By Chris Yow
TRUSSVILLE — With less than a minute left in the game, and Hewitt-Trussville’s offense on the move, Husky quarterback Zac Thomas hit Grayson Cash right on the number “2” on his chest. Cash then took a sandwich hit and the ball popped loose into the hands of a Montgomery Bell defender, ending the chance of a heroic ending for Hewitt-Trussville, as they dropped their season opener 21-16.
Big plays for Montgomery Bell were the difference in the game, as the Big Red’s quarterback Glen Coleman nailed a pair of misdirection passes that went for a touchdown and led to another touchdown in the game.
Head coach Josh Floyd felt his team made a few too many mistakes, costing them a chance to win the game.
“It’s disappointing because we made a lot of big mistakes,” he said. “I felt we kept hurting ourselves over and over.”
“We made some mistakes on special teams that really, really hurt us.”
The mistakes to which Floyd was referring were a pair of blocked kicks in the first half. The first was a quick kick by Thomas on fourth down that led to a short field and an eventual touchdown for Montgomery Bell. The second, a field goal attempt was blocked as time expired in the first half. The Huskies also had an extra point hit the cross bar.
An impressive performance from the Huskies’ offense was almost lost due to the scoreboard, but both the offense and defense played exceptionally well at times.
The “Husky Fast” system certainly got off to a fast start offensively. Thomas went 4-for-4 on his first drive of the game for 28 yards and ran for another 11 yards. Jarrion Street capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give Hewitt-Trussville an early lead after their first drive of the game.
Montgomery Bell took advantage of a trio of penalties by Hewitt on their first drive, and reached the Huskies’ 22-yard-line before the Hewitt defense buckled down and did not allow any points following a missed field goal attempt.
Hewitt’s offense was stopped on their next drive, and an attempted quick kick from quarterback Zac Thomas was blocked, and Montgomery Bell tackled Thomas at the Huskies’ 20-yard-line.
Three plays later, Coleman completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Wilson to tie the game at 7-all.
Thomas then capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown scamper to take the lead back, but the extra point hit the cross bar.
Montgomery Bell wasted no time, however, as they answered on the very next play with a 69-yard touchdown pass to Montgomery Owen. The extra point was true, and the lead became 14-13 in favor of the guests.
Hewitt drove 76 yards, thanks in part to a pair of 25-yard completions by Thomas and a 21-yard scamper from Street, on their next drive, but the field goal attempt was blocked as time expired.
After both teams traded a pair of punts each in the third quarter, the offenses came alive again in the final stanza.
The Huskies gave up a few big plays throughout the second half, but timely stops kept Montgomery Bell at bay. A fumble from Karlton Bruton after a long run gave Hewitt new life in a momentum-shifting way.
Thomas and Street went to work on offense at their own 20-yard-line, and the pair combined for 70 yards on the drive, but the Huskies had to settle for a 27-yard Connor Stewart field goal, but it gave the Huskies the lead with just under 4 minutes to play. Thomas finished the night with 118 yards on the ground and 129 yards passing on 16-of-22.
Street led the way on the ground for Hewitt with 143 yards on 24 carries.
Two plays later, however, Ty Chandler took a hand off and scooted through a hole and found his way to the end zone from 25 yards out, giving the Big Red the cushion it would need.
Despite a promising drive for Hewitt, the interception on the ensuing drive was the deciding play in the game. Just as they’d done twice earlier in the game, the Huskies failed to reach the end zone after moving the ball down the field with precision.
“We didn’t have any trouble moving the ball,” Floyd said. “We’ve got to do a btter job finishing. We just couldn’t finish off drives. I didn’t get these guys prepared enough this week.”