug. 23, 2012, “Huskies’ home opener vs. Myers Park a ‘must win’”