Three quarters good enough for Hounds

Published 2:00 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

FERRIDAY — Huntington only played about three quarters and 13 seconds of a football game Friday night.

Fortunately for the Hounds, they played those three quarters so well it didn’t matter.

Huntington had a 36-0 lead following Andreas Swanson’s 38-yard touchdown run 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, but saw Riverdale score three late touchdowns to make the final score a closer than expected 36-20.

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Needless to say, Huntington coach Chad Harkins was not impressed.

“We were up 36-0 and our kids just kind of said ‘Oh look at us, we’re winning’ and quit playing,” Harkins said. “We won the game, and a win’s a win, I guess, but when you do the things we did at the end of the game, it’s very disappointing to a coach.”

The final quarter put a damper on what was, to that point, a great night for the Huntington defense.

The Hounds forced five Riverdale turnovers, including four interceptions thrown by Rebel quarterback Andrew Driggers.

“Defensively we were playing great,” Harkins said. “For the first three quarters we defended the pass as well as we have all year, and I thought we would, as hard as we worked on it this week. But then we got to the point right there at the end where we’re up big and we let it loose. That’s just not acceptable.”

While Huntington’s defense was playing lights out from the opening kickoff, it took a little bit for the Hounds offense to get up to speed.

Huntington was held scoreless in the first quarter, but broke through with a touchdown early in the second on a Jeremy Randall 5-yard run, that capped off an eight-minute drive.

Huntington went on another long drive in the second quarter, but saw it die on the 1-yard line when quarterback Josh Lee fumbled a snap on fourth and goal.

It looked like it might be only a 6-0 game at halftime, but Lee led the Hounds on a quick scoring drive right before the break on the strength of his arm.

The Huntington quarterback completed passes of 14, 26 and 24 yards, the final one a strike to Randall that gave the Hounds a first and goal at the 7-yard line.

Randall capped off the drive with a 6-yard run with 25 seconds left in the half.

Randall expanded Huntington’s lead with a 28-yard jaunt midway through the third quarter and Andreas Swanson kept the pressure up a couple minutes later with a great sequence.

Swanson first intercepted a Riverdale pass and returned it to the 20-yard line, and then scored on a 20-yard run the very next play.

Swanson’s second touchdown of the night came on the first play of the fourth quarter following Huntington defense’s fourth interception of the night.

However, that’s when the Hounds took the foot off the accelerator and Riverdale made its comeback.

Driggers threw three touchdown passes in the final nine minutes of the game.

Two of them went to tight end Alex Shelton and the third went to Matt Warren in the final two minutes.

Riverdale’s comeback attempt was finally thwarted when Huntington recovered an onside kick attempt with 1:30 left.

“We played very well the first three quarters and it’s unexcusable and unexplainable how we finished,” Harkins said.

“We’re going to correct it.”