No. 1 HHS pulls away
HUNTINGTON -- Just when it appeared Lewis County had a glimmer of hope Saturday afternoon, Huntington High quarterback Clark Wilson and running back Charles Crawford crushed that upset spirit on one play.
The Minutemen picked off a Wilson pass late in the second period and took over at the Huntington 14. Three plays later, Dustin Martin raced around left end 9 yards for a touchdown to tie the West Virginia Class AAA football first round playoff game, 7-7.
After the kickoff, the Highlanders had the ball at their 34. On the first snap, Crawford ran a wheel route out of the backfield down the left sideline, went uncovered and Wilson dropped a perfect pass to the senior to complete a 66-yard momentum-changing touchdown for a 14-7 lead.
Huntington High scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter and converted a blocked punt by Arick Nicks into points just before the period ended. That burst paved the way for the No. 1 Highlanders to knock off the No. 16 Minutemen, 31-7, at Bob Sang Stadium.
"That changed the momentum drastically," Wilson said. "We got back what we lost."
"Momentum changed quickly," Highlanders running back Nick Tubbs said. "We can't let them know they can beat us. Coming in you always feel you have a chance. That's the way you're supposed to feel."
Wilson said the coaches showed faith in him to go up top after the interception.
"Their DB made a great play," Wilson said. "I looked at Nick (Tubbs), Corey (Romans), went back to Nick and their DB broke on the ball. I've overcome getting down on myself. I said I've got this. I'll be OK the next play. (Assistant) coach (Brandon) Cassell had faith in me. I saw the corner. He didn't go with Charles. It was pretty nice. He did the route. He made me look good."
"It was a pretty good throw," Crawford said. "Nobody picked me up. It took a lot of courage to call it."
Huntington High (11-0) will take on No. 8 George Washington at home next weekend in the quarterfinal round. The Patriots beat Oak Hill, 21-14, in overtime Friday. Dates and times will be set Sunday. Lewis County finished 7-4.
Highlanders coach Billy Seals was happy with Wilson's bomb, but offered his quarterback some advice.
"It was a beautiful ball," Seals said. "He has to understand we can't turn the ball over in the red zone. Next time he gets it, throw it up in the bleachers."
Tubbs led the Highlanders in rushing with 94 yards on nine carries, including an 84-yard TD run in the opening period. Paden Christian added 90 on 14 carries and Crawford had 86 on nine. His 29-yard TD dash in the third started the decisive run.
The Highlanders limited the Minutemen to 113 yard rushing and one pass completion for 14 yards.
Senior Nigale Cabell, who goes both ways up front for the Highlanders, said they finally played as expected in the second half.
"At the half, we think it's No. 1 going against No. 16. It's too close," Cabell said. "Everyone has to come out and dominate. We did."
"In the second half we had to reestablish ourself as the dominant team," Seals said.
LEWIS COUNTY 0 7 0 0 -- 7
HUNTINGTON HIGH 7 7 17 0 -- 31
H -- Tubbs 84 run (Stevens kick), 8:24.
LC -- Martin 9 run (Gunter kick), 1:38.
H -- Crawford 66 pass from Wilson (Stevens kick), 1:20.
H -- Crawford 29 run (Stevens kick), 10:20.
H -- Stevens 28 FG, 4:15.
H -- Tubbs 6 run (Stevens kick), 1:23.
First downs 7 15
Total Net Yards 127 355
Rushes-yards 45-113 38-269
Passing 14 86
Comp-Att-Int 1-5-2 3-7-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-0
Penalties-Yards 7-48 5-50
RUSHING -- Lewis County: Carson 11-8, Martin 12-40, Conway 9-7, Carlton 12-56, White 2-7, Moneypenny 1-minus 5. Huntington High: Crawford 9-86, Tubbs 9-94, Christian 14-90, Wilson 5-minus 9, Clark 1-8.
PASSING -- Lewis County: Carlton 1-4-1, 14; White 0-1-1. Huntington High: Wilson 3-7-1, 86.
RECEIVING -- Lewis County: Robinson 1-14. Huntington High: Crawford 1-66, Mann 1-8, Tubbs 1-12.
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