The Houston Hilltoppers won a stunner in Winona. With a score of 30-20 it was a close defensive game for most of the first half. Houston was hurting going into half time after the Tigers of Winona made it 14 points across the board. The Toppers came out in the first drive after halftime and did what they needed to do in less than ten plays.
This game was full of explosive plays on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. On special teams there was a play that deserves to be on highlight reels across the state. On a kick return number 18 Kellen Pumphrey was the first receiver to catch the ball. But almost immediately he was wrapped up by Winona defensive players. Wrapped up but not brought down, Pumphrey flicked the ball to number 15, Bobby Townsend, who ran it almost all the way back. Sadly the play was brought back due to a blocking in the back penalty. That play is what you get when you have leaders on all sides of the ball and players who want nothing more than to get in the endzone.
Sadly this game was marred by awful calls from the officiating team. Uncalled holdings on Winona, no clock resets, and clock stoppage when there should have been none. While it is understandable that the officials would call this game a little more conservatively as it is a playoff game, they should allow these kids to play the game.
All in all this game was a fantastic showing of what Houston football really is. These young men love this game. They are a hungry ball team with a fantastic coaching staff.
The Hilltoppers will take on North Panola in the next round.