Huntington’s run charges toward next round of playoffs

Published 1:04 am Saturday, November 17, 2007

RAYMOND — The key battle between Huntington and Central Hinds Academy in the MPSA Class A South State second-round game was between the Hounds’ run defense against the Cougars’ ground attack.

One week after gaining 267 yards in a first-round win over WCCA, Central Hinds was held to just 71 yards by a tenacious Huntington defense as the Hounds used a big second half to defeat the Cougars 28-7 Friday night.

“Our defense played tremendous. All week long we heard how they could run the ball,” Huntington head coach Chad Harkins said. “The kids played hard, played together. The defense kept us in it.”

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Huntington (9-4), the District 6-A runner-up, will take on a very familiar opponent next Friday at 7 p.m. with the Class A South State Championship on the line — District 6-A champion Glenbrook, which defeated Porter’s Chapel 26-8.

However, the Hounds will be without running back Jody Cottongin, who suffered a broken collarbone with about a minute left in the game and the game out of reach.

“We’ve got a pretty solid team and we can do some things,” Harkins said. “But that’s a big blow for us.

Before the injury, Cottongin ran through and around the Cougars’ defense to the tune of 240 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. His 61-yard touchdown run with 6:13 to go in the third quarter gave Huntington the lead for good at 12-7. He would add a 10-yard touchdown run with 3:32 to go in the ball game.

Martez Tolliver also had a big hand in the Hounds’ 380 total rushing yards as he finished with 104 yards on 22 carries and quarterback Chuck Bowie added a pair of touchdown runs.

“We moved the ball well. In the first quarter we ran most of the clock even though we didn’t put any points on the board,” Harkins said. “Offense got going in the second half. That’s a credit to the kids. They’re learning what it takes to win.”

Central Hinds (9-4) got its only points near the midway mark of the third quarter on a 6-yard pass from Trey Latherm to Ben Lowery. Latherm, who threw for 138 yards on 11-of-20 passing, would be sacked early on in the fourth quarter for a safety.

Andrew Shelby led the Cougars on the ground with 51 yards on six carries. Ryan Oliver was held to just 14 yards on seven carries.