HUNTINGTON — Sometimes a few big plays are better than a lot of smaller ones.
Huntington High (3-0) was highly efficient Friday night, scoring 21 points in 25 plays to defeat Cabell Midland 21-17 at Bob Sang Stadium. Highlanders scored on passes of 75 and 40 yards, and on a 70-yard kickoff return, to win the Battle for the Shield for the eighth time in 26 games.
The Knights dominated time of possession and ran 67 plays for 399 yards. Senior running back Jackson Fetty carried an astonishing 46 times for 206 yards.
Huntington’s High’s big plays, though, found the end zone more often. Gavin Lochow’s 40-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7 with 2:45 remaining was the game winner. Earlier, Lochow threw a 75-yard TD pass to Noah Waynick off a slant to put HHS ahead 7-3.
“We’d been watching film all week,” Waynick said of the touchdown catch. “I knew the corner couldn’t cover me. I broke inside and ran for daylight.”
Waynick also returned the second half kickoff 70 yards for a score. Once he broke through, only kicker Olivia Charles was in his way and he eluded her.
“In practice, the coaches told me if I saw room to run, run,” Waynick said. “I saw (Charles) running at me, but I didn’t think she could catch me.”
Waynick was correct. No one touched him on the kickoff return. One of the few times Waynick was tackled was with 1:39 to play when he intercepted a pass and was stopped at the Highlanders’ 44. Two plays later, Lochow ran for 16 yards and a first down, then picked up another eight yards on the next play. The junior quarterback kneeled on the last play to secure the victory and touch off a celebration by Huntington High’s student section, known as the “Dew Crew.”
“He’s a dog,” HHS coach Billy Seals said of Waynick. “He’s one of those kids you know is always going to play lights out.”
Seals said he wasn’t surprised that Cabell Midland ran Fetty so much, as the bruising 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior had carried nearly three times as much as any other Knight.
“That’s what they do,” Seals said. “They’re a good football team. They controlled the ball much better than we did. We really had a hard time getting off the field, but we made enough plays to win.”
The Knights accumulated 17 first downs to HHS’s four and never punted. They put together drives of 13, 14, 5, 8, 8 and 17 plays before the final trek ended in four plays. Huntington High’s longest drive was eight plays.
“They’re tough to stop,” Waynick said of Cabell Midland. “Their backs fall forward on every play.”
Chandler Schmidt scored two touchdowns for the Knights, racing 32 yards for a score 2:56 before halftime for a 10-7 lead, and 46 yards at 7:18 of the third quarter to put the Knights ahead 17-14. Schmidt finished with 87 yards on four carries. Mason Moran gained 73 yards on six attempts.
“We’ll celebrate this one for 24 hours, then get back to work,” said Seals, whose team visits George Washington (3-0) on Friday.
Cabell Midland is home Friday vs. Hurricane (1-2).
CABELL MIDLAND 3 7 7 0 — 17
HUNTINGTON HIGH 0 7 7 7 — 21
CM — Charles FG 26
HH — Waynick 75 pass from Lochow (Aya-Ay kick)
CM — Schmidt 32 run (Charles kick)
HH — Waynick 70 kickoff return (Aya-Ay kick)
CM — Schmidt 46 run (Charles kick)
HH — Felder 40 pass from Lochow (Aya-Ay kick)
First downs 17 4
Rushes-yards 62-387 13-48
Passes 1-5-1 3-12-0
Passing yards 12 137
Total yards 399 185
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-55 7-52
Punts 0-0 3-39.3
Cabell Midland — Fetty 46-206, Wolfe 6-21, Moran 6-73, Schmidt 4-87; Huntington High — Lochow 8-48, Jackson 1-1, Jones 2-4, Felder 2-(minus-5).
Cabell Midland — Wolfe 1-5-1, 12 yards; Huntington High — Lochow 3-12-0, 137 yards.
Cabell Midland — Moran 1-12; Huntington High — Waynock 1-75, Felder 1-40, Jones 1-22.