Highlanders handle Greenbrier East
HUNTINGTON — Huntington High School survived a threat from visiting Greenbrier East to capture a 35-14 win on a cool and wet Friday night at Bob Sang Field.
Class AAA No. 3 Huntington High (7-1) withstood its own errors while forcing defensive stops and Spartan turnovers at crunch time to pick up the win. HHS picked off three Greenbrier East passes, including two in the second half to help carry them to victory.
"You never can complain when you win a football game," Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. "I don't think we played our best tonight, but give Greenbrier East credit. They came out and played really well. Coach (Ray) Lee has done a really nice job with that program this year."
"They remind me of this (HHS) team three years ago. They are playing with a lot of heart and class."
Huntington High started the game quickly by grabbing a 14-0 first quarter lead. The dominant Highlanders ground game scored all five of their touchdowns, with Charles Crawford running for both of the first quarter scores.
Crawford had 109 yards on 15 carries to lead the ground attack, which accounted for 308 of the team's 334 total yards.
Greenbrier East (2-6), however, picked up the defensive pace in the second quarter, limiting the Highlanders and intercepting two Mark Shaver passes. Huntington High didn't help itself, either, with four penalties in the first half. Three penalties in the second period wiped out big plays.
"We have to quit shooting ourselves in the foot," Seals said. "Every time we had a positive, big play, there would be a holding or false start penalty. Mark did some things that were uncharacteristic of him in the first with two picks."
The Greenbrier East offense didn't give its defense much help early. A missed field goal and the inability to punch it into the end zone on five plays inside the 5-yard line kept the Spartans scoreless and facing a 14-0 halftime deficit.
Lee rallied his troops at halftime and the Spartans came out to begin the third quarter with a seven-play, five-minute drive that ended with Cole McClain's 14-yard touchdown run.
After the teams traded turning it over on downs, Huntington High sped up its ground attack with a variety of runners making their way down field. Nick Tubbs, back from injury, found an opening to the end zone from eight yards that extended the lead to 21-7.
However, Greenbrier East returned the following kickoff to the HHS 30. This time, McClain muscled in on a 4-yard TD run and the gap once again was seven points.
Huntington High punted to the Greenbrier East 1 and the Spartans were unable to move it out. Nick Tubbs of the Highlanders followed with an 8-yard touchdown. Donte Hendricks tacked on a 1-yard touchdown that finished things.
"In the second half we settled down and got things fixed," Seals said. "II thought we played better football in second half.
"I'm really proud of our football team for getting the win tonight."
GREENBRIER EAST 0 0 7 7 -- 14
HUNTINGTON HIGH 14 0 7 14 -- 35
H -- Crawford 4 run (Stephens kick)
H -- Crawford 12 run (Stephens kick)
G -- McClain 14 run (Myles kick)
H -- Tubbs 8 run (Stephens kick)
G -- McClain 4 run (Myles kick)
H -- Tubbs 8 run (Stephens kick)
H -- Hendricks 1 run (Ruley kick)
Total Yards 229 334
First Downs 13 19
Rushes-yards 40-152 55-308
Comp-Att-Int 6-17-3 3-10-2
Passing Yards 26 77
Penalties-Yds 2-20 4-50
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
RUSHING -- GE: Kinder 18-64; McClain 12-49, 2TD; Richmond 9-37; Johnson 1-2. HHS: Crawford 15-109, 2TD; Christian 11-69; Shaver 9-53; Hendricks 11-52; Tubbs 7-12; Thompson 2-13.
PASSING -- GE: Kinder 4-13-1, 74 yards; Johnson 2-4-2, 3 yards. HHS: Shaver 3-10-2, 26 yards.
RECEIVING -- GE: Level 3-33; McClain 2-26; Reynolds 1-18; HHS: Fraley 1-26.