HUNTINGTON — The single wing is known mostly as a running offense and it was easy to see why on Friday night.
Winfield experienced considerable success running out of its familiar Ram formation, picking up 220 yards, including 173 on 27 carries by John Covert, but met disaster when passing as Huntington intercepted four passes in a 31-3 victory over the Generals at Bob Sang Stadium.
Scout Arthur made two of those picks inside the Highlanders’ 10-yard line to thwart scoring threats and frustrate the Generals (0-3), who drove inside the Huntington 5-yard line three times and inside the 15 one other, but never crossed the goal line.
Jonathan Jackson’s interception at the Winfield 16 on the first play of the third quarter set up Gavin Lochow’s 3-yard keeper for a touchdown three plays later and gave the Highlanders a 17-3 lead and breathing room against a Generals offense that stumbled at key times.
Amari Felder’s 51-yard touchdown run on the Highlanders’ next possession made it 24-3 and a challenge for Winfield to catch up. Felder finished with 132 yards on nine carries.
The Generals tried, though, moving in 13 plays from their own 24 to the Huntington 9 before Arthur intercepted Brycen Brown at the 2 with 1:19 left in the third quarter. That play sparked a seven-play, 98-yard drive that ended with Lochow’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Felder.
Lochow, who ran for 102 yards and passed for 98, escaped heavy pressure to find Felder down the right sideline. The sophomore running back then cut inside, kept his balance after nearly falling, and raced into the end zone as Huntington boosted its lead to 31-3.
Huntington wasn’t so efficient early. On its initial drive, the Highlanders drove 65 yards to the Winfield 5, where they faced fourth-and-4 with 5:06 left in the first quarter. The Highlanders ran a reverse pitch to Noah Waynick, who was met in the backfield by Ian Cottrell for an 8-yard loss that turned over the ball to the Generals.
Winfield kept Huntington out of the end zone again on the Highlanders’ next possession, but not off the scoreboard, as Nathan Young kicked a 28-yard field goal with 1:32 left in the first quarter to give Huntington a 3-0 lead.
The Generals responded with an immediate threat, aided by 20 yards worth of penalties, driving to the Huntington 4. The Generals’ attempt at trickery, though, backfired as running back Covert’s pass to the flat was intercepted by Arthur at the 4.
Winfield received another opportunity, however, after a 15-yard facemask penalty on Huntington allowed the Generals to start a drive at the Highlanders’ 25. Winfield moved to the 9 before the defense stiffened and a procedure penalty caused the Generals to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Braxton VanScoy to tie it 3-3 at 5:44 of the second quarter.
Huntington put together a drive to regain the lead. The Highlanders used an 18-yard pass from Lochow to Felder, followed by a 28-yard run by Felder to set up Lochow’s 28-yard touchdown run 3:02 before halftime. Lochow eluded defensive back Bray Boggs, the only defender with a shot at him, at the 17 on his way to the end zone.
Felder came up with another big play when he intercepted a Brown pass to give the Highlanders the ball at their own 47. Huntington drove as far as the Winfield 26 before the half ended.