HURRICANE — Hurricane was fighting for its playoff life Friday night, knowing it would have to win and get some help to get in the Class AAA field.
The Redskins held up their end, defeating St. Albans 38-12 at home on senior night and got the help they needed elsewhere. Hurricane finishes the regular season with a losing record at 4-6 but will await its playoff seeding. St. Albans ends its season at 1-9.
“We took care of business and did what we had to do,” Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor said. “We were looking ahead at what might happen and some good things happened in front of us. At least we are playing next week and get to play another game.”
According to unofficial figures provided by Ed Forshey of WVtailgatecentral.com, Hurricane will finish 14th in the AAA ratings and play at No. 3 Spring Valley next weekend. The SSAC will release its official final ratings on Saturday, and game assignments — including dates, times and locations — will be decided on Sunday.
Running back Christian Hill was the workhorse for Hurricane, rushing for 214 yards on 27 carries and two touchdown runs against the Red Dragons. Hill, a senior, had 176 yards on 21 attempts in the first half alone and went over 1,000 yards on the season for the third time in his career.
“We knew he needed 185 yards to get to 1,000 for the year and we wanted him to get that,” Taylor said. “He is a great back and he did a great job. For the regular season, he’s over 4,000 yards for his career.”
Hurricane scored first on its opening possession, marching 59 yards with Hill capping off the drive on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
The Redskins tacked on a 24-yard field goal by Cole Bumgarner late in the first quarter and added an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Womack to Abel Cunningham in the second quarter to lead 17-0.
St. Albans, which had moved the ball into Hurricane territory on its first two possessions before losing fumbles, finally cashed in to make it a game. Hunter Payne scampered 71 yards for a touchdown to cut the Hurricane lead down to just 17-7 with 4:25 left in the second quarter.
Hurricane, though, regained momentum on its next possession to increase its lead back to 17 at halftime. Hill scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 1:54 remaining in the half to make the score 24-7.
The Redskins tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a commanding 38-6 lead entering the fourth . Nate Barham ran for a 12-yard TD and Ryan Moses caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Womack.
Womack was 14 of 23 passing for 103 yards and two touchdowns for Hurricane. The Redskins controlled the game and time of possession, running 73 plays opposed to just 40 for the Red Dragons.
SA completed the scoring on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Luke Claridades to Alex Musick with 23.6 seconds remaining in the game.
Payne led St. Albans with 109 yards rushing on 16 carries. Jaimelle Claytor added 46 yards on six attempts
Despite finishing 1-9, St. Albans coach Nick Watts saw much improvement from his Red Dragons.
“1-9 is not the record you want to see but anyone that saw us play last year and this year, knows how much better we are,” Watts said. “Our effort is so much better. This program has been down for such a long time and it’s going to take time to rebuild it.”
“We are excited for the offseason. Last year it was a kind of a relief when the season was over but this year we are sad it’s over. We are excited for the future. Hunter is only a sophomore and we have a lot of guys coming back.”