Big plays spark Hawks on Homecoming

Quen Whitlow scored on a 91-yard reception for Huntingdon's first touchdown in a 27-7 win over Averett on Homecoming. (Photo by Carrie Bump)
Quen Whitlow scored on a 91-yard reception for Huntingdon's first touchdown in a 27-7 win over Averett on Homecoming. (Photo by Carrie Bump)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon football team pushed its winning streak to five games with a 27-7 Homecoming win over Averett University on Saturday.

In a battle of teams unbeaten in the USA South Athletic Conference, Huntingdon took advantage of big plays on offense and shut down the Cougars' offensive plans.

The Hawks' shortest touchdown play on Saturday covered 69 yards as Huntingdon generated 234 yards of offense on three scoring plays. While the offense was creating big plays, the Huntingdon defense frustrated Averett for most of the day.

The Hawks carried a shutout into the fourth quarter before the conference's leading rusher, Sean Bowman, scored on a 79-yard run. Averett managed 189 yards of offense the rest of the day.


Records: Huntingdon (5-1, 3-0 USA South); Averett (3-3, 3-1 USA South)


The Turning Point: Huntingdon jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half on a 24-yard field goal by Chase Young, a 91-yard touchdown pass from Chip Taylor-to-Quen Whitlow and a 74-yard touchdown pass from Taylor-to-Otis Porter.

The 17-point lead stood until the fourth quarter when the Hawks and Cougars combined for two touchdowns and a field goal in a span of 76 seconds. Young opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a career-long 40-yard field goal with 10:54 left in the game.

Averett answered with Bowman's 79-yard touchdown run with 10:32 to play.

With their lead cut to 13 and more than 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Hawks answered with a 69-yard touchdown run by Taylor with 9:38 on the clock. With the lead back to 20 points, the Huntingdon defense held Averett to 65 yards on its final four possessions.


Notable Performance: Quarterback Chip Taylor and receivers Otis Porter and Quen Whitlow had a fast start as the Hawks pulled away from the Cougars.

Taylor accounted for 331 yards of offense and had a hand in all three touchdowns. Whitlow made the first big offensive play, catching a Taylor pass near midfield, breaking a tackle and finishing off a 91-yard scoring play. The play is tied for the third longest passing play in Huntingdon history and the fifth longest play from scrimmage.

Porter made his presence known in the second quarter, hauling in a Taylor pass and going 74 yards. He also made the final block on Taylor's 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Taylor's run was the ninth longest run in Hawks' history and the longest run by a Huntingdon quarterback in program history.

Taylor finished with 265 yards passing and 66 yards rushing. Whitlow finished with four receptions for 113 yards and Porter had seven receptions for 131 yards.



Stat Leaders


Passing: Chip Taylor: 12/25 for 265 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Receiving: Otis Porter: 7 receptions for 131 yards, 1 TD

                         Quen Whitlow: 4 receptions for 113 yards, 1 TD

Rushing: Vic Jerald: 30 rushes for 77 yards

                      Chip Taylor: 7 rushes for 66 yards, 1 TD

Kicking:  Chase Young: 3/3 PAT, 2/3 field goal (connected on field goals of 24 and 40 yards; missed from 45 yards)


Tackles: Trey Hayes (12), Brandon Williams (7), Austin Washington (6), Linell Tarver (6)

Tackles For Loss: Brandon Williams (1), Trevor Henson (1), Jarrett White (1)

Sacks: Brandon Williams (1), Trevor Henson (1)

Interceptions: Jarrett White (1)

Forced Fumbles: Brandon Williams (1)

Recovered Fumbles: Austin Washington (2), Gentry Allen (1)


Quick Facts: Saturday was the sixth meeting between Huntingdon and Averett and the fifth straight win for the Hawks. Averett won the first meeting 32-28 in 2003 in the fourth game in Huntingdon history … Saturday's win was the 50th home victory in program history. The Hawks are 50-16 at Charles Lee Field since 2004 … This is the second straight week the Huntingdon defense has given up just one touchdown. The Hawks held Brevard to 10 points last week


Head Coach Mike Turk on Saturday's win: "This was an important game and we have a lot of respect for how Averett has played this year. I knew they would be a tough challenge and they didn't disappoint us. The score of the game looks like it was a pretty comfortable win, but it was tough all day. They made it tough for us to run the ball. We were able to make a couple of big plays on them in the passing game and that was really the difference." 

Turk on the Hawks' defensive effort: "Our defense controlled the game. That is the thing that is the most encouraging to me. We gave up one big play to a good running back, but other than that, the defense handled business all day. I thought we had a really good plan. Our coaches did a great job of putting it together and our guys did a good job of executing it. If I had known Averett was only going to score seven points, I would have slept a lot better last night."


Coming Up: Huntingdon hosts Maryville College on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. (Central).

2017 NCAA Playoff Information
November 13, 2017 2017 NCAA Playoff Information