Huntington looks to make noise in final two home games

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

FERRIDAY — Wins have been tough to come by for the youthful Huntington School Hounds this season, and last week’s 38-12 win over Union Christian Academy was a breath of fresh air.

The Hounds (2-7, 0-2) rode strong performances by tailbacks Kevin Brown and Shaq Witherspoon, both of whom combined for 277 yards on the ground.

Hounds head coach Chad Harkins said both Brown, a junior, and senior quarterback Jess Dossett stepped up against Union Christian.

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“Anytime you’ve been struggling like we have, it’s good to get a win,” Harkins said.

“Brown and Dossett, two upperclassmen, both played really hard. They had an opportunity to get another win and took advantage.”

Brown accounted for three Hounds touchdowns, while Witherspoon and Dossett each tallied one.

In addition to the couple of older players stepping up, Harkins also credited teamwork as a factor in the win.

“We worked together as a team more so than we have been,” Harkins said. “We got the kinks out of some of the things we were having trouble with.”

Win or lose, the theme for the 2009 Hounds has remained consistent since Harkins realized it would be a rebuilding year for his team: Just get better every week.

“That’s all we can do,” Harkins said. “We’re just trying to improve on areas we see us making mistakes in. There’s always something to get better at, so that will remain our goal.”

This week, the Hounds will host Wilkinson County Christian Academy in their second-to-last game of the season.

“Coach (Sam) Byrd always does a really good job with them,” Harkins said. “They’re used to not having a lot of numbers like us, but they’ve got some good skill players over there.

“Tip (McKenzie) and (Todd) Gonda are two guys that can both run well, and it will be a tough task for us to contain those guys.”

In addition, Harkins said his secondary would be tested against the WCCA passing game.

“Gonda can throw the ball a mile. We have a lot of youth in our secondary, and it will be a challenge for those guys.”

For Byrd, this week marks the first season since week three that the Rams will be fully healthy, he said.

“We’re definitely looking forward to having some consistency back,” Byrd said.

WCCA (4-4, 0-3) will have to contain the dual running back threat the Hounds possess if they want to win Friday, Byrd said.

“Brown is a guy who likes to bring the lumber. He hits hard and runs hard. Their young freshman (Witherspoon) seems to be running the ball really well. Their offense has been very successful (over the years). They run it up and down the field. Coach Harkins does a good job and will get his players ready to play.”

Harkins said Brown and Dossett would both have to have big games again if the Hounds want to come out on top.

“We’re just going to have to get the ball into Brown’s hands,” Harkins said. “We have to give Dossett more time to throw the ball than we have been. We didn’t throw it much last week, but we will need to this week.”