Huntingdon embraces underdog role ahead of battle against No. 1 team

Huntingdon Hawks football
Huntingdon Hawks football(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Nov. 29, 2019 at 3:48 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Huntingdon Hawks are in the second round of the Division III playoffs for the first time since 2015 after an opening round win over Berry.

The Hawks went on the road and won 27-24, and look to do the same this week. The only difference is they’re taking on a pretty good team in Mary Hardin-Baylor.

“Got a big challenge ahead of us with the No. 1 team in the country but we’re excited for it,” said Huntingdon head football coach Mike Turk.

The stats for Huntingdon’s upcoming opponent are eye-popping. Averaging 51.3 points per game while only allowing just (in an extremely “IS THAT REAL??" voice) 8.2 points per game. They have three shutout victories this season - 65-0 (!), 79-0 (!!), 82-0 (!!!) - and haven’t allowed more than 15 points in a game this season.

They’re a perfect 11-0 and have the bullseye on their backs because every team, not just in their conference but in the country, wants to beat the No. 1 Crusaders. Turk says his squad knows a little something about having the bullseye on his back from having every team in the USA South Conference gunning for the Hawks every year.

Even despite all of those unreal numbers, the Hawks are unfazed. They enter as underdogs, but that doesn’t bother them.

Turk says its more about the Hawks focusing on themselves and not who they’re playing or what they’ve accomplished. But still, to have this opportunity in front of them, one can’t help but to relish it.

“It’s an opportunity that you don’t always get and one that should be a lot of fun for us,” said Turk.

The Hawks and Crusaders aren’t strangers to one another. They met back in the second round of the playoffs in 2015. Mary Hardin-Baylor won that game 43-23, scoring at least one touchdown in three of the four quarters that day.

But Saturday is Nov. 30, 2019, not Nov. 28, 2015. It’s an opportunity to hand the No. 1 team in the country its first L of the season and advance on deeper into playoff play.

Kickoff time between Mary Hardin-Baylor and Huntingdon is noon from Belton. Tx.

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