Longhorns mount Homecoming comeback

Raycelia McIntyre – Special to The Watchman — Hayden Huckabee led the Longhorns in rushing Friday night.

LINDEN — Marengo Academy overcame early miscues and a 26-7 deficit to beat Meadowview 42-26 Friday night.

On Homecoming night, Marengo Academy head coach Robby James said his team was focused on anything but football from the outset.

“They had four big plays and it looked bad. We’d drive the ball for first downs and get down to the 12 yard line and fumbled two different times on the 12,” James said of the sluggish start for the Longhorns. “(Meadowview) played pretty good ball. We just struggled a little bit. It was Homecoming. It looked like everything was on our minds but ball.”

The Longhorns saw Meadowview cash in a 73-yard fumble return for a score and break scoring runs of 60, 14 and 78 yards to hang 26 points on the board in the first half. The Longhorns got a four-yard scoring run from Hayden Huckabee and a 14-yard Shade Pritchett catch of a Tyler Barkley with 13 seconds left in the opening half to make 26-14 at intermission.

The Longhorns inserted Josh Holifield into the lineup in the second half, having held him out in the game’s opening quarters due to an ankle sprain. Holifield amassed 91 yards on the ground in the second half to help boost the Longhorn offense.

“He had fresh legs at least. It did give us a boost,” James said.

Huckabee scored on a three-yard run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 26-21. Holifield put the Longhorns up to stay with a two-yard run less than three minutes later.

Pritchett returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown while Brant Lewis added a 12-yard end zone jaunt to round out the scoring.

Marengo Academy held Meadowview to six first downs despite missing its leading tackler, Kyle Adams.

Hayden Hall and Pritchett each had 11 total stops while Cason Cook and Carson Huckabee added eight apiece.

“We responded the second half. We’re 3-0 in the region and it was big for us,” James said.

Marengo Academy (4-2, 3-0) travels to face Pickens Academy in a key region game next week.

Hayden Huckabee led Marengo Academy’s ground attack with 150 yards on 20 carries while Brant Lewis added 115 yards on 13 carries and went 7 for 7 on extra point attempts.