HURRICANE — Six turnovers by University helped No. 4 seed Hurricane advance on Friday in the Class AAA football playoffs with a 56-13 win.
The Redskins (9-2) converted three of the turnovers into touchdowns, including two scores following an interception and a fumble that started the second half.
In all, 13th-seeded University (7-4) fumbled twice, losing both, and its quarterbacks were intercepted four times.
When Hawks starting quarterback Luke Hudson was intercepted on the opening possession of the third quarter, Hurricane already led 35-6.
Hurricane’s Elijah Rivera returned the pick 26 yards to set up the Redskins with a first-and-goal at the University 10.
Two plays later, Mondrell Dean scored the first of three third-quarter touchdowns for Hurricane.
The second one came on University’s ensuing drive. A fumble by the Hawks was recovered by Khalil Ramey at the UHS 12-yard line.
Lucas Rippetoe hauled in a 14-yard pass from Noah Vellaithambi to make it a 49-6 Hurricane advantage.
Constant rain on Friday continued right up until kickoff. After holding off through most of the first half, rain started just before halftime.
“We practiced wet-ball drill all week and we wanted to make sure we were in those situations, and we knew what to do with the wet football,” Hurricane head coach Donnie Mays said. “I think it prepared our kids for the slipperiness of a football.”
Vellaithambi had one interception in the game for the Redskins’ only turnover.
Riffle and Dean combined for three rushing touchdowns while Vellaithambi passed for four scores.
Hurricane will host George Washington in next week’s quarterfinals at a time to be determined Sunday. No. 5 seed GW defeated No. 12 Princeton 31-28 Friday night in Charleston. The Redskins defeated each of those teams during the regular season.
By Rick Elmore
Martinsburg 42,Morgantown 14
Lightning strikes in the area delayed the WVSSAC Class AAA playoff game between Martinsburg and Morgantown by 45 minutes at halftime Friday night in Martinsburg.
The No. 14 Mohigans played tough defense in the rainy conditions to keep it a 14-7 Martinsburg lead at halftime, but it was all Bulldogs after the extended delay as the hosts pulled away to win 40-14.
Maddox Bowers threw an 8-yard touchdown in the first half for the visitors.
No. 3 Martinsburg will play the winner of Bridgeport and Cabell Midland in the second round.