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August 25, 2013NEW BERN - Despite a super-human effort by New Bern QB/ATH Mike Hughes, the Hillside Hornets were able to win an upset victory versus the defending 4A state champions on their own field Saturday night with a 27-24 overtime win.
Hornet kicker Ian Burris Jr. calmly kicked the ball through the uprights from 25 yards out in overtime after a Hughes fumble on New Bern's possession in overtime.
The kick was Burris second of the night as he also connected from 37 yards out in the 3rd quarter to give Hillside a 17-14 lead.
The game got off to a sloppy start as both teams were held scoreless in the 1st quarter as penalties and miscues marred by both teams.
Hillside was first to strike when QB Nas Forte-Ferguson connected with Trevion Thompson on an 80-yard bomb to put the Hornets up 6-0. The extra point was missed.
New Bern got on the board with 6:36 left to go in the half on a 27-yard touchdown strike by Hughes to Theron Noble to take a 7-6 lead. The drive was kept alive by a 4th down pass interference penalty by Hillside. The Hornets had 13 flags on the night.
Trailing 7-6 Hillside used the power running of Dontae Thomas-Williams (32 rushes for 110 yards with a touchdown) to regain the lead. Thomas-Williams pushed the ball in from the 1 yard line. After a 2 point conversion, Hillside would take a 14-7 lead to the half.
Forte-Ferguson would complete 6 of 10 passes for 115 yards with a a TD in the 2nd quarter. The Hillside defense led by Teshaun Dawson controlled the line of scrimmage most of the 1st half stuffing Hughes and the New Bern running game.
The 3rd quarter saw New Bern's defense begin to assert itself and control Thomas-Williams and pressure the Hillside quarterback. Hughes began to get rolling and connected on 4 straight passes culminating with a great catch on the sideline by Noble for his second touchdown of the night. The extra point was good and the game was tied 14-14.
The momentum seemed to be shifting in New Bern's favor, but a roughing the kicker penalty and a defensive holding penalty kept two 4th down plays alive for Hillside. This allowed the Hornets to work the ball down for a Burris Jr. 37-yard field goal to retake the lead 17-14 with 27 seconds left in the 3rd.
The 4th quarter would become the Mike Hughes show. Hughes is one of the best defensive back prospects in the state. He has been asked to sacrifice for the team and he seems up to the job. The exceptional athlete took the game over for New Bern rushing for 138 yards in the 4th quarter alone on just 9 carries.
With 5:27 left in the game, Hughes would punch it in the end zone from 6 yards out giving New Bern the lead 21-17.
The Hornets then take the football and proceed to drive the ball down to mid-field using Thomas-Williams again as a battering ram. Hillside would find themselves in a 3rd and long situation with just 2:07 left in the game.
New Bern inserted Hughes into the game to match up with perhaps the best wide receiver in the state this year in Thompson. Thompson would take a short hitch pass, break a tackle by Hughes who gambled for the pick on the play, and race 49 yards for the score.
Hillside sits pretty with a 24-21 lead with just 2:00 to play. Hughes was determined to redeem himself. With 1:40 left in the game, Hughes scrambles left, break 3 tackles, cut back to the right, and scampers 67 yards to the 6 yard line setting up New Bern 1st and goal.
Hughes had to leave the game completely after that play due to exhaustion. The Hillside defense would hold and force Bear into a 34 yard field. Josh Htoo tied the game at 24-24 and sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, Hughes would fumble after a 8 yard run to the 2 yard line. Hillside would recover to the fumble to end any Bear scoring threat.
Hillside rushed the ball three times to the right to set up Burris Jr. who had been perfect form that angle all pre-season. He didn't let his coaches down as he calmly hit the game-winning 25 yard field goal to give Hillside a tremendous 27-24 victory to get their season off to a great start.
Thompson would end the game with 7 receptions for 160 yards with 2 touchdowns.
For New Bern, Hughes would finish the night rushing 17 times for 172 yards with a touchdown and passing for 160 yards on 13 completions with 2 touchdown passes.
New Bern gets a chance to bounce back next week versus county rival and defending 3A state champion Havelock.
North Carolina NEWS