The Houston Hilltoppers are setting records again.
In 2012, they made their deepest run into football playoffs in school history, making it to the third round.
This year, they set another standard by making playoffs three years in a row.
“That’s an accomplishment by itself,” said coach William Cook.
Cook’s goal is to create a team mentality that expects success every year.
“It’s part of building the program,” Cook said.
The Toppers clinched their spot after a loss to Noxubee County Friday, but it took a little math to get it done. The Toppers were in a three-way divison tie with Leake Central and Caledonia at 1-4 in division. The Toppers came out of the equation with a plus-10 point differential that will take them to Greenwood for the first round.
“They (the team) are exicted for making it and for making history,” Cook said.
On the field
The Toppers hosted Noxubee County for the final game of the regular season, falling 34-0 at the close of the game, despite some bright spots along the way.
Denver McQuary snagged an interception in the third play of the game but the Toppers couldn’t capitalize on it and returned possession to the Tigers who scored on a 37-yard run.
The Toppers’ defense forced a turnover on downs in the second quarter with Nathan Smith getting the stop on second down and J.J. Brownlee sacking quarterback Tamorris Conner on third down. Jacquis Thornton got a hand in on the fourth-and-13 pass to break up the reception but the Toppers’ offense stalled on their drive.
Tanner Bullock faked a punt for a first down before the close of the second quarter, but the Topper offense again struggled.
“Our defense played well, but our offense put us in bad situations,” Cook said.
With a road game to play the Bulldogs (9-1, 3-0) closing in, Cook’s game plan is simple.
“Defense keeps playing like is has and offense corrects its mistakes,” Cook said.