Hounds knocked out of playoffs by Jaguars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WAYNESBORO &8212; The Huntington Hounds scored first and scored last, but in between was disastrous in a 26-13 loss at Wayne Academy which knocked the Hounds out of the playoffs.

After the Hounds (9-3) forced Wayne to punt on its first drive, they drove down the field with relative ease, scoring on a Jody Cottongin touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead.

It was all downhill from there.

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&8220;We made mistakes, we lost focus and we didn&8217;t pull for each other,&8221; Harkins said. &8220;The better football team won the game tonight. They were a good football team, but most importantly, they played as a team. We were bigger, faster and stronger, but we didn&8217;t play as a team. That&8217;s been our downfall all year.&8221;

Wayne (7-4) reeled off 26 unanswered points to take a 26-7 lead with about four minutes remaining in the game. Zack Brown scored with just over a minute remaining to close the gap to 13.

Harkins said big plays were the killer.

&8220;We gave up a big play on defense right before half and went in tied,&8221; he said. &8220;We gave up two more big plays in the second half. (Wayne) pulled together. I don&8217;t feel like we met that challenge.&8221;

Harkins said, ultimately, he felt a lack of experience in big games was what hurt his team in losing three of its last four games.

&8220;I felt like we were going along good (earlier in the season),&8221; he said. &8220;We played some good teams there at the end. We weren&8217;t really ready for the playoffs, and the playoff-like atmosphere we had at Trinity, at River Oaks and here. We had only been to the playoffs three times since 1992, and this was the third one. We peaked. There were some weeks I just didn&8217;t feel like we got any better. Being in big games is something these kids just aren&8217;t used to, and I think this is going to be a good learning experience for our younger guys.&8221;