BELTON, TX (WSFA) - Huntingdon's playoff run came to an end with a 43-23 loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday in Belton, Texas.
The Hawks struggled to move the ball offensively, while allowing Hardin-Baylor's Zach Anderson to put up big numbers both through the air and on the ground.
Huntingdon started the scoring on their first possession of the game. After leading the Hawks to the Hardin-Baylor 17-yard-line, quarterback Luke Bailey connected with Darius Dawsey for a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Tigers stopped Huntingdon on their next possession, forcing a punt by Parker Allen. Hardin-Baylor's Bryce Wilkerson sprang free for a 50-yard touchdown return to knot the score at seven.
With just under three minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Hardin-Baylor's quarterback Zach Anderson connected with Robbie Seybold for a touchdown to give the Tigers their first lead of the game.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Hardin-Baylor added a field goal from kicker Jacob O'Neill to take a 17-7 lead.
Huntingdon answered with a 11-yard touchdown pass from Luke Bailey to Blake Malter. After kicker Chase Young missed the point-after-touchdown, the score remained 17-13.
Young added a field goal a drive later to pull the Hawks within one-point.
On the ensuing drive, Hardin-Baylor added a touchdown with a pass from Zach Anderson to Marcus Wimby. Baylor-Hardin attempted a two-point conversion, but failed to give the Tigers a 23-16.
Hardin-Baylor added another field goal in the final seconds of the second quarter to take a 26-16 lead at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Hardin-Baylor extended their lead to 13 with a 43-yard field goal by Jacob O'Neill.
Going into the fourth quarter, the score remained 29-16. Luke Bailey rushed for a one-yard touchdown on the first play of the final quarter to cut the lead to six.
With just over ten minutes remaining in the half, Hardin-Baylor's Zach Anderson broke for a 30-yard touchdown run to take a 36-23 lead.
On Hardin-Baylor's next possession, Anderson put the game on ice with a five-yard touchdown pass to WyKeyhe Walker to give the Tigers a commanding 43-23 lead.
An interception on the ensuing Huntingdon possession sealed the victory for Mary Hardin-Baylor, and eliminated Huntingdon from the playoffs.
Luke Bailey struggled throughout the game, only managing to throw for 149 yards. However, Bailey did put up all three touchdowns for the Hawks.
The running backs also struggled for the Hawks. John Iwaniec, Vic Jerald, and Brendon Brown combined for 151 yards. Iwaniec gained the most out of the three with 78 yards.
Hardin-Baylor's Zach Anderson had a great game with over 350 total yards and four touchdowns.
Huntingdon will finish the season with a 10-2 record. It was a historic season for Huntingdon as the Hawks won both a conference championship and a playoff game for the first time in school history.