Highlanders win at Woodrow Wilson
BECKLEY — Huntington High coach Billy Seals doesn’t mind telling you, he was more than just concerned about the challenges brought forth by Woodrow Wilson.
“Woodrow is the most dangerous team we have seen,” Seals said. “Coming into this week, looking at them as a (coaching) staff, we were very impressed by what they were able to do, on both sides of the ball. ... We were very, very worried about this football game.”
If it was a test for the Class AAA No. 4 Highlanders, they passed.
Huntington High’s defense pressured Woodrow quarterback Andrew Johnson effectively, and Donte Hendricks’ 59-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter made the hill a little too steep for the No. 11 Flying Eagles, who fell, 30-22, Friday at Van Meter Stadium.
Four different players ran for Huntington High touchdowns, and Zac Stevens kicked a 37-yard field goal as the Class AAA No. 4 Highlanders improved to 5-1. Paden Christian rushed for a game-high 116 yards, including a 47-yard TD in the first quarter.
An 8-yard run by Charles Crawford put Huntington High ahead 23-8 halfway through the third, but Woodrow (4-3) would not go away.
A 1-yard touchdown by Marcus Mickey and two-point reception by Timothy Culicerto made it 23-16 with 9:06 to play.
The Eagles looked to have taken the momentum after that, forcing Huntington High into a third down situation at its 41. But Hendricks took the ball on a sweep, got to the right sideline and went 59 yards to the end zone to put the Highlanders’ lead back at two touchdowns.
“We thought we had them on the ropes,” Woodrow coach John H. Lilly said.
“Obviously, that was a big play for us,” Seals said. “We didn’t play very good tonight, but a lot of that had to do with Beckley. They have a good football team. I’m just glad to get out of here with a win.”
Even then, Woodrow stayed in the game. Johnson hit Culicerto for a 51-yard touchdown — Culicerto was tripped up but stretched to get the ball across the goal line — and it was an eight-point game with 4:17 to play.
But the Highlanders were able to control the clock, using a pair of first downs along the way, and held on for the win.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 7 10 6 7 — 30
WOODROW WILSON 0 8 0 14 — 22
H — Christian 47 run (Stevens kick)
WW — Nabors 8 pass from Johnson (Osborne pass from Johnson)
H — Stevens 37 FG
H — Shaver 4 run (Stevens kick)
H — Crawford 8 run (kick failed)
WW — Mickey 1 run (Culicerto pass from Johnson)
H — Hendricks 59 run (Stevens kick)
WW — Culicerto 51 pass from Johnson (run failed)
RUSHING — HH: Christian 15-116, Hendricks 10-79, Shaver 10-58, Crawford 4-18, team 2-(-2). WW: Johnson 16-60, Ayers 7-40, Edwards 5-15, Osborne 1-6, Meadows 2-4, Mickey 1-1, team 2-(-26).
PASSING — HH: Shaver 7-15-2-86, Crawford 1-1-0-27. WW: Johnson 8-22-0-119, Osborne 1-1-0-11.
RECEIVING — HH: Martin 2-28, Haikal 2-22, Shaver 1-27, Wilson 1-13, Crawford 1-13, Jones 1-8. WW: Meadows 3-11, Edwards 2-37, Culicerto 1-51, Hansford 1-12, Johnson 1-11, Nabors 1-8.