Hawks Win 35-28 Escaping LaGrange's Second Half Surge
LAGRANGE, Ga. ---- Huntingdon College's football team jumped up 35-7 in the first half, before LaGrange College's offense scored 21-points in the second half of action. The Hawks (6-4) held off the Panthers (3-6) second half comeback, by intercepting two passes to stop potential scoring drives.
Huntingdon's success in the first half came on 45 plays for 397 total yards of offense. The Hawks defense held LaGrange to only 99 total yards on 34 plays in the first half. Neal Posey finished the half near perfect completing 10-of-13 passes for 191 yards and two scores.
The Hawks offense struggled in the second half, but the defense came up with two big turnovers late in the fourth quarter on Saturday to secure the 35-28 victory in the final game of the season.
In the first half, Huntingdon jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on the first two possessions. The Hawks scored both touchdowns on the ground from a Courtney Moss 3-yard run and a 4-yard run by Parker Roberts. The Panthers failed to convert on a fourth-and-two on their first possession due to a fumbled snap, setting up Roberts touchdown run.
LaGrange responded with a 4-play 35 yard touchdown drive, capped by Andrecus Lindley's 28-yard run down the right sideline. The score cut the Hawks lead to 14-7, with 12:39 left in the first half.
After the Panthers scored, Huntingdon went on a 21-point scoring spree to end the first half. Neal Posey found a wide open Drew Harrell for the 41-yard touchdown reception down the Hawks' sideline.
On the next score, Willie McDowell found himself in the right place at the right time falling on a fumble in the Panthers endzone on a third-and-goal for Huntingdon. Posey gave the Hawks the 35-7 lead with 1:33 left in the first half, coming off a 3-yard dive across the goal line.
LaGrange mounted a comeback in the third quarter scoring 14 unanswered points. Michael May connected with Stephen Tuck for a 23-yard touchdown reception, with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
On the Hawks next possession, Neal Posey's pitch was fumbled by Caleb McCants and recovered by the Panthers on the Huntingdon 26 yard line. LaGrange's Ed Russ scored 4 plays later on a quarterback draw from the 8 yard line, with 1:05 left in the quarter.
The Panthers carried momentum into the fourth quarter when Ed Russ dove into the endzone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. The score capped a 14-play 85 yard drive with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead 35-28.
Huntindgon did not find the endzone in the second half, and LaGrange held the Hawks to only 59 total yards of offense. The Panthers second half surge included, 21 unanswered points and 267 total yards of offense. The Hawks defense stepped up when Keith Anthony and Justin Brown intercepted passes, ending the Panthers last two potential game-tying drives of the game.
Neal Posey finished the day 12-of-19 for 102 yards with two touchdowns in the win over LaGrange. Posey added one rushing touchdown from 3-yards out in the second quarter.
Cody Pearcy rewrote the record books this season, with 102 yards on 4 catches on Saturday. Pearcy broke former Hawk receiver Mark Colson's single-season receiving record of 1,028 yards. Pearcy passed Colson in the second quarter on a 35-yard reception from Posey, finishing the season with 1,078 yards. Cody Pearcy also passed Colson's touchdown reception record of 9, by finishing with 12 touchdown on the season.
On the ground, Trevor Manuel ran for a season-high 31 times and 153 yards in the victory. Parker Roberts posted 66 yards on 7 carries and one touchdown, followed by Caleb McCants with 8 carries for 40 yards.
Chase Hughes, Quinn Hambrite, Justin Brown, and Xavier Singleton all led the Hawks defense with 6 total tackles each. D.J. Chappell and Michael Jennings sacked the Panthers quarterback once each in the win. Huntingdon's secondary forced 7 pass break ups and 3 interceptions, by Cornelius Jenkins, Ahmaad McClaney, and Justin Brown.
LaGrange's quarterback Michael May finished the day 12-of-25 for 128 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Andrecus Lindley posted 88 yards and one touchdown on the ground for LaGrange, while Ed Russ ran the ball 7 times for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Steven Tuck finished with 124 receiving yards and one touchdown on five catches. The Panthers were led by Malcolm Young with 10 total tackles in the loss.
The Hawks concluded the season on Saturday with a three game winning streak, after dropping four straight. With the win, the 2010 seniors tied last seasons graduates for a school best 27 victories in four seasons.
For more information on Huntingdon athletics visit www.HuntingdonHawks.com.