Charlotte area football powers Hough, Vance decided I-MECK supremacy Friday night.

Hough, No. 2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, upset No. 1 Vance, 29-22 Friday night, taking advantage of some bad snaps and good special teams play.

Hough (7-0) beat Vance (6-1), the reigning N.C. 4AA state champions, for the second straight time in regular-season play and won the I-MECK 4A championship. The Huskies also won the coveted No. 1 seed from the conference for next week’s N.C. 4AA playoffs.

Three plays in the second half changed the game, all on special teams.

Hough got a touchdown and a safety after punts sailed over the head of the Vance punter on back-to-back second half possessions.

On the third possession, Vance inserted a new punter, James Pearce, who punted from his end zone. Pearce got a good snap and got the punt off, but Markell Quick returned it 40 yards for a score. That helped Hough (7-0) turn a 7-6 halftime deficit into a 22-14 fourth-quarter lead.

Vance appeared to have one last chance and was trying to force a punt with about two minutes to play. But on third and long, Hough’s Elijah McWilliams ran up the middle. He burst through a hole and ran 82 yards for a 29-14 lead.

A celebration penalty forced Hough to kick off further back than usual, and KC Concepcion returned it to near midfield.

On the next play, Vance quarterback Austin Grier hit Daylan Smothers for a 51-yard score. Concepcion’s two-point conversion trimmed the lead to 29-22. But Hough recovered the onside kick, which ended Vance’s chances.

Vance (6-1) will probably think about this one for a while. It struggled all night on special teams, and had several snaps sail over quarterback Austin Grier’s head. And the Cougars couldn’t slow down the Hough defensive front. For most of the game, Vance’s best offense was Grier dropping back to pass and scrambling.

The poor special teams plays only made things worse.

Hough 3 3 7 16 — 29

Vance 7 0 7 0 — 14

V: Joseph Morris 3 run (Melvin Benetiz kick)

H: FG Nolan Hauser 29

H: FG Hauser 26

H: Grant Pallo fumble recovery in end zone (Hauser kick)

V: Asuani Allen 21 run (Benetiz kick)

H: Safety (Vance kicks ball out of end zone after bad snap)

H: Markell Quick 40 punt return (Hauser kick)

H: Elijah McWilliams 82 yard run (Hauser kick)

V: Daylan Smothers 51 pass from Austin Grier (KC Concepcion run)