MONTGOMERY, Ala. --- Sophomore quarterback Neal Posey threw his way into the record-book with six touchdown passes, in the 56-30 win at home against Trinity University (3-5). Huntingdon College's (5-4) defense stepped up in the second half to secure the victory, finishing the day with four total turnovers, one blocked extra-point, and five sacks.
Posey got his third career start in the win on Saturday and raised expectations. "Neal played very well and made a lot of great decision in the game. We couldn't have asked him to run the offense any better than he did today. He stepped up and raised the bar at the quarterback position," said head coach Mike Turk.
Neal Posey's record tying day finished 13-of-23 for 234 yards and 6 touchdowns with one interception. The Hawks offense posted 453 total yards, including 219 on the ground. The Tigers were able to gain 396 total yards in the game, with the majority coming through the air after being held to only 86 rushing yards.
The Hawks finished the first half of action ahead of Trinity 35-24, after giving the Tigers several opportunities to close in on the lead. At the half, Coach Turk challenged the defense to shut down Trinity's offensive attack led by quarterback Nykolas McKissic.
In the second half, Huntingdon's defense forced Trinity to punt the ball four times, created three turnovers, and only allowed the Tigers 6-points. "We didn't play particularly well on defense in the first half, but we came out in the second half and shut Trinity's offense down enough for us to put the game out of reach," said Turk.
On the other side of the ball, the Hawks posted 21-points including Neal Posey's sixth touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. Posey joins former Hawks quarterback Zach Golson, who set the record against Colorado College in 2005, as the only two players in school history with six touchdowns in a single game.
Huntingdon jumped up 14-0 on its first two drives of the game. Neal Posey connected with big play threat Cody Pearcy for a 39-yard touchdown, capping the 6 play 77 yard opening drive. After a Trinity punt, Huntingdon quickly extended the lead going 80-yards on 12 plays. On a third-and-three, running back Trevor Manuel found an opening lane for the 17-yard touchdown, giving the Hawks a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, 45 total points were scored led by Trinity's 24-points, but the Tigers never gained the lead over the Hawks. Trinity cut the Hawks lead to 4-points, after a Garret Biel 20-yard field goal and Nykolas McKissic's 43-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Urban.
After cutting the Hawks lead to 14-10 momentum looked to shift towards the Tigers, until Trinity's punt returner Kyle Brunson tried to field a Carl Sander's booming punt inside the Tigers 10-yard line. Brunson was immediately knocked down by a host of Hawks and Trinity was forced to start their drive on the 6-yard line.
Three plays later, senior defensive back Ahmaad McClaney intercepted McKissic's pass and set the Hawks up with a first-and-goal on the Tigers 4-yard line. Neal Posey recorded his second touchdown pass hitting Tyler Hall out of the backfield for a 4-yard completion. The score extended the Hawks lead to 21-10, and stopped the Tigers early threat at gaining momentum.
Trinity and Huntingdon would exchange two touchdowns each before the end of the first half. Trinity responded to the turnover, with an 11 play 69-yard touchdown drive capped by McKissic's 5-yard touchdown pass to Cory Scherr. The Tigers extra-point cut the Hawks lead to 4-points, 21-17 with 3:35 left in the half.
Neal Posey patiently sat in the pocket and spotted a wide open Cody Dykes sprinting down the middle of the field for a 47-yard touchdown pass three plays later. Corey Robertson's extra-point gave the Hawks the 28-17 lead, with 2:34 to play in the second quarter.
Trinity's Nykolas McKissic led the Tigers in two-minute drill fashion down the field on 8 plays for 74-yards and the score. On third-and-ten, McKissic found running back Patrick Granchelli out of the back field for an 11-yard touchdown completion with 55 seconds remaining in the first half, cutting the lead down to 4-points again, 28-24.
The score looked to remain 28-24 into the half, until Trinity's kickoff team hit Huntingdon's Austin Worley late out-of-bounds at the Hawks 40-yard line. The 15-yard penalty would start Huntingdon's drive on the Tigers 45-yard line, with 50 seconds left in the half. After two quick 8-yard completions, Posey connected with running back Trevor Manuel down the left sideline for a 29-yard touchdown pass, with 14 seconds left in the half and the Hawks up 35-24.
In the second half, the defense answered Coach Turk's challenge by only allowing 6-points. Ahmaad McClaney recorded his second interception of the day on Trinity's last possession, along with Keith Anthony's pick inside the Hawks 10-yard line. Kaleb Futral recovered a Tyler Barrett fumble from Carl Sander's punt early in the third quarter, setting up a Hawks touchdown.
Huntingdon's offense scored the only points in the third quarter, when Neal Posey threw his fifth touchdown pass 45-yards to Cody Pearcy. Robertson's extra-point gave the Hawks a 42-24 lead.
In the final quarter of action, the Hawks remained dominate outscoring the Tigers 14-6. Huntingdon converted two fourth downs on the first scoring drive of the quarter. Austin Bennett picked up 5-yards on the fourth-and-one, before Neal Posey's 28-yard touchdown strike to Cody Pearcy on a fourth-and-five. Posey's touchdown was his sixth of the day and tied the single-game school record, giving the Hawks a 49-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Trinity responded with an 8 play 54-yard touchdown drive, including a fourth-and-six conversion. Two plays after the conversion, McKissic dropped back in the pocket and then dashed up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown run. Huntingdon's Ahmaad McClaney blocked Garrett Biel's extra-point attempt, leaving the score at 49-30 with 10:49 left in the game.
The Tigers attempt at an onside kick was penalized for kick catching interference, and Huntingdon started the drive at Trinity's 48-yard line. Running back Courtney Moss carried the ball eight times on the 9 play 48-yard scoring drive. On fourth-and-two at the Tigers 13-yard line, Moss took the handoff around the left end, broke a tackle and plunged into the end zone for the Hawks final touchdown. Robertson added the extra-point for the 56-30 final score.
Trevor Manuel led Huntingdon ground attack with 9 carries for 69 yards and one touchdown. Austin Bennett followed with 59 yards on 8 carries, including a 42-yard run. Caleb McCants and Courtney Moss each carried the ball 7 times and tallied 38 and 34 yards with one touchdown, respectively.
For the sixth time this season Cody Pearcy has hauled in over 100-yards in a game. Pearcy finished the day with 3 catches for 112 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tyler Hall (3), Cody Dykes (47), and Trevor Manuel (29) each caught one touchdown pass in the win, while Bobby Dunlap grabbed two passes for 18 yards.
Trinity's Nykolas McKissic completed 19-of-37 passes for 292 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Cory Scherr paced Trinity with four catches for 56 yards, while Caleb Urban led the team with 69 yards receiving on three catches and a score. The Tigers were led on the ground by Patrick Granchelli with 11 carries for 42 yards.
Defensively, Kirk Johnson led the Hawks with 11 total tackles, including 5 solo stops. Keith Anthony followed with 7 total tackles, one interception, and a pass break up. Jeremy Hooks paced the team with 2 sacks for a loss of 10-yards, while Chase Hughes, Steven Penewitt, and Xavier Singleton each recorded a sack. Ahmaad McClaney led the secondary with two interceptions in victory.
"This was a big win for us and a great way to send out our seniors. We've had a rough stretch of losses, but I'm proud of the way our team has fought to turn it back around and it showed today," said head coach Mike Turk on the 56-30 win over Trinity.
The Hawks will travel to LaGrange, Ga. on Saturday, Nov. 6, for the final game of the season against the Panthers. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CST, with the on-line broadcast available at www.HuntingdonHawks.com.