DANVILLE, VA (WSFA) - Five turnovers told the story for the Huntingdon Hawks (1-5, 1-3) in their 45-17 loss to the Averett Cougars (5-1, 4-0) Saturday on the road.
The Hawks fell behind just 1 minute and 44 seconds into the game. Averett’s Rayvon Johnson broke free on a 57 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Wright.
The first Huntingdon turnover struck on the Hawks' opening drive. Quarterback Michael Lambert was intercepted in Cougar territory as the Huntingdon offense was making a push to even the score.
Huntingdon’s defense landed an interception of its own, intercepting Wright with 2:13 on the clock in the first quarter. The Hawks would be unable to score however, turning the ball over on downs after a drive that was ended on 4th and goal.
After advancing through most of the second quarter with the score still remaining 7-0 in Averett’s favor, the Cougars struck again.
With 2:31 left in the first half, the Cougars found themselves in the end zone. Sean Bowman scored from 6 yards out to put Averett ahead 14-0.
Huntingdon didn’t shy away though. The Hawks answered in just two plays on the next drive.
Garrett Headley caught a Lambert pass and took it 54 yards all the way to the Averett 21. On the very next play the Hawks were on the board thanks to some trickeration.
A wide receiver pass from Cody Dwyer to Hampton Hamner brought Mike Turk’s squad back to within seven points with just 1:48 left in the first half.
But Averett would strike again before the half. The Cougars moved 47 yards in 1 minute and 1 second and added a field goal to increase their lead to 17-7 before halftime.
After halftime, Huntingdon was still in business. Down 10, the deficit was again cut to 7 when the Hawks put a field goal up on the board.
Field goals wouldn’t be enough, though, for an Averett team that came into Saturday on a three-game winning streak and having averaged 38.6 points per game in those wins.
Averett answered Huntingdon’s field goal with a touchdown. A strong return on the ensuing kickoff by Bradley Jefferson put the ball inside the Huntingdon 10 to start the drive.
Averett needed just three plays to get into the end zone. Wright collected his second touchdown pass of the game with a 12-yard connection with Garett Touchard.
Now down 24-10, Huntingdon needed an answer in the form of seven points but it wouldn’t happen.
Averett’s defense kicked it into another gear and began a series of drives where they would force back-to-back Huntingdon turnovers.
Hawks QB Michael Lambert was sacked and fumbled the ball. The ball was picked up by Averett’s Joseph Ledbetter and returned 36 yards for the touchdown.
On the next Huntingdon possession Lambert was intercepted for the second time in the game. That turnover turned into a Jacob Wright touchdown run.
Up 38-10 at this point, the Cougars scored for the final time in the early moments of the fourth quarter. A 12-play drive carried from the end of the third quarter into the fourth and traversed 76 yards, ending with Wright’s third touchdown pass of the game.
Wright found Oran Davis and Davis found the end zone. Davis was the third different Cougar receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Wright on the day.
The next two Huntingdon drives would tally the fourth and fifth turnovers of the game for the Hawks offense. Lambert was sacked and fumbled the ball over to Averett for the second time, and on Huntingdon’s ensuing offensive possession, he was intercepted for the third time with 7:55 to play in the game.
The Hawks found the end zone again when Kobe Smith found a whole and raced 84 yards, going untouched but it was for naught as the game was already out of hand.
The loss Saturday eliminated any chance for the Hawks to have a winning season this year.
Huntingdon looks to regroup next Saturday at home. The Hawks host Greensboro in a USA South conference game.