BREVARD, N.C. – The Huntingdon football team set the tone with defense and had just enough offense in a 21-10 win over Brevard College on Saturday.
The defense limited the Tornados to 181 yards of total offense and did not allow the Brevard offense to reach the end zone. In the fourth quarter, leading 14-10, the defense clamped down. Brevard had four possessions in the final quarter and finished with 11 yards on 12 plays.
Following an 83-yard touchdown run by Kobe Smith to give the Hawks an 11-point lead with 2:44 to play, the defense sealed the game on Brevard's final possession with junior linebacker Mal Caldwell forcing a fumble and freshman linebacker Casey Peppers recovering the fumble at the Brevard 33-yard line.
Despite the close score late in the game, Huntingdon never trailed. Dontavion Cunningham capped Huntingdon's first possession of the game with a 2-yard touchdown run. Brevard's defense answered with a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
Tied 7-7 in the third quarter, quarterback Michael Lambert found receiver Otis Porter for a 26-yard touchdown play and a 14-7 lead. Brevard made it a 14-10 game late in the third quarter with a 26-yard field goal.
With the 26-yard touchdown reception, Porter broke the Huntingdon record for career receiving yards. He finished the game with 101 receiving yards to give him 2,675 for his career. Cody Pearcy held the previous record with 2,632 yards.
Records: Huntingdon (4-2, 3-0 USA South); Brevard (3-2, 1-2 USA South)
The Turning Point: On a day when the offense moved the ball but had trouble finding the end zone, the Hawks could not put Brevard away until the final minutes.
After the defense held the Tornados to three-and-out for the third time in three possessions in the fourth quarter, the offense found a spark in senior running back Kobe Smith. Leading 14-10 and facing third-and-five from the Huntingdon 17-yard line, Smith broke free for an 83-yard touchdown run and a 21-10 lead.
The run was the second longest of Smith's career and the fifth longest run from scrimmage in Huntingdon history. Smith finished the game with 117 yards on nine carries.
On the ensuing Brevard possession, the Hawks delivered the knockout blow with Caldwell's forced fumble and Peppers' fumble recovery.
Notable Performances: In addition to becoming the Hawks' career leader in receiving yards, senior receiver Otis Porter set a new personal best with 10 receptions in the game. The 10 receptions are tied for the third most by a Hawk in a game and are the most by a Huntingdon receiver since Mark Colson caught 10 passes against Colorado College in 2006. Colson set the single-game record with 13 receptions against Ithaca in 2006.
Record watch: Huntingdon's career leader in receiving yards (2,675) and receiving touchdowns (31), Porter is closing in on the career record for receptions. With 132 career receptions, Porter needs 16 more to break the record of 147 held by Cody Pearcy and Nick Haas.
Smith and Thomas eclipse 100 yards: With Smith's 117 rushing yards and junior Eric Thomas' 114 rushing yards, this was the eighth time multiple Huntingdon running backs have gained at least 100 yards in the same game. It was the second time Smith and Thomas have both surpassed 100 yards in the same game.
Passing: Michael Lambert: 25/41 for 242 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Receiving: Otis Porter: 10 receptions for 101 yards, 1 TD
C.J. Pugh: 7 receptions for 67 yards
Rushing: Kobe Smith: 9 rushes for 117 yards, 1 TD
Eric Thomas: 19 rushes for 114 yards
Dontavion Cunningham: 2-yard touchdown run
Kicking: Cole Starr: 3/3 PAT
Fumble Recoveries: Casey Peppers (1)
Passes Broken Up: Karl Dorn (2)
Head Coach Mike Turk on Saturday's win: "This was a hard-fought win. The defense played lights out and we did just enough on offense to get the win. With the rain, the conditions were tough for both offenses and our defense kept us in the game. We have a bunch of guys on defense who are working hard and getting better. We've been making progress all season and now we're starting to see some of the results."
Coming Up: Huntingdon hosts Averett on Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. in a battle for first-place in the USA South.