By Cliff Mehrtens
CHARLOTTE – Tylan Murrell’s debut as a running back was a smashing success.
Murrell ran for four touchdowns and 192 yards on 22 carries to spark Hough High’s 34-21 victory at Providence in the season opener Friday for both teams.
Murell, a senior, was a defensive back last season, and also played at wide receiver.
“My line did an outstanding job blocking,” he said. “(Center) Jake McCreary opened up the hole and I followed him to the promised land.”
Hough’s offense was dominant from the start. The Huskies scored touchdowns on their first four possessions. The first three scoring drives were capped by Murrell’s scoring runs of 2, 11 and 7 yards.
Murrell flashed quickness and was rarely stopped by the first potential tackler. He was effective running inside and outside.
“I hadn’t played running back since I was about 7,” Murrell said. “It was a little uncomfortable at first, but after I got that first breakout run, I got comfortable.”
Murrell had a 39-yard run on his third carry. His fourth touchdown came on a 13-yard run late in the third quarter to give Hough a 34-14 lead.
Huskies quarterback Josh Stilley, a four-yard starter, matched Murrell’s hot start. Stilley connected on his first seven passes, several which were crossing patterns for solid gains. His eighth pass was on target, but was dropped. Stilley’s ninth pass was completed, a 20-yard touchdown to tight end Brett Walker.
Hough’s defense also was in mid-season form. It forced Providence to punt on its first five possessions. Connor Barringer had two sacks and Corey Bell had a second-half interception.