The Herbert Hoover and Sissonville rivalry meant even more to each after both football teams finally got to play for the first time this season Wednesday night.
The Indians made a key defensive play late and were able to turn it into the game-winning score to give Sissonville a 28-21 road victory over the Huskies at Joe Eddie Cowley Field in Falling Rock.
“I can’t ask for anything better to come out here and beat our rival on our first night,” Sissonville coach Marc Wilson said. “It has been a very long time and we are very happy to be back out here and have an opportunity to play. Hoover played a heck of a football game.”
“It’s all about the kids,” said Hoover first-year coach Joey Fields. “I’m glad they got an opportunity to play. We fought hard and it was a good showing. We just came up short. This program is going to grow.”
With the game tied at 21, Hoover had possession facing a third down and 3 at its own 21-yard line. The snap went past Huskies quarterback Nick Grayam for a fumble, and Sissonville recovered at the Hoover 9.
The Indians quickly cashed in on the turnover. After a 5-yard penalty on Hoover, Dylan Griffith ran for a 4-yard touchdown to give Sissonville a 28-21 lead with 6:10 remaining in the game.
“That play was huge and our defense stepped up when we needed them to,” Wilson said. “Football is a game of momentum and that was huge for us and got us back in it.”
“We had five turnovers, and that one killed us,” Fields said. “It shouldn’t have been 28-21. We will learn from it and get better.”
Hoover went three and out on its next possession and had to punt the ball back to the Indians with 4:35 left. The biggest play of that possession was Sissonville’s sack on Grayam for a 10-yard loss on third and 10.
Needing a stop trailing by seven, the Huskies were able to get it on a interception by Jacob Burns, giving Hoover the ball back with 2:31 left in the game at its own 32. However, on the very first play of that ensuing drive, Grayam returned the favor, throwing an interception to Sissonville’s Nick Haning at midfield with 2:24 remaining, and the Indians were able to run out the clock.
The Sissonville defense made plays all game, forcing five Hoover turnovers. The Huskies lost three fumbles and also threw two interceptions. It was a sloppy beginning for both teams. Hoover had two possessions inside the Sissonville red zone in the first quarter but couldn’t convert either, fumbling twice and losing both.
Meanwhile, Sissonville committed seven penalties in the first quarter for 65 yards, including three 15-yard infractions. The Indians also had a player ejected due to personal foul. For the game, Sissonville committed 15 penalties for 125 yards. Hoover had 10 penalties for 84 yards.
The Indians had two rushers go over 100 yards — quarterback Jackson Foster had 133 yards on 16 carries, and also threw for 158 yards. Griffith added 120 yards on 22 carries for Sissonville.
For Hoover, Grayam led the way with 69 yards rushing on 18 carries, and also threw for 140 yards.