It took slightly longer than expected, but the Haughton Bucs finally ran away from the Green Oaks Giants 51-13 in their homecoming game Friday night.
Haughton improved to 4-0. The Bucs open District 1-5A play Friday against Southwood at Independence Stadium. The Cowboys fell to 0-4 with a 45-0 loss to Airline.
The game was at times sloppy. Both teams were penalized 15 times — Haughton for 105 yards and Green Oaks for 155. Haughton also lost three fumbles.
The end of the first half was prolonged but a number of penalties on both teams.
“We’ve got to get better,” Haughton coach Rodney Guin said. “We’re making a lot of mistakes and they’re mental mistakes. It’s not like we’re not playing hard, but it’s mental mistakes, stupid penalites and things like that. We’ve got to get better focusing on the game.
“We turned the ball over, typical of what we’ve been doing — keeping games close that shouldn’t be close.”
The Bucs were tied at 7 with the Giants (0-4) late in the first quarter. D’Kovin Ware gave Haughton the lead for good with an 11-yard TD scamper with 1:55 left in the quarter.
The Bucs stretched the lead to 21-7 early in the second. Brooks hit Antonio Woodfork for a 16-yard score and Nico Broadway added the third of his seven PATs.
Green Oaks recovered a fumble in Haughton territory with about four minutes left in the half, but the Bucs held.
After a flurry of penalties on both teams, Ware sprinted through a big hole in the center of the line 75 yards for a touchdown with 51 seconds left. That made the halftime homecoming ceremony much more pleasant for the crowd that filled the Haughton side.
“That kind of put us over the top,” Guin said. “He’s had a great year for us so far.”
The rout was on when Josh Lister raced 36 yards down the sideline for a score early in the third quarter. TJ Sweeney also returned an interception for a touchdown to give the Bucs a 44-7 lead going into the fourth.
“In the third quarter, we played well,” Guin said. “The defense came out and completely stuffed them. Offensively, we played well. The third quarter was our best quarter as far as concentrating and playing.”
Haughton rolled up 380 yards total offense with 283 of that coming on the ground. Ware led the way with 98 yards on five carries. Kei’Untre Normandin added 55 on 11.
Brooks had his best game of the season. He rushed for 70 yards on eight carries, including a 16-yard dash for the first touchdown of the game. He also completed seven of 10 passes for 72 yards with no interceptions.
Christopher Douglas had three catches for 39 yards and Mason Cordell had two for 21. Quarterback Pryce Curry scored the Bucs’ final TD on a 7-yard run and completed two passes for 35 yards.
The defense held the Giants to 194 total yards and got a safety when it when Green Oaks quarterback Jaylon Carey was called for intentional grounding in the end zone under heavy pressure. Harrison Voight had a team-leading seven solo tackles, including a sack. Lavonta Gibson had five.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com