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Hurricane drubs Nitro

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Chris Dorst
Hurricane quarterback Austin Hensley looks to pass while Nitro's Dominic Cline gives chase.

HURRICANE, W.Va. -- There's nothing like a win to salve an opening-week loss.

Hurricane put the playoff train back on the tracks as just about everybody contributed in a 70-7 victory Friday night over Nitro. A crowd of about 1,500 attended the Class AAA Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup at Hurricane High School.

The Redskins (1-1) dropped a 23-8 decision to Huntington last week as their heralded high-powered offense never got off the ground.

This week they soared as they rolled up 548 yards of total offense, including 308 on the ground, and 25 first downs. And Hurricane's defense stonewalled Nitro, holding the Wildcats to just 133 total yards and top tailback Brayden Underwood to 40 yards on 20 carries after he went for 226 last week.

Hurricane senior quarterback Austin Hensley completed 17 of 26 passes, hitting on nine straight at one point in the opening half, for 240 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Redskins senior running back Zach Pate turned in 169 yards on eight carries with three TDs, including ones covering 42 and 65 yards. He also hauled in four passes for 75 yards and a 13-yard score. Hurricane senior tight end Alex Wolford added four receptions for 94 yards, including a 19-yard TD.

"It's nice to get that first 'W' and start the win streak right now,'' smiled Pate. "The [offensive] line did a great job opening up holes getting me where I'm most dangerous in open space and giving Austin time. Now's the time we're going to start getting on a roll.''

Nitro (1-1), which won its opener last week for the first time since 2008, pulled a fast one on Hurricane on the first play from scrimmage as Underwood threw a halfback pass to junior wide receiver Brelan Shepherd for 34 yards to the Redskins' 31-yard line.

That was the highlight of the night, though, for the Wildcats, who after converting one fourth down were held to a field goal attempt on the drive that went wide left.

Hurricane sputtered on its first two possessions with a three and out as Hensley's first three passes were incomplete then turning it over on downs. After forcing the second of nine Nitro punts, the Redskins were off and running, scoring TDs five of their last six possessions to close out the first half with a commanding 35-0 lead.

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