By Loyd McIntosh, Sports Editor
HOOVER — Not this time.
For the second year in a row, Hewitt-Trussville lost to area rival Hoover in the second round of the AHSAA football playoffs Friday, 28-11. The Husky’s offense outgained the Bucs in total yards 205-153 and ran 16 more plays.
However, turnovers and struggles protecting quarterback Peyton Floyd kept Hewitt out of the end zone all night as Hoover ended the Huskies’ hopes for a deep playoff run.
The contest began with each team’s defense controlling the flow until Hoover mounted a drive midway through the first quarter. With the Husky defense backed up to its own goal line, Hoover freshman quarterback Noah Schuback found Jack Lamey wide-open in the end zone on a nifty play-action pass. After a successful extra point, Hoover led 7-0 with 6:28 to play in the first quarter.
Hewitt-Trussville senior quarterback Floyd spent most of the evening being chased out of the pocket by an aggressive Hoover defense, unable to establish a rhythm on offense. Hoover took advantage of good field position and put two more touchdowns on the board in the second quarter, pushing the Bucs’ lead over the Huskies to 21-0.
Late in the second quarter, Hewitt managed to put together a drive deep in Hoover territory. However, penalties and losses for yards by a scrambling Floyd kept the Huskies out of the end zone. Placekicker Riley Rigg finally got Hewitt on the board with a 27-yard field goal with 59 seconds to play in the first half as the Huskies went into the locker room down by 18 points, 21-3.
The first-half statistics told the tale as Hewitt manage 63 yards rushing and 63 yards passing for 126 total yards. The Huskies also committed four penalties and Floyd threw on an interception in the first half. Floyd attributed much of the Husky’s difficulties on offense to a very tough Buc defense and some nagging injuries that have hobbled Floyd throughout the latter part of the season.
“They’re really athletic on defense and they’re hard to block,” said Hewitt-Trussville Head Coach Josh Floyd. “Peyton’s been banged up for about the last month and he’s been fighting through it and, obviously, it was bothering him a little bit tonight. I’m proud of his effort and proud of his toughness to keep fighting.”
Hewitt’s defense held on Hoover’s opening possession of the second half, as the Huskies started their first possession from their own 33. Three plays later, Hoover defensive back D.J. Estes intercepted a Floyd pass and took it 40 yards for a pick-six, putting the game out of reach, 28-3.
Hewitt forced a Hoover safety midway through the fourth quarter and scored a touchdown on the last play of the game as backup quarterback Andrew Bishop connected with Nate Brisco for a seven-yard score as time expired. Final score Hoover 28, Hewitt-Trussville 11.
Combined, Floyd and Bishop completed 12 of 26 passes for 102 yards and four interceptions – three by Floyd, one by Bishop. The Huskies amassed 103 yards rushing led by Kennedy Mitchell who gained 41 yards on six carries.
“They just outplayed us tonight. Give them credit,” said Floyd. “They’re super athletic defensively and we had a really bad start to the game. The first quarter was really bad and we were trying to overcome that the whole game.”
The loss once again ends Hewitt-Trussville’s playoff hopes in the second round following a convincing first-round win at Florence one week ago. It also extends Hewitt’s
“I’m disappointed for our seniors. The word we talk about a lot is ‘legacy’ and there are a lot of legacy guys in there and I’m just disappointed to end this way for them,” said Floyd.
Hewitt-Trussville ends the 2022 season with an overall record of 8-2, 5-2 in 7A Region 3 action. Hoover will face Thompson next week in the third round of the 7A playoffs.