Saturday, March 2, 2024

Football: Hoggard built tough as Vikings upend West Brunswick (photos and video highlights)

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WILMINGTON — Hoggard football put together its most complete effort of the season on Friday as the Vikings excelled in all three facets of the game to grab a 34-26 victory over West Brunswick at Scott Braswell Stadium.

With the win, Hoggard created a log jam atop the Mideastern Conference. The Vikings moved to 3-1 in the division and 4-5 overall. Meanwhile, West Brunswick saw its six game winning streak come to an end, falling to 4-1 in league play and 8-2 on the year.

Three takeaways on defense and special teams proved to be a difference maker for Hoggard, while quarterback Josh Jones accounted for four total touchdowns. The junior went 14-of-21 through the air for 200 yards passing. He hit seven different receivers throughout the night to go along with 50 yards on the ground.

Trailing 18-13 moving into the second half, the Vikings took advantage of good field position on the first possession of the third quarter after Tre Houser returned the kick-off to midfield. Collin Hairr’s first catch of the game went for 24 yards down to the West Brunswick 26 yard line and Jones used a play action pass to cap a five-minute drive on a two-yard touchdown pass to Austin Edwards.

The Vikings possessed the ball for a good portion of the third period and used a 26-yard touchdown strike from Jones to Hairr to make it a two-score game, 27-18. Hairr finished with five catches for 80 yards receiving. Tony Allen provided Hoggard with a hard-nosed running attack, totaling 18 carries for 82 yards.

West Brunswick hung their hat on its ground game all season. Maliek King helped the push with a pair of scores, including a 2-yard second effort into the end zone with 8:32 left in the game to pull the Trojans within one, 27-26.

However, West Brunswick’s third turnover came inside their own 10-yard line after Hoggard punter Patrick Conroy pinned the Trojans deep in their own zone. A 5-yard bootleg around the right edge by Jones put the game way as Christian Hollar recorded a sack on the game’s final possession to seal the result.

Hoggard scored 13 points off West Brunswick turnovers, including a pair of field goals by Jeremiah Kim during the first half of action.

After the game was delayed a half hour due to lightning in the area, Tariq Thomas stunned the lively homecoming crowd when the West Brunswick senior took a jet sweep 67 yards on the first play from scrimmage to put the Trojans ahead by six. The Trojans scored three times in the opening 24 minutes, but missed on each point after attempt.

While King was able to make gains in the run game for West Brunswick, the Trojans premiere running back Bubba McCray was held to 65 yards, including just 17 yards after the break.

With West Brunswick leading 6-0, Hoggard marched down field on its first possession of the game to get on the board as Kim hit a 31-yard field goal with 6:02 to play in the opening frame. Down 12-3 after McDowell scampered in from 12 yards out to put the Trojans in the driver’s seat, Isaiah Kemp came up with a big interception for the Vikings to set up a 15-yard touchdown from Jones to C.J. Pipkin.

The Trojans second turnover led to Kim’s second field goal try, a 36 yard kick late in the first half to keep it a one-score game heading into the locker room.

Bell and Christian Hollar each had one sack for Hoggard. Landon Romano also picked up a fumble recovery for the Vikings, who scored touchdowns on three of four possessions in the second half.

Hoggard (3-1, 4-5) heads to Ashley (1-4, 3-5) on Friday, Oct. 28. West Brunswick (4-1, 8-2) looks to bounce back at home against Laney (2-2, 5-4).

Box score
W. Brunswick 12-6-0-8=26
Hoggard 3-10-14-7=34

First Quarter
West Brunswick– Tariq Thomas, 67-yard run, (PAT, no good) 11:39
Hoggard– Jeremiah Kim, 31 yard field goal, 6:02
West Brunswick– Owen McDowell, 12-yard run, (PAT, no good) 3:13
Second Quarter
Hoggard– Josh Jones, 15-yard pass to CJ Pipkin, (PAT, Kim) 10:51
West Brunswick– Maliek King, 2 yard run, (PAT, no good) 7:09
Hoggard– Jeremiah Kim, 36-yard field goal, 1:29
Third Quarter
Hoggard– Josh Jones, 2-yard pass to Austin Edwards, (PAT, Kim)
Hoggard– Josh Jones, 26-yard pass to Collin Hairr, (PAT, Kim) 1:09
Fourth Quarter
West Brunswick– Maliek King, 1-yard run, (King 2point conversion) 8:32
Hoggard– Josh Jones, 5-yard run, (PAT, Kim) 2:15

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