MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon football team opened the season with a 38-24 loss to Guilford College 38-24 on Saturday at Samford Stadium.
A 14-yard touchdown run by Dontavion Cunningham gave the Hawks a 17-14 lead on the first possession of the third quarter. But Guilford answered with 24 points in the remainder of the second half to take control.
Records: Huntingdon (0-1); Guilford (1-0)
The Turning Point: Trailing 21-17 late in the third quarter, the Hawks had second-and-goal at the Guilford 1-yard line. Guilford's defense held on three straight plays to keep the Hawks out of the end zone.
Taking over on its own 1, Guilford ran one play to end the third quarter and then scored on a 97-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the fourth quarter. Trailing 28-17, the Hawks fumbled near midfield on the first play of the ensuing possession, leading to a Guilford field goal and a 31-17 lead with 12:50 to play.
A 50-yard Guilford touchdown pass ended the scoring with 7:56 left in the game.
Notable Performance: Junior receiver Otis Porter led the Hawks with seven receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown. Porter only scored once, but made key plays to set up two other Huntingdon scores. Facing third-and-15 in the first quarter, Porter took a Chip Taylor pass 47 yards to set up the Hawks' first touchdown. On the final possession of the first half, Porter hauled in a 19-yard pass to convert another third-and-15 and set up a 25-yard Chase Young field goal. Porter scored the Hawks' final touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Taylor in the fourth quarter.
Passing: Taylor: 19/40 for 354 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Receiving: Porter: 7 receptions for 153 yards, 1 TD
Quen Whitlow: 6 receptions for 95 yards
Rushing: Vic Jerald: 19 rushes for 115 yards
Cunningham: 11 rushes for 60 yards, 1 TD
Kicking: Young: 3/3 PAT, 1/2 field goals (connected on a 25-yard FG)
Overall: Trey Hayes: 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass break up
Did You Know?: Ten players made their first start as a Hawk on Saturday … Porter's 153 receiving yards were two short of his career-high … Colton Chinn's 16-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was his first as a Hawk … the loss snapped a 12 game home winning streak for the Hawks that dated to 2014
Head Coach Mike Turk on Saturday: "We made a lot of mistakes today. What we have to do from here is assess where we are, what we're good at and what we need to improve on. We need to do a little better job as coaches to make sure we're playing to our strengths.
"It's always difficult to find a silver lining when you lose, but we had a lot of guys out there for the first time today and I just have to believe we're going to be much better the next time out. We're certainly going to come back to work next week and do everything we can to make a big improvement from Week 1 to Week 2."
Turk on taking advantage of opportunities: "We did some things today that you can't do and expect to win a game like this. Defensively, we had opportunities to get off the field and we couldn't and we gave up some big plays. They converted on third down quite a bit, and those conversions kind of take the wind out of your sails a little bit defensively.
"Offensively, we missed some chances we had. We had a touchdown called back and we got down to their 1-yard line and couldn't score. Obviously we have to get better, but I'm confident that we have the right kind of guys here and they're going to come back to work and iron some things out."
Coming Up: Huntingdon plays at Birmingham-Southern on Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.