TSSAA STATE CLASS A FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Mustangs Trample Tigers, 64-14
BY ERNIE SMOTHERS
HUNTINGDON (November 3) — In TSSAA Class A State Football playoff opening-round action, state second-ranked Huntingdon (11-0) coupled the stellar production of Class A Mr. Football semi-finalist Kade Pearson (32, 27, 2 and 1-yard touchdown rushes, 3-5 passing for 65 yards including a 47-yard scoring strike to Hunter Ensley) with superb offensive line play to rout Fayetteville (6-5), 64-14.
Huntingdon’s hit-heavy defense, led by Konnor Pearson, Austin Avery, Kade Pearson, Joseph Richardson, Devin Mc-Clerkin and Clay Carver, limited Tiger Class A Mr. Football semi-finalist Brandon Moore to 81 yards on 23 rushes.
One bright spot for Fayetteville was its passing game as the Tigers netted 123 yards against the Mustang defenders that included a Lex Marsh 80-yard scoring strike to Zorion Pullen.
Sparked by the rushing of Tyrese Mebane, Brandon Lawton, Elijah Wilkerson and Daquon Robinson, the Mustangs churned out 489 yards on the ground for 554 yards in total offense.
This Friday night, Huntingdon hosts Moore County in TSSAA second-round Class 1A action.
Photo by Brad Sam/The Banner Kickoff at Paul Ward Stadium is 7 p.m.
Mustangs 64, Tigers 14
Fayetteville’s Brandon Moore slipped down while fielding Mustang Tyrese Mebane’s game-opening boot at the Tiger 10. Following an explosive, 13yard right-side burst by Moore, Huntingdon forced Fayetteville to punt as Lex Marsh’s shanked kick rolled out-of-bounds at the Tiger 27.
Following an illegal procedure call against the Mustangs, Kade Pearson barreled right side behind a convoy of blockers to score from 32 yards out. Cole Edwards’ PAT boot was good as Huntingdon led at the 10:39 mark of the first quarter, 7-0.
Led by strong defensive stops by Konnor Pearson and Tyrese Mebane, Tiger punter Marsh chased down a high snap and forced a short punt that was downed at the Fayetteville 17 as game officials waved offsetting personal foul penalties against both squads.
Taking to the air, Kade Pearson completed a pass to Brandon Lawton at the Tiger 13 before netting a first-and-goal via rush up the middle to the 6. Following a four-yard gain up the middle, Kade Pearson scored from two yards out. Mebane raced untouched for the twopoint conversion as Huntingdon led at the 4:12 mark of the first canto, 15-0.
Undaunted, Tiger quarterback Marsh unleashed an 80yard scoring strike to Zorion Pullen behind Mustang coverage. Weston Moon’s PAT boot was good as Fayetteville closed the Mustang lead to 15-7 at the 3:14 mark of the first frame.
Reacting, Huntingdon, fueled by pancake blocking by its offensive line, marched across midfield via rushes by Lawton and Elijah Wilkerson. Taking the shotgun snap, Kade Pearson fired a pass completion to Hunter Ensley to move the chains at the Tiger 30. At the 1:33 mark of the first quarter, Kade Pearson erupted right side and hurdled a Tiger defender at the 8 en route for a 27-yard scoring scamper. Edward’s PAT boot was true as Huntingdon increased its lead, 22-7.
Shutting Fayetteville’s offense down cold via big stops by Konnor and Kade Pearson, Huntingdon quickly re-lit the scoreboard as sophomore speedster Daquon Robinson evaded tacklers to blaze 49 yards to score. Kade Pearson’s two-point conversion pass to Dallas Willis was good as Huntingdon began to pull away, 30-7.
Down but determined, Fayetteville answered on its ensuing drive via a mixture of pass and run culminating with Moore powering up the middle to score from one yard out. Moon’s PAT boot split the uprights as the Tigers trailed, 30-14.
Undaunted, Huntingdon scored again at the 9:05 mark of the second frame as Mebane jetted 42 yards to the house. Edwards’ PAT kick missed wide to the left as the Mustangs built its lead to 36-14.
Moore returned Mebane’s kickoff to the Tiger 36. Stymied by the solid pass defense of Dallas Willis and Lawton, Fayetteville was forced to punt away as Marsh’s bounding boot rolled out of bounds at the Mustang 13.
Shifting into high gear offensively, Mebane raced to the Mustang 30 before Lawton netted 20 yards via sweep to move the chains at midfield. Powering up the middle, Kade Pearson carried Tiger tacklers to the Fayetteville 34. Following a fiveyard gain by Mebane, Lawton rambled to the Tiger 12. At the 5:53 mark of the second stanza, Mebane followed a Mustang blocking convoy to score from 12 yards out. Edwards’ PAT boot was good as Huntingdon grew its lead, 43-14.
Continuing to surge offensively, Huntingdon scored again at the 1:37 mark of the second quarter via eight-yard scoring dash by Wilkerson. Edwards added the PAT boot as Huntingdon widened its lead over Fayetteville 50-14. Recovering a Tiger fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Huntingdon lit the scoreboard with 38 clicks remaining in the second period as Kade Pearson rifled a 47-yard scoring strike to Hunter Ensley. Edwards’ PAT boot was good as Huntingdon cruised to the locker room leading Fayetteville, 57-14.
As the game clock ran nonstop in the second half via mercy rule, Huntingdon added its final score at the 7:30 mark of the third quarter via Kade Pearson one-yard touchdown burst. Edwards’ PAT kick was good as both teams finished the game with reserves and Huntingdon celebrated its dominating, 64-14 victory.
Photo by Brad Sam/The Banner