LAGRANGE, GA (WSFA) - Huntingdon struggled early, but rebounded in the third quarter to beat LaGrange 31-14 Saturday in LaGrange, Georgia.
Both teams struggled in the first half, combining for only 10 points and two turnovers.
Both defenses played strong throughout the first quarter, neither team allowing a point.
LaGrange broke the the drought early in the second quarter. After moving the ball to the Huntingdon to the 14-yard-line, running back Drew Lewiski finished the drive off with a 14-yard touchdown run to put LaGrange up 7-0..
On the ensuing drive, quarterback Luke Bailey led the Hawks to the 10-yard line before a penalty stalled the drive at the 16-yard-line. Kicker Chase Young knocked in a field goal to cut the lead to four.
Both teams traded possessions for the remainder of the half, including a lost fumble by LaGrange and an interception by Huntingdon's Luke Bailey. Both teams failed to capitalize on the turnovers, and Huntingdon went into halftime trailing 7-3.
In the third quarter, Huntingdon exploded both offensively and defensively.
After stopping LaGrange on their opening possession of the half, Jamichael Bibb returned a short punt 38 yards to the LaGrange 27-yard line. Four plays later, running back John Iwaniec rushed for a five-yard touchdown to put Huntingdon up 10-7, their first lead of the game.
On the ensuing drive, Huntingdon backed LaGrange to a third and 28 on the LaGrange's 15-yard-line. Huntingdon's Austin Washington picked off quarterback Connor Blair, and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.
On LaGrange's next drive, Connor Blair redeemed himself by leading LaGrange on a 10-play, 75-yard drive touchdown. Blair capped the drive after connecting with receiver Josh Hardrick for a 33-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 24-14.
Huntingdon answered with another touchdown of their own. As the third quarter drew to a close, Luke Bailey connected with Diggan Andre for a 19-yard touchdown to extend the lead back to 17 points going into the final quarter.
Huntingdon's offense slowed to burn clock in the fourth quarter. Midway through the final quarter, Huntingdon capped a long 17-play drive that chewed more than seven minutes off the clock with a two-yard touchdown run by Jay Ware.
Huntingdon's defense continued to hold strong, preserving a 31-14 victory for the Hawks.
Huntingdon had a solid game on the ground, putting up 309 yards in net rushing. John Iwaniec led the Hawks in rushing with 126 yards and a touchdown. Jay Ware picked up 56 yards and touchdown on the ground, while third string back Vic Jerald added 55 yards rushing.
Defensively, the Hawks were stout. Huntingdon only allowed 98 yards on the ground. Huntingdon also forced three sacks and two turnovers.
Huntingdon improves to 5-1, with their only loss coming to Birmingham-Southern in September. With a 3-0 record, Huntingdon sits alone at the top of the USA South conference standings.
Next week, Huntingdon returns home to Montgomery to face Methodist. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.