19th-ranked Huntingdon overcomes slow start to knock off Point

19th-ranked Huntingdon overcomes slow start to knock off Point

VALLEY, Ala. – The Huntingdon football team found itself in an unfamiliar situation in the first half Saturday. Facing Point University, a first-year NAIA program, the Hawks trailed by 12 points with a little more than six minutes to play in the second quarter.

The 19th-ranked Hawks quickly turned things around. Huntingdon scored two touchdowns before halftime and added two more scores in the second half to take a 33-19 win.

"We weren't very sharp early in the game," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk said. "After last week's game (against fifth-ranked Wesley) that was one of our concerns coming in today. But, I'm proud of the way our guys responded and finished the game in the second half. We played hard and we were able to win a very physical game."

After managing just 143 yards in the first 28 minutes of the game, Huntingdon (6-2) finished the game with 415 yards of offense. The Huntingdon defense also clamped down in the second half. Point (1-8) generated 271 yards of offense in the first half but managed just 22 yards in the final two quarters.

"The biggest difference was the way our defense played in the second half," Turk said. "We went back and forth scoring in the first half, but we were able to shut them out in the final two quarters. We were able to get the ball away from them and control the ball on offense."

Huntingdon's time of possession was more than nine minutes in the third quarter and more than 12 minutes in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Neal Posey led the Huntingdon offense, passing for 232 yards and three touchdowns on a 17-of-29 day. With the performance, Posey now ranks second in the Huntingdon record book for career passing yards (5,503) and career passing touchdowns (48). Posey is also second with 420 career completions and third with 653 career attempts.

Former quarterback Zach Golson holds all four records with 486 completions, 845 attempts, 6,495 yards and 54 touchdowns.

Posey connected with running back Trevor Manuel on a 13-yard touchdown pass for the Hawks' first score on Saturday. Posey's second touchdown pass, a 27-yard pass to Taylor Belsterling, gave Huntingdon a 20-19 lead at the half. Posey's final touchdown pass was a 6-yard strike to Ephraim Johnson early in the fourth quarter.

In between Posey's first and second touchdown passes, senior Del Green gave the Hawks a lift with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Running back Garrett Fletcher scored Huntingdon's other touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.

Manuel finished with 103 yards on 22 carries and Fletcher added 69 yards on 16 attempts. Tyler Robinson led the receivers with 67 yards on three catches. Ten different receivers caught passes in the game.

On defense, safety Anthony White recorded six tackles and an interception. Linebackers Jacard Townsend and Brandon Harvell each had six tackles. Jeremy Murphy also had an interception and defensive end Blake Lawley had one sack.

Huntingdon returns to action at Samford Stadium on Nov. 11 against Adrian (8-1). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

"We know we have another excellent opponent coming in and we're going to have to play well to have a chance to win the game," Turk said. "It's the final game of the regular season, it's Senior Day and it's a game we need to win. Our guys know what is on the line and we expect to come out and play hard."