MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Huntingdon Hawks are at the top of the USA South football conference heading into the final week of play and they’ll look to stay that way as they close out the regular season at rival LaGrange.
“I feel like they’re [LaGrange] gonna play their best game of the year. It’s a rivalry game and that’s how it’s supposed to be and as I told my guys yesterday, I hope we get their best shot, you know, I wouldn’t want that to be any other way, and I would hope that we would give them our best shot and our best shot would be good enough to win the game," said Huntingdon head football coach Mike Turk.
The Panthers enter at 3-6 on the season, but coach Turk notes they’ve been playing hard all season and will come out with a lot of energy. LaGrange is the home team and they’ve nothing to lose with Saturday being their last game of the season. Huntingdon sophomore offensive lineman Darrell Hixon says the Hawks can’t afford to “go through the motions” or they could find themselves on the losing end of the game.
Turk’s hoping his team can match the energy, but in the grand scheme of things, the Hawks are playing for more than just a win over their rivals; with a win, Huntingdon secures the USA South title. They were denied that opportunity a week ago.
“Everything is on the line. Again, it’s like the perfect stage now. We all should have our own reason to come out and play our best game,” said Hixon.
“Our back’s against the wall. It’s like that every week, but this week for sure we’re absolutely against the wall now and it’s do or die. Play to win or go home,” said junior bandit Dylan Powell.
The Hawks and Panthers kick things off at noon.
Should Huntingdon lose, there’s currently a three-way tie for second place between Brevard, Averett and NC Wesleyan. Brevard is ineligible for postseason play due to reclassification. Averett, who lost to the Hawks earlier this season, takes on Methodist. NC Wesleyan hosts Maryville.
The Battling Bishops of NC Wesleyan defeated Huntingdon last weekend, handing Huntingdon its first conference loss of the season.