Thursday throwdown: Hughes runs for 3 scores; Indians now 2-0

Published 12:10 am Friday, September 2, 2016

By Daucy Crizer

The News correspondent

BAYTOWN — The one-two punch of Preston Hughes and Roschon Johnson is a force to be reckoned with this season as each player continues to produce big play after big play through two games.

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On Thursday, the duo accounted for five touchdowns in leading Port Neches-Groves to a convincing 42-7 win over Goose Creek Memorial in non-district action at Stallworth Stadium.

“I thought the story of the game was our defense,” said PNG coach Brandon Faircloth after the game. “They played really well. We got some early stops, three of four in a row, and we were able to turn that into some points.

“Coach (Dustin) Templin and our defensive staff put together a great game plan and the kids played real hard. They get to the football well. I’m real proud of them. As a defense, we always want to stop the run and we were able to do that tonight.”

Hughes rushed for a game-high 173 yards on 13 carries, and caught one pass for 15 yards. He scored touchdowns on runs of 11, 31 and 38 yards.

Johnson completed 10-of-17 passes for 152 yards. He also rushed for 78 yards on seven carries, including a 45-yard TD run. He also passed for a touchdown, hitting Dylan McGough on a 5-yard scoring strike.

“We’ve known what kind of runner Hughes was since he was in middle school,” said Faircloth of his junior running back. “He has great vision and great speed. We just get him the ball and he goes.

“Roschon is coming along. He got his arm hit a couple of times tonight which led to the interceptions, and those things are going to happen. He’s making good decisions with the ball and he can obviously tuck it and run. He’s an intelligent player and gets us in the right plays at the line of scrimmage.”

Already leading 27-0, PNG put together a methodical scoring drive that covered 67 yards in nine plays. Johnson connected with Keynel McZeal for a 17-yard completion and Johnson scrambled for 5 yards on fourth-and-five to keep the drive going. After a Johnson 9-yard scamper to the GCM 5, McGough capped the drive by catching a 5-yard touchdown pass to push the Indians lead to 33-0.

The only other scoring in the third quarter was a 33-yard field goal by Preston Riggs that gave PNG a 36-0 lead.

GCM (0-2) finally got on the board for the game and the season late in the fourth quarter. DeAndre Herman raced 61 yards for the Patriots’ first touchdown of the season. He finished the game with 105 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Gage Carreon closed out the scoring in the game’s final seconds as the Indians were running out the clock. He carried the ball seven straight times, which totaled 53 yards, and scored on a 4-yard run on the final attempt with 0:08 remaining.

PNG (2-0) wasted little time in getting on the board, needing just five plays to score on its first possession of the game. Hughes capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run to give the Indians a quick 7-0 lead

The Patriots’ ensuing drive was thwarted when Cameron Stansbury intercepted GCM quarterback Mason Pitts. The Indians put the turnover to good use, with Johnson racing 45 yards for a touchdown. He also had runs of six and eight yards on the quick four-play drive the put PNG up 14-0 with 3:10 left in the first quarter.

The Indians made it three touchdowns in three possessions on their next drive. Johnson hit McZeal for a 15-yard completion to the GCM 35. Hughes cashed in two plays later on a 31-yard scamper to open the second quarter scoring. The extra point was blocked to make the score 20-0.

The Patriots finally stopped the Indians on their next drive, as Tristan Lavan stepped in front of McZeal to intercept a pass from Johnson at the goal line. GCM put together its best drive of the half, but stalled at midfield.

It took PNG just two plays to score on its ensuing possession. Johnson connected with McZeal on a 13-yard pass play to put the ball at the GCM 38. Hughes scored on the very next play on a 38-yard run to give the Indians a 27-0 lead.

For GCM, Pitts completed 9-of-16 passes for 102 yards. In addition to rushing for 105 yards, Herman also caught five passes for 48 yards.