By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
HOUSTON – Bruce tried to block Chris Jones. Bruce tried to hold Chris Jones. Nothing worked.
Jones, Houston’s 6-foot-7 Mississippi State-committed defensive end wasn’t going to be denied – and neither were the Hilltoppers as unbeaten Houston beat the Daily Journal’s top-ranked small school, Class 2A Bruce, 21-6 on Friday night.
“He has an unlimited motor,” Houston coach William Cook said. “He did an excellent job, the whole defense, all night. We were worried about them throwing the ball. Our defense kept pressure on Brown and our DBs were covering.”
Jones had 4.5 sacks for a Houston defense that proved its mettle ahead of a tough Division 4-4A schedule beginning next week.
The Journal’s No. 3-ranked Class 3A/4A school, Houston (6-0) has never won a playoff game.
“This is very important because we keep our momentum building up and keep in stride,” Jones said.
Chris Thorton had a big night as well. Both of Houston’s offensive scores came after a big play he made.
Thorton returned a punt 51 yards to the Trojans 45 in the second. Three plays later, quarterback Sharone Wright took a sweep 13 yards into the end zone and Emmitt Dendy’s point after made it 7-0 just before the half.
Houston stopped Bruce QB Davis Brown on a fourth-and-inches from the Topper 26 in the third and Thorton again sparked a score with a 39-yard catch. Brandon Townsend bullied in a 30-yard touchdown run.
Houston’s defense delivered 37 seconds later when Gavin McQuary picked Brown and took it 20 yards for a 21-0 lead.
Brown’s third pick went to Q Lewis. Jones swam through two defenders and Houston declined a hold. On the Trojans’ next possession, Jones got his third sack and he and Kody Kimbrough combined on a second straight sack.
“We didn’t have time to throw the football,” Bruce coach James Ray said. “He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Bruce (4-2) got on the board in the fourth on a 62-yard pass from Brown to Jay Johnson.
Wright had 18 carries for 83 yards. Shaq Bush caught seven passes for 51 yards for Bruce but Houston kept Brown behind the line for more than 50 lost yards.