Scoring early and often, the Houston High School football team racked up 48 points in the first half and went on to beat Fayette 55-6 Friday night in Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers’ dominant offensive outburst was sparked by a lineup change made by head coach Eric Sloan, as senior Brady Brookshire was moved from lineman to running back. The move paid dividends in a hurry, as Brookshire ran for several big gains during the game’s first possession that was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by senior Grayson Mitchell with 9:11 to go in the first quarter.
Another offensive bonus Houston took advantage of on the night was the performance of senior kicker Stone Jackson, who connected on 5-of-8 extra point attempts, including his first that made it a 7-0 game.
From there, the Tigers piled up points prolifically before going into the locker room with a 48-6 halftime lead.
After Brookshire scampered 38 yards to the Fayette 3 with about 5 minutes left in the opening period, he scored his first TD of the season moments later from a yard out.
The visiting Falcons got on the board on a passing play at the 3-minute mark of the quarter, but Houston answered fast when junior Bryson Alexander took the ensuing kick off and ran 90 yards into the end zone. The touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty that put the ball on the Fayette 32-yard line, but the Tigers wasted no time and scored again when senior quarterback Wyatt Hughes and junior wide receiver Jordan Arthur hooked up on a 14-yard passing play for a TD.
On the final play of the period, senior linebacker Keaton Goetz bludgeoned Falcons junior Kalebb Friebe, who had dropped back to punt, and Houston had the ball at the Fayette 3.
Brookshire then ran for another touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and the Tigers were ahead 28-6 after Arthur caught a pass for a 2-point conversion.
On the Falcons’ first play of the following possession, Brookshire – from his inside linebacker position – delivered a huge blow that caused a fumble, and sophomore defensive back DJ Riley recovered at the Fayette 28-yard line. A few plays later, Riley – at wide receiver – got into the scoring act on a 17-yard pass from Hughes with 9:57 showing on the clock.
Then with 5:56 to go in the half, Arthur – at defensive back – intercepted a pass and ran 75 yards down the left sideline for another touchdown.
Houston scored one more time before the break on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Hughes to senior tight end Kayden Crawford.
With the “turbo-clock” running continuously due to the Tigers’ 30-plus point lead, the second half went by quickly.
Sloan inserted many junior varsity players in the fourth quarter, and they responded with a spirited performance that led to another score. With freshman Kane Crawford at quarterback and freshman Aaron “Tank” McCarthy in the backfield, Houston’s offense took it to Fayette and moved the ball deep into Falcons territory on a sustained drive with time running down.
Then with 1:22 to go in the contest, Tank barreled his way into the end zone from a yard out and the Tigers had their points total after one last point-after boot by Jackson.
Houston (1-1) hosts Salem (0-2) next Friday in the first South Central Association conference game of the season.