by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
CHILLICOTHE — Huntington brought the pressure from the get-go and made visiting Westfall pay for its mistakes on the way to a 26-0 win Friday night.
“They did a great job putting pressure on us,” Westfall coach Brad Smith said. “We hadn’t seen that in film, they hadn’t brought a lot of linebackers. We’ve got a young line and they knew they could come up and do some stuff there.”
The pressure from the Huntsmen led to the Mustangs having more plays go for negative yards in the first half than positive yards.
“That’s big for us was trying to get out of the gate and gain the momentum early to try and get our kids some confidence,” Huntington coach Scott Keller said. “With high school kids — you’re talking about 15, 16, 17-year-old kids — the emotions and feelings that are attached to them are a lot different than they are when they’re grown men. Those swings and changes in momentum in high school can change on a dime.
“We were able to get that very early in the game and held it through the first half.”
And by early, he meant the game’s third play when Braylon Leach intercepted the Mustangs giving Huntington a short field.
A few plays later, Dalton Haubeil caught a pass from Nick Marlon to put Huntington on the scoreboard.
Early in the second quarter, Huntington recovered a Westfall fumble at the Mustangs’ 11. Two plays later, Haubeil ran it in from six yards out.
After Westfall turned the ball over on downs after its next possession, the Huntsmen put a 10-play drive together with Haubeil going the final 22 yards for his third TD of the night and an 18-0 Huntington lead.
“We we were in position to make plays defensively, but we’ve got to execute,” Smith said. “The crazy thing is, we had a great week of practice. We had the three best days of practice we’ve had in a week all year where the execution was great. We’ve got to be able to roll with the punches a little bit better to be able to get the success we want.”
The Mustangs tried to swing things their way starting the second half as they stopped Huntington with an interception and then put a 10-play drive together that got as deep as the 17-yard-line. But the Huntsmen held and answered with a six-play drive where Seth McCloskey went the last 13 yards for a score. A two-point pass from Nick Marlon to Alan Smith capped the night’s scoring.
“We came out there in the third quarter, we were driving and had a penalty here and a penalty there and we threw the pick,” Keller said. “Then all of a sudden you’re thinking, ‘Did we just give up that momentum we had from the first half?’
“Our defense came to play tonight and really held their own. When you control the line of scrimmage in high school football, you’ve got a great shot.”
McCloskey and Haubeil led Huntington on the ground with 81 and 66 yards, respectively.
The Mustangs finished the night with 46 yards of offense.
Westfall (1-6, 1-4) hosts unbeaten Piketon next week before finishing the season on the road at Unioto (2-6).
“The thing I told them right there is that these next two weeks are the weeks that help define you as a man. What kind of man do you want to be?” Smith said. “Do you want to be the kind of man that goes out emptying every bullet in the chamber or are you going to tuck tail and run? I’m not going to tuck tail and run. I’m going to be there tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and I’m going to be there at 6 a.m. Sunday morning doing the things I need to get these guys to do better and I’m just going to ask that they do the things they need to do to put themselves in a better spot.”
Huntington (2-5, 1-3) is on the road at Adena before hosting Piketon with wrap up the season.
Huntington 26, Westfall 0
By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Westfall 0 0 0 0 0
Huntington 6 12 8 0 26
HU — Dalton Haubeil 8 pass from Nick Marion (pass failed), 7:11.
HU — Dalton Haubeil 9 run (pass failed), 10:20.
HU — Dalton Haubeil 22 run (pass failed), 2:11.
HU — Seth McCloskey 13 run (Alan Smith from Nick Marion), 0:08.
First downs 7 15
Rushing yards 29-(-2) 29-176
Passing yards 48 89
Comp.-Att.-Int 5-19-2 11-20-2
Total yards 46 286
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-50 7-57
Punts-Ave. 4-33 4-31
RUSHING – Westfall — Trent Walters 3-(-7), Michael Harwood 10-(-19), Jaden Towler 3-(-2), Bryce Wickline 12-36, Seth Spriggs 1-(-10). Huntington — Seth McCloskey 10-81. Dalton Haubeil 8-66, Braylon Leach 1-11, Quinton Pucket 1-4, Gregory Richards 4-5, Jaydon Noble 4-22.
PASSING – Westfall — Michael Harwood 5-19-2-48. Huntington — Nick Marion 11-20-1-89.
RECEIVING – Westfall — Trent Walters 4-34, Jaden Towler 1-14. Huntington — Seth McCloskey 2-7, Dalton Haubeil 2-18, Alan Smith 1-4, Noah Potter 2-16, Quinton Puckett 3-32, Luke Lewis 1-12.