The Hoggard running game and defense was on full display at Scott Braswell Stadium on Friday night as the Vikings used just 10 plays to score three touchdowns to open the game in a 52-7 rout over South Brunswick.
Tony Allen and Rashad Wallace saw a healthy workload through the first half, while Bryant Sasser completed 5-of-7 pass attempts for 108 yards and one score.
“There were some distractions heading into tonight with the uncertainty surrounding when the game was going to be played, with a half day of school, but the guys responded right from opening kickoff,” said Hoggard Coach Craig Underwood. “There’s the one big play we let up, but both sides of the ball tonight we controlled the line of scrimmage. It’s good to be able get this one behind us as we start to look ahead to a big one next week.”
Defensively, Omar Jones was all over the field with two sacks, five tackles and a partially blocked punt. Will Dykes also finished with a pair of tackles for loss and Daniel Carr had an interception as Hoggard held sophomore standout Josh Carter and the Cougars’ running game to negative yards rushing.
South Brunswick was held to three and outs on six of seven possessions in the first half, but freshman quarterback Mason Phillips found Raymond Bowens on a 76-yard strike through triple coverage to cut the Vikings lead to 14-7 with 4:49 to go in the opening frame.
“We continue to make strides on the defensive side of the ball and really had a number of guys contribute tonight,” Underwood added.
Allen scored a pair of short yardage touchdowns to grab an early two score advantage, while Sasser hit fullback Tristan Kandare in the flat for a 25-yard catch and run as the senior barreled his way across the goal line for a 21-7 lead to close the first quarter.
With the Cougars backed up deep in their own zone, Jones partially blocked a punt and Allen scored his third touchdown from 11 yards out on the first play from scrimmage to put the game in check. Wallace made a four-yard trip to the end zone late in the second quarter to make it 35-7 before Caleb Kuhne knocked in a 23-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half.
The Vikings did sustain a key injury to senior center Kris Sciales, who did not suit up because of injury. Despite that, Allen, Wallace and the rest of the Hoggard backfield followed a good push at the line of scrimmage to finish with over 300 total rushing yards.
“Kris was out with a deep bone bruise and contusion on his left foot, but we didn’t miss a beat tonight,” said Underwood. “Our guys stepped up on the offensive line and continue to get better each week. We were able to get our four running backs some touches.”
Sasser hit four different receivers for the game, including Hunter Louthan, Evan Allegret and Matthew Eakins. Eakins came into the contest as the team’s leading wide out and now has 11 catches for over 115 yards on the season. The Vikings finished with 15 first downs, while South Brunswick moved the chains just once all game. Mihles Shepard also scored two touchdowns in the second half.
Bowens had three receptions for the Cougars and Michael Endicott made three grabs for 25 yards.
Hoggard improved to 1-0 in conference and 3-3 overall. South Brunswick fell to 2-4 heading into a home game against Laney on Friday, October 3. The Vikings travel crosstown to Legion Stadium next week for a key matchup against New Hanover.
“Getting tonight’s game in was huge,” said Underwood. “It gives us a full week of preparation heading into the New Hanover game. The winner of next week’s game will be in the driver’s seat inside the conference and we look for our guys to focus in for the week of practice leading up to Friday night.”
S. Brunswick 7-0-0-0=7
Hoggard- Tony Allen, 2-yard run, (PAT, Caleb Kuhne) 9:47
Hoggard- Tony Allen, 6-yard run, (PAT, Kuhne) 6:31
S. Brunswick- Mason Phillips, 76-yard pass to Raymond Bowens, (PAT, Hunter Hemphill) 4:49
Hoggard- Bryant Sasser, 25-yard pass to Tristan Kandare, (PAT, Kuhne) 3:34
Hoggard- Tony Allen, 11-yard run, (PAT, Kuhne) 9:42
Hoggard- Rashad Wallace, 4-yard run, (PAT, Kuhne) 7:28
Hoggard- Caleb Kuhne, 23-yard field goal, (PAT, Kuhne)
Hoggard- Mihles Shepard, 14-yard run, (PAT, Kuhne)
Hoggard- Mihles Shepard, 25-yard run, (PAT, Nick Orso)