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Huntington survives Winfield scare to finish regular season unbeaten

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Gazette photo by LAWRENCE PIERCE.......'WHSHHS'.......6x7.22.......Winfield's #79 Jeffrey Holbert with help from #22 Isaac Withrow chases down Huntington's #7 Nick Tubbs in first half action.......11/8/13.......

WINFIELD -- Class AAA top-ranked Huntington finished its regular season undefeated with a 14-6 win on a cold Friday night at General Stadium, but not without a fight from a determined Winfield team.

The Highlanders (10-0), coming off a 21-17 come-from-behind win over South Charleston last week, had to maintain their level of intensity throughout as the Generals' defensive front was forceful until the waning moments of the game.

"Playing on a grass surface where it's really muddy and slick is not what we're really good at," said Highlander coach Billy Seals. "We don't have the big huge linemen. We're more of a football team conducive to turf, but it was a gutty win.

"Coach [Craig] Snyder's team played their guts out tonight. It was a good, tight football game and close all the way and we're glad to get the win."

The entire first half was a battle for field position as neither team could sustain a drive on a slick field, resulting in eight punts, and the game remained scoreless.

Throughout the first half, the General defensive line continuously broke through the Huntington blocking wall to stop the Highlanders' trio of backs, who were held to 80 yards rushing before the break.

"We played great defense," Snyder said. "We were very physical and, yes, the field did slow them down a little, but we played well defensively all night."

Midway through the second quarter, the Generals mounted a drive from their own 20-yard line down to the Highlander 25, highlighted by a 55-yard pass from Toby Show to John Hathaway, who picked up several blocks on the play only to be caught from behind by Highlander safety Clark Wilson.

The Huntington defense stiffened at that point, stopping the Generals a yard short of a first down on a fourth-down run by the Generals' Jacob Lewis.


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