Houston Sets Career TD Mark

In just five games, Ryan Houston has scored a total of 14 touchdowns for Matthews (N.C.) Butler. However, it was a simple one-yard score that gave Houston the Mecklenburg County record for most rushing touchdowns in a career.

"I'm happy that I broke it, but it's really not a big deal I'm a team player and I want that state championship," said Houston. "I need to get on with my season and not focus on records."

Houston, a 6-foot-3 255-pound tailback, has rushed for a total of 656 yards on 105 carries (6.4-yard average) this season.

The notion of "team first" was further cemented into Houston's mind when Houston rushed for 209 yards on 36 carries against Charlotte (N.C.) Vance, but Butler lost the game.

"We had a bad night," said Houston. "We were supposed to be up 21-0 in the first quarter, but we dropped a touchdown catch and another touchdown was fumbled and [Vance CB] Justin [Byers] picked it up and ran it back for a [Vance] score. And just everything kept going wrong that game."

Despite his individual accomplishments in the game, Houston took the blame for the loss and decided to take a different approach to the season.

"I took the loss on my shoulders, because I wasn't really a team leader I was more like I'll play but I'm not going to be real vocal," said Houston. "So, I've become more vocal since the loss – more of a team leader."

The loss might have been the best thing for Butler and their dreams of a NCHSAA State Championship.

"I feel like our team was all too high – our heads were in the clouds," said Houston. "So, that loss was good because it brought us down. We've realized that people are going to come get us."

Now, Houston and his Butler teammates are approaching the season as if they were in a playoffs situation with an "another loss is unacceptable" mentality even with the likes of Charlotte (N.C.) Providence and nationally ranked Charlotte (N.C.) Independence still left on their schedule.

"If we play mistake free every game, we'll beat everybody – even Independence," said Houston.

On the recruiting front, Houston is still firm in his verbal commitment to North Carolina

"Everybody comes up to me asking ‘You still going to Carolina?'" said Houston. "I'm like ‘Yeah, I'm not going to change my mind just because they get beat.'"

Regardless of how this season games, Houston feels that the future is bright at UNC.

"They're having some problems and they need to pick it up," said Houston. "We have, me, [Mike] Paulus, and Dwight Jones are coming in next year to help them out on the offense. We all are scorers and we're going to put some points on the board."

Showing his support of the team, Houston was in Chapel Hill for the Virginia Tech game and at Clemson for UNC's bout with the Tigers.

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