By Zack Steele, For the Tribune
HOOVER –Hewitt head coach Josh Floyd celebrated early with his coaching staff on the sideline Friday night. The Huskies played and coached Friday night with a chip on their shoulder, and for good reason. Hoover has been the white whale for the Hewitt Trussville Huskies for a while now, and Floyd had played the part of Captain Ahab for long enough.
With dominant defense and persistent offense, Hewitt Trussville did something almost no one has done, they had the Hoover Met 75% empty by the time the third quarter was done.
Hewitt took the opening toss and quickly worked into Buccaneer territory, the dive stalled at the Hoover forty, and Hewitt elected to play field position rather than go on fourth down. Playing it safe paid off for Hewitt, because only a few plays later, Hoover would face a similar choice on 4th down and one from their own 29. The Bucs rolled the dice and the conversion failed and Hewitt was seemingly in business deep in Hoover territory.
The Hoover defense was up to the task, however, intercepting Floyd and returning it out to the Buccaneer’s 42 yard line.
Hoover could not string together a dive, and the teams would trade punts.
On Hoover’s ensuing possession, they would drive 85 yards in 21 plays, aided by several encroachment penalties by the Hewitt defense. Facing 3rd and goal, the Huskies defense stiffened. On 4th and goal, they changed the game.
The Husky stop at the goal line flipped the momentum that was completely on Hoover’s side. The Hewitt offense would proceed to drive 99 yards with several key third down conversions, including an astonishing penalty for sideline interference against the Bucs on the third play of the drive. Instead of punting from their own end zone, Hewitt marched the entire length of the field, with Peyton Floyd punching it in from 2 yards out, and Hewitt led 7-0 with 6:61 before halftime.
Hoover would go three and out on their next possession, and Hewitt would start their final drive of the half at their own 41 yard line, and would move methodically but quickly down the field, with Floyd finding Jacob Serena for a key third down conversion. With 15 seconds left in the half, Floyd found paydirt once again from the one yard line. The Tripp Ward PAT was good, and the Huskies took a 14-0 lead into the half.
The Hewitt defense took over the game in the third quarter, forcing back to back 3 and outs with negative yardage.
The Hewitt offense would take advantage of two short fields with two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to effectively put the game away. The first drive took 11 plays and spanned 48 yards with Floyd scoring his 3rd touchdown of the night. The second drive was 44 yards in 9 plays, with Floyd hitting sophomore Dylan Cope at the 14 who would make a move and sprint to the end zone. After the Ward PAT, Hoover’s home stands began to empty.
In the 4th quarter, Hewitt would play keep away, with two time consuming drives. Hoover would have a time consuming drive of their own, finally finding the end zone with 6:12 to play.
Hewitt would recover an onside kick, and later face a third and long. Floyd would loft a 50/50 ball that Hoover would intercept at their own 11 with 2:12 left in the game. The Floyd interception was effectively a punt. Hoover would move the ball out to the 28 yard line before turning the ball over on downs, and the Hewitt sideline began its celebration.
“Our defense tonight,” said Floyd, ”they were fun to watch. They (Hoover) have a lot of talent over there with several Division 1 players over there. Super proud of our guys tonight.”
Hewitt improves to 4-1 with the win, and 3-0. Hoover falls to 1-4, and 1-2 in the area. The Huskies take on a winless Huffman Friday night for Homecoming.