Cap vs Hurr 1

Capital’s Tay Calloway breaks loose for a 50-yard touchdown run against Hurricane.

HURRICANE — Hurricane wanted to control the ball and the clock against explosive Capital, using running tailback Christian Hill as a battering ram.

Check and double check. The Redskins nearly doubled Capital in number of plays on Friday and Hill carried 30 times for 136 yards.

But the one thing Hurricane didn’t want was the Cougars springing a bunch of big plays when they did have the ball. That was ultimately the strategy that worked for Capital.

Capital turned in four touchdown plays of 40-plus yards in the first quarter and rode it all the way to a 33-21 victory at Redskin Stadium. Before the first quarter was out, Kerion Martin caught a 74-yard TD pass from Evan Landers and returned an interception 40 yards for a score for the Cougars (2-1).

At one point late in the first quarter, Capital had run four offensive plays but led 26-7. Three of those plays resulted in long touchdowns as Landers found Martin and Chance Knox with scoring passes of 74 and 44 yards, respectively, and Tay Calloway broke off a 50-yard TD run. The other score came on Martin’s pick six.

Hurricane (1-2) twice got within 12 points but couldn’t muster enough offense to match that whirlwind start from Capital.

“That was a gutty performance,’’ said Cougars coach Jon Carpenter, “because our guys are not in good shape yet. They kind of relaxed and let them get back in it.

“But they fought at the end, so it’s a good deal. Good job.’’

Hurricane ran 70 plays to Capital’s 39 and outgained the Cougars 359-347 in total yards. The Redskins got an 84-yard touchdown pass from Austin Womack to Nate Barham on a nifty play-action fake early in the third quarter to make it 26-21, but Capital responded two possessions later with a 42-yard scoring burst by sophomore Shawn James. That proved to be the game’s final points.

Womack completed 17 of 34 passes for 240 yards and all three of his team’s touchdowns, but was sacked three times and threw two interceptions.

“We shot ourselves tonight,’’ said Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor. “We let Capital get on us early like always, but we battled back and proud of the kids for that. You take some positives out of it and get ready for Midland next week. That’s all we can do. Sometimes it’s not meant to be. All the credit goes to Capital. They’ve got a good team.

“I thought we had momentum going into the half, but there were a couple bad play calls there. We should have run the ball a couple times instead of trying to hit big plays again. Just two bad play calls by me, and it hurts. It hurts for these 16 seniors. You’re in the game and you have a chance and just blow it. It’s not on them; it’s on me.’’

Chase Hager caught six passes for 74 yards for Hurricane and Barham grabbed three for 98 yards. For Capital, Landers was 9 of 16 for 168 yards, and Martin had three receptions for 100 yards.

The first half featured plenty of offensive highlights, as Capital led 26-14 at the break.

The Cougars led at halftime despite running just 13 offensive plays to the Redskins’ 40. However, Capital led in total yards 192-161 due to the variety of big gainers.

Hurricane got its first-half touchdowns on two Womack passes -- 10 yards to Hager and 26 yards to Abel Cunningham. In the first half, Hill carried 19 times for 94 yards for the Redskins.

Capital has now won its last eight games against Hurricane.

Contact Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.