Huntingdon rallies to knock off 21st-ranked Hampden-Sydney

Huntingdon rallies to knock off 21st-ranked Hampden-Sydney

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. – Quarterback Neal Posey found receiver Tyler Robinson for a touchdown in the final five minutes and the Huntingdon defense came through with a late stop as the Hawks came from behind to beat 21st-ranked Hampden-Sydney 24-21 on Saturday.

It was the Hawks' second straight win over the Tigers and the third win ever against a nationally ranked team. Huntingdon (3-1) picked up its first Top 25 win last season against Hampden-Sydney (2-1).

"This was a hard-fought win and an ugly win, but it sure was a nice win," Huntingdon head football coach Mike Turk said. "Hampden-Sydney has a great program. Coming in, all we could ask for was an opportunity to be in the game with a chance to win in the fourth quarter.

"After they took the lead, there was a period of time when it wasn't looking too good for us. But our guys hung in there and kept fighting. Guys made plays on both sides of the ball and helped us find a way to win."

Trailing 17-14 with 6:27 to play, Huntingdon marched 65 yards in a little more than two minutes to take the lead. Trevor Manuel carried twice on the drive and gained 12 yards and Posey found Del Green twice, once for a 7-yard gain and once for an 8-yard gain, to set up the final two plays of the drive.

On first-and-10 at the Tiger 40-yard line, Posey ran for 10 yards. On the next play, Posey hit Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown with 4:16 left in the game.

Hampden-Sydney began its final drive on its own 17 with 4:08 to play. The Tigers reached their 46-yard line before the Huntingdon defense clamped down. A sack by linebacker John-David Swiger on second down and a two-yard tackle for loss by defensive lineman Walker Lewis on third down forced the Tigers to go for it on fourth-and-seven with 1:42 to play.

Following an incomplete pass, Huntingdon got the ball back and ran out the clock.

"Hampden-Sydney is so good on offense and so good at what they do, it said a lot about our guys the way we hung in there and didn't give up," Turk said. "We didn't give up many long plays and we found ways to get it done. When it came time to step up in the fourth quarter, our guys stepped up big.

"This was a great team win. It took guys making plays on both sides of the ball to pull this win out."

Sophomore linebacker Zach Brownell and senior defensive lineman Courtney Moss each had seven tackles and Swiger finished with six tackles. Moss added 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss and Swiger had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery to go with his sack late in the game.

Senior defensive tackle D.J. Chappell turned in 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss and defensive back Anthony White picked off two passes, including one of the first possession of the game. As a team, Huntingdon recorded five sacks for a loss of 29 yards, 9 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 49 yards and came up with three turnovers.

Posey finished 27-of-43 for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson had five catches for 94 yards and two scores. Green finished with six catches for 67 yards.

Manuel was held below 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, but finished with 171 all-purpose yards. Manuel rushed for 81 yards on 21 carries, caught five passes for 33 yards and a touchdown and returned three kickoffs for 57 yards.

Posey hit Manuel for a 5-yard touchdown on Huntingdon's opening drive of the game. The Hawks went ahead 14-7 on a 36-yard Posey-to-Robinson touchdown play late in the first half. A 24-yard field goal by David Ballard made it 17-7 early in the third quarter, before the Tigers rallied and took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter.