MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Huntingdon Hawks closed out the regular season Saturday with a 27-17 win over rival LaGrange. The Hawks ended the season with a 9-1 overall record and 7-0 record in the USA South.
With the win, Huntingdon clinched its third straight conference championship. Now, the team begins preparation for the first round of playoffs against the Berry Vikings.
"Making the playoffs is a big deal," Hawks head coach Mike Turk said. "There are 250 teams in division three, roughly, 32 of them make it, so it is a big deal to get in the field."
Turk says some of the players have already been to the playoffs, so they understand the pressure. He hopes that will help the team and its new players. Their opponent, Berry, is 10-0 this season and clinched the Southern Athletic Association title.
"It'll be a challenge," Turk said. "Our opponent is very worthy of being in the field as well."
Turk says Berry is a solid and sound football team. He also says the Vikings play with an effort level that's off the charts, which stuck out to him.
Hawks quarterback Chip Taylor will be out for the game, but will travel with the team. Turk says that will be huge for the team having him there for support.
"Our plan is to get the other guys ready," Turk said. "We're going to try to make sure we play to their strengths."
He says the team has dealt with obstacles all year and has responded well each time.
Unlike last year, the Hawks will be closer to home for the playoff game with just over a three-hour drive to Rome, Georgia.
Turks says he's happy because more fans and families of team members will be able to make the game.
"It's nice to be close to home against a familiar foe," Turk said.
Kickoff between Huntingdon and Berry is set for 11 a.m. CDT at Valhalla stadium.