Huntington gets win when it counts against Wayne Aca.

Published 1:35 am Saturday, November 10, 2007

WAYNESBORO — After ending the regular season with two losses in their last three games, the Huntington Hounds were looking to bounce back at just the right time — the first round of the MPSA Class A South State Playoffs.

Huntington head coach Chad Harkins also hoped that the long trip from Ferriday to Waynesboro to take on District 4-A champion Wayne Academy would not have any affect on the team.

After giving up a touchdown on Wayne Academy’s opening drive, the Hounds’ defense settled down and Jody Cottongin’s 6-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion run early in the fourth quarter gave the Hounds a hard-fought 8-7 win.

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Jared Garner scored on a one-yard run at the 7:43 mark of the first quarter and Jabo Lee added the extra point to give the Jaguars a 7-0 lead.

“The guy slipped up and they got a cheap one on us,” Harkins said. “We adjusted pretty well and they didn’t complete a pass the rest of the game. Our defense played outstanding the whole game.”

Wayne Academy (5-7) completed only one pass the entire ball game and that occurred during its touchdown drive. Huntington also had to adjust on both sides of the ball after losing fullback/linebacker Josh Lee on the third play from scrimmage with a high ankle sprain.

“We had to improvise and go in the shotgun,” Harkins said. “Jarod Cole played fullback in the second half. We got most our (176) running yards in the second half. It was a great group effort.”

Cottongin rushed for 78 yards on 24 carries while Martez Tolliver had 54 yards on 12 carries and Chuck Bowie had 44 yards on nine carries.

After Cottongin gave Huntington (8-4) the lead with 11:54 to go in the game, it was up to the Hounds’ defense to preserve the lead. And they did just that. Chris Carroll had a key sack and Bowie intercepted a Daniel Bunch pass with 17 seconds remaining.

“Our defense rose to the occasion tonight,” Harkins said. “I can’t say enough about our defense. Chuck had a big interception late. The defense kept us in the game.”

Next up for Huntington is Central Hinds Academy in the second round at 7 p.m. next Friday. Central Hinds defeated WCCA 24-14 Friday night.