Balanced attack leads MA over Wilcox, 28-6

Carson Huckabee, #50, forces a fumble as he tackles a Wilcox Wildcat.

Carson Huckabee, #50, forces a fumble as he tackles a Wilcox Wildcat.

LINDEN – Marengo Academy used a balanced offensive attack to pass its toughest test so far this season, as the Longhorns defeated Wilcox Academy 28-6 at Linden Athletic Field Friday night.

The Longhorns compiled 207 yards on the ground and added another 109 through the air en route to the victory.

“We got in the spread (offense) a little, and Hayden (Huckabee) is a good runner and he can throw pretty well, too,” said MA head coach Robby James, who saw his Longhorns advance to 5-0 on the season. “So we were able to mix it up pretty well. Wilcox has a big, strong team and they are physical. We made some mistakes, but every now and then you are going to have a game like that.”

While the Marengo offense racked up 316 yards of total offense, the Longhorn defense held the Wildcats to 186 total yards – all on the ground with 80 of those yards coming on WA’s only score of the night in the second quarter.

Marengo opened the scoring halfway through the first period when Josh Holifield took a pitch and raced 22 yards for the touchdown. Marengo’s defense set the stage for the score by pushing Wilcox back to its own one, forcing a punt from the end zone that traveled only to the Wildcat 28.

Tyler Barkley, #6, Carson Huckabee, #50, Tate Sanford #54 and several other Longhorns saw action on this tackle.

Tyler Barkley, #6, Carson Huckabee, #50, Tate Sanford #54 and several other Longhorns saw action on this tackle.

“I thought our defense played well,” said James. “We gave up that one big run, but other than that we played really well on defense.”

Early in the second period, Marengo stretched its lead to 14-0 when Huckabee scored on a one-yard run. The key play in Marengo’s scoring drive was a 47-yard pass from Huckabee to Shade Pritchett. Quarterback Tyler Barkley hit Pritchett for the two-point conversion.

Marengo stretched the lead to 21-0 with 7:06 to play before the half on Huckabee’s 44-yard run, with Brant Lewis kicking the PAT.

On the first play after the kickoff, Wilcox put its only points on the board on Lee Seale’s 80-yard run. The extra point attempt failed on a low snap from center.

Late in the second period, Wilcox threatened to make it a one possession game, driving to the Longhorn 10. However, Marengo’s Thomas Etheridge ended the threat with a fumble recovery at the 8 with less than a minute to play in the half.

Landon Houlditch, #80 makes his second catch of the night.

Landon Houlditch, #80 makes his second catch of the night.

Following a scoreless third quarter, Marengo sealed the win with Huckabee’s two-yard run with 10:57 to play. Lewis’ extra point provided the final margin of victory.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said James. “You can’t be satisfied just because you’re 5-0. But I’m proud of our guys.”

Marengo led Wilcox in first downs, 13-8.

Huckabee and Barkley combined to go 5-for-7 for 109 yards through the air, with Pritchett and Holifield accounting for all the receiving yards. Pritchett had three catches for 75 yards, while Holifield’s two grabs totalled 34.

The two linemen match up to see who claims the line. Way to go #76, William Tutt.

The two linemen match up to see who claims the line. Way to go #76, William Tutt.

On the ground, Huckabee had 151 yards on 17 carries, while Holifield added 55 yards on 13 rushes.

Hayden Hall led the defensive effort with eight tackles and four assists, while Carson Huckabee added seven tackles and four assists. William Tutt contributed seven tackles and two assists, with a sack.

Marengo travels to Meadowview Christian in Selma Friday night.