By Johnny Sanders Jr.
BIRMINGHAM — The Hewitt-Trussville Huskies made the short trip to take on the Huffman Vikings in a non-region game on Friday night at Viking Field and walked out with a 34-21 win despite numerous drive-stopping penalties and starting their third quarterback in six games this season.
“(The win) was big for us mentally,” Hewitt-Trussville head coach Josh Floyd said.” We’ve had a rough few weeks. We’ve lost a couple of games but you know, we’ve had a lot of kids get injured. Just mentally I think it was good for our kids to get back on the winning side tonight.”
The game started out slow with both teams trading punts to start the first quarter in what looked to be a defensive struggle; however, with 6:36 left in the first quarter, Jackson Holland found Dazalin Worsham for an 8-yard touchdown as the Huskies struck first in this contest. Not to be outdone, Huffman marched down the field with the help of a pair of personal foul penalties committed by Hewitt on key third downs, and found its way into the end zone on a 4-yard run by Makhi Hughes. That would be all the scoring in the first quarter with the game knotted up at 7-all.
The second quarter started out much like the first, with each offense sputtering, committing penalties and trading punts for six minutes. Then, the fireworks started as Hewitt took the ball down to the 6-yard line, where Clinton Simpson III punched it in from 6 yards out to give the Huskies a 14-7 lead with 5:52 left in the half.
On the ensuing drive, Huffman found themselves with a third and long, backed up inside its own 10-yard line. Quarterback Justice Christian threw the ball, but it was to University of Alabama commit and Husky Malachi Moore who returned it 38 yards for a Hewitt touchdown. The score was now 20-7. The Vikings looked to be down and out; however, you could not tell by what happened next.
Huffman took the next offensive series and closed the gap on a 21-yard pass from Christian to a wide open Ben Heller for a Viking touchdown, 20-14, with 1:41 left in the half. Huffman would hold Hewitt on the following drive to go into the locker room only down by six points.
The third quarter had enough defense to make Bear Bryant or Gene Stallings smile but enough penalties to make Will Muschamp or Nick Saban’s blood pressure go through the roof. Neither team scored, but there were several opportunities that were squandered due to untimely penalties.
Beginning in the fourth quarter, Holland took over the game with his legs.
“Jackson made some big plays for us,” Floyd said. “He had some tough runs when we need them and made some passes when we needed. It was hard to get in rhythm on offense, we had so many penalties. That’s the third different quarterback to start the game in six games. I’m really proud of Jackson.”
On the first play of the final drive, Holland took off for a tough 21-yard run to put the Huskies up, 28-14. Once again, the Vikings appeared to be out of this one, but no one informed them. On their next drive, with 8:59 left in the game, Huffman running back Jackobie Smith scored a 1-yard touchdown from the Wildcat formation and made it a one touchdown game at 28-21.
The momentum seemed to be on Huffman’s side as they held the Huskies to a punt on the next drive. Huffman would drive the ball to the Hewitt 45-yard line but the drive would end on a fourth and 2 attempt that saw the snap fumbled and gave the Huskies the ball back with just over three minutes left in the game. Hewitt would move the ball down to the 9-yard line and Holland would punch it in to make it 34-21 Hewitt with only 42 seconds left to play.