Road Warriors Take Down #2 Hewitt-Trussville, Separate in Region Race
The Warriors didn’t need any extra motivation for this year’s blockbuster matchup with Hewitt-Trussville. The Huskies spoiled Thompson’s perfect season a year ago and Mark Freeman’s team returned to the scene of the crime with a mind to avenge that loss.
However, last week’s close road win against Spain Park woke the defense up and the Warriors’ presence along the line of scrimmage took on a completely different identity while facing elite talent on the Huskies’ offense. Thompson got in the backfield often early on and forced big turnovers late plus the offense put the team up big at the half to take an impressive region road win, 35-21.
Another early gamble against the Warriors’ defense went sideways again as Peter Woods broke through the line on 4th down and handed the ball to the offense on Hewitt’s 33 yard line. Two plays later Conner Harrell lofted a pass towards the left corner of the end zone that found Tre Roberson as he dove to the ground, cradling the catch.
The Huskies answered quickly at home, getting a push in the run game and tying the game on a 13 yard pass from Cade Carruth to Omari Kelly. The two would connect six times in the game for 98 yards, but no other receiver recorded more than 25 yards for HT.
Jarrett Crockett was big in his return at running back rushing for 53 yards in the first half, but it was a 43 yard reception by the senior that put the Warriors in Husky territory again on the next drive. Harrell was calm and collected in his national tv debut, especially in the first half where he went 11-13 for 271 yards and 4 touchdowns, finishing with 325. His second came after scooping up the snap and firing a quick pass to Ryan Peppins for a five yard score. It would be the first of many times the duo would find holes in Hewitt’s secondary.
The defense forced three three-and-outs on the Huskies’ first four drives including another stop on fourth down with Hewitt threatening. Jeremiah Alexander was in a completely different zone with the bright lights on collecting 3.5 tackles for loss in the first half alone including a huge sack with the Huskies in Thompson territory.
Crockett would put the Warriors up 21-7 with his lone TD of the night. The senior pieced together 162 yards total for the offense who was glad to have him back.
Hewitt’s Armoni Goodwin scored next with a 25 yard run to draw the Huskies back within a score. Goodwin, along with his team’s run game, was held well below his average, but still mustered 126 yards and a reception for 12 more.
That was the last time they would get in the end zone until late in the third and the Warriors took advantage. Not two minutes later Harrell found Peppins again, this time streaking down the middle of the field with no defenders within 20 yards as he blazed into the end zone from 66 yards out. After another stop on defense, Sam Reynolds made his one reception count and got great separation for an easy 36 yard score to put Thompson up 35-21 at halftime.
The defense took things from there as both teams turned a high-scoring affair into a gridlock. Hewitt’s lone second half TD came with three minutes to go in the third as Armoni Goodwin took a screen pass 58 yards to bring the Huskies back within 14 at 35-21.
Hewitt-Trussville had almost the exact number of yards in the second half as the first, but Thompson’s defense became even stingier as the Huskies crossed midfield. In the middle of the fourth quarter, RB Sean Jackson appeared to break away as he ran for the red zone, but Jax Van Zandt punched the ball out at the last second sending it dribbling into the Warriors’ secondary where EJ Edwards fielded it for the turnover.
Thompson didn’t score in the second half, but flipped the field several times as Ryan Peppins grabbed two big passes near the sideline. He would finish leading all receivers with 136 yards and two TDs. Trevor Hardy had a good night at punter sending five kicks 172 yards to force long drives for the home team.
The Huskies would forage a final time into Thompson territory with minutes to go in the contest. They had made their money on an array of screen passes to take advantage of the pass rush, but on the final defensive play of the game senior linebacker Triston Woody recognized what was coming. Woody anticipated the overthrown pass and, leaping toward the turf, got his hands under it for the interception to guarantee the win.
Woody was all over the field for Thompson with 6.5 tackles and one for loss to go along with the pick. Fellow LB Van Zandt was everywhere as well going for a career-high 9.5 tackles and the forced fumble. Tony Mitchell also added 5.5 tackles with one for loss while Gavin Shipman chipped in 3.5 with two blocked passes.
Hewitt-Trussville came into the game averaging a massive 340 yards per game and the Warriors became the first opponent to hold them under 250 for the contest. The win is Mark Freeman’s 50th since he arrived back in Alabaster six years ago.
Thompson (5-0, 3-0) will return home to host 6A #1 Mountain Brook Friday, Sept 25 at 7 p.m. It will be the second time the Warriors will face 6A’s top seed in 2020.