Big plays, heat allows Huntingdon to take MC opener 35-7
Football - September 3, 2011
MC Sports Information
The Huntingdon College Hawks took advantage of a scorching day and a few big plays to separate themselves early and earn a 35-7 victory over the Maryville College Scots in their season opener on MC's Honaker Field.
On the Hawks second possession quarterback Neal Posey connected with Austin Worley for a 68 yard pass completion as the MC defensive back went for the pick. One play later, Posey connected with Willie McDowell from 10 yards out for a score. David Ballard's kick was good and Huntingdon took the lead 7-0.
Following a Tim Conner interception by Keith Anthony, Huntingdon used a ten play, 60 yard drive to move toward the end zone. Trevor Manuel pushed the ball toward pay dirt with a one yard plunge for their second score. Ballard's kick made the score 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Maryville took their first drive in the second quarter and answered with a seven play, 60 yard scoring drive. Conner's pass to Ryan Roach provided a 32 yard spark and a screen to tight end Jared Miller added an additional 13 yard progression. Conner connected with senior Wesley Idlette on a fade route from four yards out for Maryville first touchdown of the season. Andrew Noboa's kick was good and MC cut Huntingdon's lead in half 14-7.
MC senior Bud Christy stalled the Hawks following drive with his 12th career interception as Huntingdon was threatening to score. The touchback kept MC within striking distance.
Maryville's six play drive stalled out and the Hawks looked to put some distance on the scoreboard with their following 11-play drive. This 70 yard scoring drive was highlighted by a 32 yard pass reception by Del Green. Posey promptly hit Austin Worley for a seven yard score via the air to make the score 21-7 to close out the half.
"We played hard, but we just gave up some big plays," stated MC Head Coach Tony Ierulli. "We had them in two or three second downs and really long situations, and we just had some deep balls hit on us. We had the correct coverage, and just didn't really make plays. That just kind of set the tone for the first half."
MC's second possession in the third quarter was stalled when Andrew Noboa sailed a 28 yard field goal attempt wide right. As both teams battled for field possession, the third quarter ended with neither team crossing the end zone. After three complete quarters Huntingdon led 21-7.
"We played well on defense in the third quarter, but the heat zapped us pretty good," stated Coach Ierulli. "If the offense isn't on the field for very long, all the defensive guys are playing on special teams, and with a lot more plays on defense, our guys kind of wore out at two or three different points in the game. "
Huntingdon had great field possession to begin the final quarter and took advantage of a poor punt. Eight plays and 51 yards later, including a 20 yard pass play put the Hawks in scoring distance. Trevor Manuel used a nine yard scamper and a two yard plunge to put HC up 28-7 with 13 minutes left in the game.
At the seven minute mark, Huntingdon began an 11 play, 67 yard drive that would end their scoring for the afternoon. A steady diet of Manuel and Mielke rushes and a 17 yard pass completion to Granger put the Hawks on the MC doorstep. Paul Mielke entered the MC end zone from two yards out to make the final score 35-7.
Offensively, the Hawks were paced by Manuel's 104 yards on 24 rushes. He tallied a pair of touchdowns. Posey connected on 23-of-38 passes for 309 yards and a pair of scores. His favorite targets were Worley and McDowell who were responsible for 83 and 62 reception yards respectively. Huntingdon's defense featured Kirk Johnson's 10 tackles which included a sack and a pair of stops for a loss.
Maryville was limited to only 11 yards rushing. Tim Conner was 15-for-32 for 201 yard in the air. He connected seven times with Ryan Roach for a game-high 131 reception yards. Dakota Crews and Dylan Wolfenbarger each posted 10 tackles while Nick Scott and Bud Christy each had nine stops.
Maryville (0-1) will return to the field next Thursday when they travel to Cookeville, Tennessee to challenge Tennessee Tech University. Kick-off is slated for 7:00 pm (CST).