Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Huntington overruns Morgantown, 59-13, in opening round of playoffs

HUNTINGTON — The No. 15 Morgantown Mohigans traveled to Huntington for the first round of the Class AAA state football playoffs and saw their season come to an end by way of a 59-13 defeat to the defending state champions No. 2 Highlanders.

Huntington (10-1) left no doubt from the opening drive, scoring on nearly every offensive possession they had in the game, including four out of five in the first half.

Highlander tailback Zah Jackson carried the ball 13 times for 143 yards and two scores, Huntington earned 311 yards on the ground as a team.

HHS quarterback Avonte Crawford was 7 for 11 for 211 yards and two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

The Mohigans (7-4) were led by junior AJ Thomas on offense who gained 143 yards on the ground on 18 attempts and both of the touchdowns scored for his team.

Morgantown’s season came to an end in the first round of the playoffs.

“We started the game off with penalties and they got the ball rolling early, and honestly we just didn’t play well,” MHS head coach Sean Biser said. “You have to play your best football this time of the year and that goes on me as a coach. We had a great week of practice and thought we were ready but we weren’t tonight.”

The Highlanders took four plays to go 60 yards for a touchdown on their opening drive as Crawford found Tyrone McNeely for a 26-yard passing touchdown to begin the game.

The HHS quarterback added the second score of the first quarter on an 11-yard scramble to put his team ahead 14-0 after 12 minutes.

After a turnover-on-downs after failing to convert on fourth and two, Huntington found the endzone once again, as this time Tayveon Wilson ran 15 yards untouched for another HHS touchdown. Wilson carried the ball four times for 81 yards while catching three passes for 146 yards through the air.

With just over 90 seconds left before halftime, the Mohigans cut into the deficit when AJ Thomas scored the first of two touchdowns from three yards away. However, on the very next drive, Zah Jackson went 67 yards for a touchdown that pulled the rug out from under the Mohigans, who seemed to have some life after the Thomas score.

MHS added its second touchdown in the third quarter from Thomas, but the Highlanders answered with three of their own, pulling ahead 49-13 heading into the fourth quarter. Another touchdown and a field goal would see our final score of 59-13 as the Highlanders defeated the visiting Mohigans to advance to the second round.

Morgantown ends the season 7-4 and will have a changing of the guard within the program with the graduation of 25 seniors on the team. With Biser completing his fourth year at the helm, the seniors were the freshmen when he stepped foot on campus at MHS and he knows the program wouldn’t be what it is without them.

“This class has helped change our program and have been here since day one,” Biser said. “All these guys have done such a great job for us and show up every day. They’re great teammates and friends and are always there for each other, and I told them the same thing. We are always here for them no matter what.”

Huntington 14 14 21 10 – 59
Morgantown 0 7 6 0 – 13

Scoring Summary
HHS – McNeely 26 pass from Crawford (Aya-Ay kick)
HHS – Crawford 11 run (Aya-Ay kick)
HHS – Wilson 15 run (Aya-Ay kick)
MHS – Thomas 3 run (Stire kick)
HHS – Jackson 67 run (Aya-Ay kick)
HHS – Graves 2 run (Aya-Ay kick)
HHS – Jackson 1 run (Aya-Ay kick)
MHS – Thomas 1 run (2pt no good)
HHS – Wilson 53 pass from Crawford (Aya-Ay kick)
HHS – Aya-Ay FG
HHS – Wilson 44 pass from Hatfield (Aya-Ay kick)

Individual Statistics
PASSING: Huntington – Crawford 7-11 211 2TD, Hatfield 2-2 66 TD; MHS – Bowers 12-18 162 2INT
RUSHING: Huntington – Jackson 13-143-2TD, Wilson 4-81-TD, Johnson 2-23, Crawford 2-17-TD, Graves 1-2-TD, Wakefield 4-28, Sheffield 1-12, Hatfield 1-5; Morgantown – Thomas 18-143-2TD, Ullom 1-2, Nutter 10-45, Powell 4-28
RECEIVING: Huntington – McNeely 3-87-TD, Tubbs 2-38, Christus 1-28, Wilson 3-146-2TD, Jackson 1-55