The Hilltoppers’ attempt to secure another division win fell just two points shy of the goal Oct. 18 as the Houston boys lost 14-12 to Leake Central on the road.
Coach William Cook gave credit to the Topper defense for holding the Gators to only two touchdowns and for a combined effort for a second half rally.
“Defense played great the whole game,” Cook said. “I was very proud of the effort in the second half from the whole team to get us back into the game with a chance to win at the end.”
Jay Jay Jones led on defense with 11 total tackles followed closely by Devin Murphy with 10 and Kevonte Marble and Damien Fields with seven.
The Toppers trailed 6-7 after the first with Jones rushing for the touchdown and the Gators scored in the second to lead 14-6 at the half.
Quarterback Garrison Howell hit Denver McQuary for a TD in the third to draw the Toppers within two at 14-12, but the Houston boys couldn’t get the points to take the lead and the win.
“Our offense had mistakes in the first half that cost us chances to score,” Cook said. “We have to finish drives with points on the board. We have to play four quarters to finish the game.”
Two to go
The Toppers have two more division games left on the schedule with one division win in the bag and an opportunity to extend play into the post-season.
They will travel to West Lauderdale Friday and dive into uncharted waters.
“West Lauderdale is new to our division,” Cook said. “It will be a long road trip, but we still have playoff opportunities with a win over them.”
The team from Collinsville (6-3, 2-1) has wins over Caledonia and Leake Central.