HURRICANE - Hurricane proved it's more than just flash Friday night.The Redskins pinned their ears back and muscled their way to 294 yards rushing behind nine different runners to get past Logan 41-14 in a Class AAA matchup of state-ranked squads. A crowd of about 600 attended on Senior Night at Redskins Stadium at Hurricane High School.No. 11 Hurricane (6-3) may have locked up a playoff berth with the victory after taking a 55-27 shellacking at home last week from Spring Valley. The Redskins, who are noted for their passing attack, did so relying on their ground attack against the No. 14 Wildcats (6-3).Hurricane junior Steven Handley led the way with 150 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. He had 81 yards by the fourth quarter and tacked on the final score, a 69-yard scoring burst. Senior fullback Cory Hurd added 40 yards and a 1-yard TD and senior Zach Cooper added a 1-run scoring run.
"Coach told me I was going to get a lot of carries this week,'' said Handley. "We worked on it a lot in practice. It really didn't surprise me much. The line got their blocks and opened holes, then I used my speed."That's what Logan probably thought we were going to do is pass the ball. We surprised them with our running game. We can run the ball. We just have good receivers so we pass more. Tonight, we showed we can run the ball, too. There's no stopping us.''The Redskins' rushing attack made their passing game even more effective as junior quarterback Austin Hensley completed 13 of 20 passes for 178 yards with two TDs and one interception. Hurricane junior wideout Koi Turner hauled in five passes for 115 yards, including scoring grabs of 33 and 23 yards.
Hurricane rang up 480 total yards (294 rushing, 186 passing) and 25 first downs, and the Redskins' defense forced five turnovers."It was a big win for us,'' said Hurricane first-year coach Jeremy Taylor. "I was fairly pleased how we ran the ball. Controlling the line of scrimmage was big and I thought we were good enough to do that.''Redskins junior Zach Pate returned the opening kickoff 83 yards for a score and came up with two picks in the second half. After returning the kickoff, Pate - Hurricane's top rusher and among its best receivers - didn't play the rest of the first half after a blood sugar drop.
"Those first few plays are going to set the tone and they set the tone,'' Taylor said. Pate muffed the kick return at the 19-yard line then picked it up and burst up the middle and then down the right sideline to give Hurricane the lead for good at 7-0 just 19 seconds into the game.The Redskins' defense forced Logan out on downs, and then on the ensuing possession, Turner caught a 33-yard pass from Hensley for a 13-0 advantage.The Wildcats answered with a big play as Chris Marcum hit Josh Rein for a 54-yard run and catch to make it 13-7 just before the first quarter ended.After that, though, it was all Hurricane as it came right back with Turner's 23-yard TD toss from Hensley and Hurd's 1-yard scoring plunge just before intermission for a 27-7 edge.
The Redskins fumbled after a 16-play drive on their first possession of the second half, but Pate picked Marcum to set up Cooper's 1-yard TD for a 34-7 lead with two minutes to go in the third period."We're not very good at stopping the run and we knew we'd have trouble cutting off [Hurricane's] passing game unless we added more defensive backs,'' said Logan coach Gary Mullins. "So we were in kind of a Catch 22."We were running guys in and out, and when you get caught playing games like that, then that's what happens. When we guessed right, we confused them a couple of times. We didn't have an answer for anything they were trying to do.''Marcum threw for 174 yards, completing 8 of 25 with two interceptions, and Brynden Street gained 64 yards on six rushes with a late 20-yard TD. C.J. Williams had two receptions for 65 yards.Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4811.