SHANNON -- It was a muddy and late-game last week when the Houston Hilltoppers took on the Shannon Red Raiders in a non-divisional bout.
The Hilltoppers were looking to continue their winning season after beating New Hope the previous week. However, the Toppers would not continue the momentum, falling to Shannon by a score of 32-40.
After both teams scored in the first quarter an hour-long rain delay kept players off the field. Once the teams were back playing Red Parker, Houston’s junior quarterback connected on a long pass to Shemar Crawford for a Hilltopper touchdown. This electric play was one that the Hilltoppers kept coming back to.
Shannon’s go-to play was either a quarterback sneak or the running back right up the middle. Houston was able to get a pass rush on most plays but after getting run into play after play they were visibly fatigued on the defense.
This fatigue helped the Red Raiders get the game back in reach after the half making the score 16-20. Both teams always went for a two-point conversion as neither has a designated kicker.
After another Shannon drive and score, Houston was behind at 24-20 and needed to stop another drive. However, that defensive fatigue continued for the Hilltoppers when they let the Red Raiders run the score up to 32-20 early in the third quarter.
Houston was down but not out. After running the ball to about midfield, Parker once again connected with Crawford for a huge play that allowed for a Houston touchdown.
The Hilltoppers were finally able to tie up the game at 32-32 to end regulation play. Sadly the Hilltoppers were not able to pull it out in the end. After allowing Shannon to score and convert on the two-point conversion, the Hilltoppers received two costly penalties that backed them up and kept them out of the endzone.
Houston lost 32-40 to the Red Raiders of Shannon.
Coach Baylor Dampeer was upset about the penalties at the end of the game but optimistic about the future of the season.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a few too many times there at the end. But, this is a non-divisional game and we’ll use this to get better,” said coach Dampeer who now leads a 2-1 Houston Hilltopper football team.
The Houston Hilltoppers will take on the Pontotoc Warriors on the road on Friday.