HHS impresses in MSAC scrimmages
CHARLESTON — The general rule for coaches concerning preseason scrimmages is don’t get too satisfied when things go right or too despondent when they don’t.
But Huntington High football coach Billy Seals couldn’t resist cracking a smile when talking about his team’s performance Friday in the Mountain State Athletic Conference Grid-O-Rama at University of Charleston Stadium.
The Highlanders first rolled to a big lead against St. Albans before settling for a 34-20 victory in a two-quarter matchup, then gave their counterparts around the MSAC some hope by bolting to a 14-0 lead against powerful Capital before lightning and heavy rain halted their scheduled two-quarter scrimmage.
Persistent lightning eventually canceled the Capital-St. Albans scrimmage entirely.
George Washington and Cabell Midland took the field Saturday morning for the first of the final four scrimmages, all of them going four quarters. Riverside played Hurricane, South Charleston faced Parkersburg and Spring Valley ended the event against Woodrow Wilson.
Huntington High vs. St. Albans
The Highlanders jumped to a 34-7 first-quarter lead before the Red Dragons scored a couple of late touchdowns.
One of the early Huntington High touchdowns was a fumble recovery in the end zone by defensive lineman Jaylin Summerlin after a sack. Junior quarterback Ta’jhan Blackwell completed 4 of 5 passes for 82 yards and
two touchdowns. Senior running back Ty Wilcoxon, a transfer from Fairland, had four carries for 82 yards, including a 62-yard TD run. Johronimo Mitchell scored on a 15-yard run.
On its first four possessions against the Huntington High starters, St. Albans lost yardage every series and had minus-27 yards.
Huntington High vs. Capital
Blackwell and Wilcoxon sparked Huntington High against Capital in a match that was stopped in the final minute of the first quarter. Blackwell completed 4 of 6 passes for 105 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown heave to Kris Brown. The hardrunning Wilcoxon scored on a 7-yard run and ended with 48 yards on 10 carries.
The Highlanders had TDs on two of their three possessions and punted on the other. The Cougars, meanwhile, never picked up a first down.
It was an underwhelming night for Capital, which only got to run eight plays all night and gained 13 yards.
Riverside vs. Hurricane
Hurricane emerged with a 27-3 victory against Riverside, but when the starters were in the game it was a virtual deadlock. The scrimmage was tied 3-3 at halftime and the backups played almost the entire second half.
Ismael Borrero, the Hurricane thirdstring quarterback, ran for two touchdowns in the final 4:31.
Christian Hill led Hurricane’s regulars in the ground game with 44 yards on eight carries. Starting quarterback Nathan Roy was 1 of 5 passing for 13 yards and Austin Womack went 1 of 2 for 50 yards, a long hookup with Nathan Barham. Timothy McCutchen booted two field goals.
George Washington vs. Cabell Midland
The Patriots battled Cabell Midland to a 14-14 draw in the first half. With both teams using backups in the second half, George Washington tacked on two field goals by Michael Hughes to depart with a 20-14 win.
Cabell Midland flashed a passing game in its first two quarters. The Knights have not been known as a team to put the ball in the air very much, but senior Jayce Gould was 8 of 19 in one half for 165 yards and one TD, that going to Zach McCoy.
Chandler Schmidt caught four passes for 112 yards, and all-state running back Ivan Vaughn carried 14 times for 98 yards and one TD, a 5-yard run.
George Washington quarterback Grant Wells, who plans to graduate in December before enrolling at Marshall University, completed 11 of 24 passes for 134 yards in two quarters, including a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Cosby.
South Charleston vs. Parkersburg
Jake Johnson of Parkersburg hit on 7 of 14 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-6 victory. It was 27-6 at halftime.
South Charleston’s Shyleik Kinney completed 5 of 10 passes for 76 yards in two quarters. Jaydyn Johnson ran nine times for 62 yards and one touchdown, a 4-yard run.
Spring Valley vs. Woodrow Wilson
In the final scrimmage of the two-day event, Spring Valley used touchdown runs by quarterback Nathan Ellis (21 yards) and Owen Chaffin (31 yards) along with Zane Porter’s 32-yard field goal to lead 17-0 at halftime when most of the starters left.
The Timberwolves rolled to a 38-6 victory.