Hounds looking for No. 4

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2008

Ferriday — The Huntington Hounds will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they host Riverdale Academy in MPSA District 6-A action Friday at 7 p.m.

Huntington, ranked No. 3 in Class A, had its way with Franklin Academy as the Hounds routed the Cougars 40-14 on the road to go 4-2 overall and 3-0 in district play. Riverdale, on the other hand, will be taking on the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Class A in consecutive weeks.

Last Friday night, the Rebels allowed two 100-yard rushers and 317 yards on the ground in a 52-15 home loss to the Glenbrook Apaches that dropped their record to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in district play. This week, it doesn’t get any easier for them.

Email newsletter signup

“We’ve been working with the defensive backs in passing coverage since Riverdale likes to throw the ball a lot,” Huntington head coach Chad Harkins said.

During its three-game winning streak, Huntington has averaged just over 42 points a game, while allowing less than 10 points a game. That does not bode well for Riverdale.

In last week’s win over Franklin Academy, Huntington itself had two 100-yard rushers. Jeremy Randall had 138 yards rushing and one touchdown on 18 carries while Josh Lee ran for 100 yards and four touchdowns. The Hounds had 318 yards rushing and 413 yards of total offense. Huntington quarterback Joey Roberts completed nearly 50 percent of his passes (5-of-12) last week for 95 yards.

“We tried to mix it up a little last week. We’re going to try to some more of that this week,” Harkins said. “It’s hard to predict what kind of defense they will run beings that we run two tight ends of the double wing. We’ll just get ready to run up against whatever kind of defense they throw at us.”

In last week’s loss to Glenbrook, Riverdale gave up three big touchdown plays, one in the running game, one in the passing game, and one on a punt return, and each of them were over 50 yards. If the Rebels’ defense and special teams allows that to happen this week, the Hounds will make it a very long night for the visitors.

“Anytime you get a big lead it puts pressure on their offense to score points in a hurry,” Harkins said.

The Hounds’ defense will contend with a Riverdale offense that likes to throw the ball. Quarterback Andrew Driggers was one of the few bright spots for the Rebels last week as he threw two touchdown passes.

“They like to spread it out. Empty set with no backs. Four of five wide. They run out of the shotgun. I’ve never seen them snap the ball under center,” Harkins said. “We just make sure we adjust to the formations they are running. We have a good week of practice.”

However, the one thing Huntington needs to cut down on is penalties. The Hounds were penalized 17 times for 155 yards last week.

“We haven’t had much of a problem with penalties all season. Some of those were phantom penalties. Hopefully, we’ll cut down on them this week,” Harkins said.