Longhorns trample Cougars

LINDEN — Marengo Academy (6-4) scored on the opening kickoff and scarcely let up in a 35-8 win over rival Southern Academy (2-8) Thursday night.

Josh Holifield picked up a Cougar squib kick on the first play of the game and returned it 79 yards to give Marengo a lead it would never lose.

The Longhorns found the end zone again with 6:19 to go in the first quarter when freshman running back Hayden Huckabee scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night, sprinting 37 yards to put MA up by two scores.

After Huckabee reeled off a 51-yard run on the last play of the first period, Longhorn quarterback Tyler Barkley darted 26 yards behind right guard Joseph Sammons to extend the MA lead again.

Marengo wrapped up the first half scoring when Huckabee punched it in from three yards out to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive.

With 2:21 to go in the third quarter, Huckabee hit paydirt for the final time on a fake punt, sprinting 38 yards for the last Longhorn score of the night.

Southern managed to get on the board with 3:01 to go in the contest when Dylan Henry snagged a 28-yard Clayton Hall pass for a touchdown. Cole Marsh then caught the two-point conversion throw to cap the scoring.

“I thought our guys played hard like they have done all year,” Marengo coach Robby James said. “Southern has been down a little bit, but they always play good ball. They’ve been good for years and years but they’ve had some injuries that have hurt them.”

Marsh did most of his damage on the night while serving as the Cougar punter, launching six kicks for an average of 47.5 per punt. Jacob Rose led the Southern ground game with 72 yards on 17 carries.

Huckabee paced Marengo with 190 yards on 17 carries. Carson Huckabee led the Longhorn defense with nine tackles including two sacks. Thomas Etheridge also added nine tackles for the Longhorns.

Landon Houlditch recorded a sack for the Longhorns, forcing the only turnover of the game late in the fourth quarter when he stripped the ball free. Andrew Martin recovered the loose ball for the Longhorns. The win was the 300th in school history for Marengo Academy and marked the first victory over Southern in Robby James’ tenure.

Marengo will host Abbeville Christian next Friday night in the first round of the AISA Class A playoffs.