HUNTINGTON — If an opponent can survive the first quarter of football vs. Huntington High, it has a chance to beat the Highlanders.
Or, if a foe can make it through the third quarter unscathed, it has a chance for victory.
Huntington High (3-2) has been wildly inconsistent from period to period in its first five games. the Highlanders hope to play four quarters of consistent, quality offense and defense at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hurricane (2-4).
The Highlanders have started strong all season, outscoring opponents 38-7 in the first quarter. The opposition has adjusted, however, outscoring the Highlanders 76-34 in the second quarter. At halftime, though, Huntington High has re-taken control, with a 77-27 scoring advantage, only to be outscored 42-27 in the fourth quarter.
The Highlanders, No. 7 in the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission ratings, are looking to move up in the top eight and secure a home game in the first round of the playoffs. The top eight teams in the 16-team field at the end of the regular season are designated home teams in the postseason.
The No. 17 Redskins are trying to climb back in the top 16 and make the playoff field.
Hurricane features all-state running back Christian Hill, who has all but 20 of the Redskins’ carries this season. Huntington High takes a different approach, with Brocton Blair (75 carries, 595 yards), Devin Jackson (39-322 yards), Diallo Mitchell (40-223) and Tajhan Blackwell (37-114) splitting carries.
Blackwell also throws well, completing 40 of 83 passes for 681 yards and six touchdowns, with three interceptions. Noah Waynick, with 13 catches for 277 yards, is Blackwell’s favorite target, but Mitchell, with five reception for 170 yards, is the most dangerous. Jackson (7-141) also has been a big-play receiver. Tight end Eli Archer, a transfer from Chesapeake, has caught eight passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson is a play maker in all phases of the game, having intercepted four passes for 99 yards and one touchdown and returned seven kickoffs for 210 yards. A junior and the brother of other starting cornerback senior Chance Jackson, Devin Jackson has made a name for himself.
“Teams have thrown at the younger brother,” Seals said of Devin Jackson. “He’s had the opportunity to make plays and he’s made some.”