Defense set the table on Friday night. And then Wes Hundley closed the deal when he ran 14 yards for a touchdown with 7.2 seconds left as the Douglas High football team rallied to a 14-6 victory against Hug at Rollins Stallworth Stadium.
Douglas (1-3) scored two touchdowns inside the final six minutes to erase a 6-0 deficit and pull out the defensive struggle.
“It was a great experience,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. “I’m very excited for the kids and what they did tonight. They finally put a whole game together, and they did it against a quality Hug football team.”
The winning touchdown was set up when Wyatt Eichhorst partially blocked a punt. Zach Kinder recovered the ball and gained 5 yards to give Douglas first down at the 28 with 42.7 seconds showing on the clock.
Hundley completed an 8-yard pass to Taylor Souza moments later and then Cale Kynett missed a 36-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-2, however, the Tigers got a break when the Hawks jumped offside.
“Our long snapper, Jordan Peters, did a great job on that,” Hundley said. “He just waited and got them to jump.”
After two passes fell incomplete, Hundley scrambled to his left and found running room to the end zone for the touchdown.
“I was rolling out and saw lane open up and I just took it,” Hundley said. “I got past one guy and then there I was (in the end zone).
“It wasn’t just me,” the senior quarterback added. “Our defense kept us in the game. We couldn’t have done this without them.”
That defense set up the Tigers for their game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter when Kaleb Foster jarred the ball loose and Chris Eshe recovered the fumble at Hug’s 26.
Hundley scrambled for an 11-yard gain up the middle and then he completed a 14-yard strike to Souza on a slant at the 1.
Kynett scored on a 1-yard run up the middle on third-and-goal, although the score remained tied when Hug’s Cliff Porter blocked the PAT attempt.
Hug (0-4) took its 6-0 lead on the final play of the first half when Titus Tau took a short pass from freshman quarterback Sonny Robison and shook loose for a 93-yard touchdown.
Douglas had a scoring opportunity with 59.3 seconds remaining before halftime after Foster recovered a fumble at Hug’s 48. The fumble was forced on a hit by Andrew Jensen.
The Tigers were unable to capitalize, however, as three consecutive passes fell incomplete and they punted the ball away.
Hug received the second half kickoff and mounted an 11-play drive that stalled on fourth-and-5 from the 17 when Foster came up with an 11-yard quarterback sack.
The Tigers answered with an eight-play drive, highlighted by a 28-yard pass from Nick Abreu to Souza at the 29, only to turn the ball over on an incomplete fourth down pass.
The Hawks came back with another threat, keyed by runs of 23, 12 and 12 yards by Tau. Then on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Kynett pounced on a fumble at the 6.
“It was nice to get a win after all the hard work we’ve put in,” Hundley said, flashing a wide smile. “And once you get that taste of winning, you never want to give it up.”