Longhorns upend Sumter to clinch No. 2 seed

YORK — Marengo Academy (5-4, 4-2) clinched the No. 2 seed in AISA Class A, Region 2 Friday night with a 37-12 victory over Sumter Academy.

“In my opinion, it was the best game we played completely,” Marengo Academy head coach Robby James said. “We didn’t have any mistakes. We had three penalties. Other than that, we played a good game. We just had a good game. There were no mistakes and we moved the ball well.”

The Longhorns opened the scoring when Tyler Barkley hit Shade Pritchett for a 10-yard touchdown pass. A Hayden Huckabee run for the two-point conversion put MA up 8-0. Josh Holifield extended the advantage with 2:51 to go in the first when he hit paydirt on a 49-yard run. Pritchett then hauled in the conversion pass to up the lead to 16-0.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Smith

Holifield wrapped up his night with 189 yards and two scores on 21 carries.Holifield stretched the lead with 1:45 to go in the third with a nine-yard sprint. The Longhorns put the game away with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Pritchett, who finished the night with eight catches for 106 yards and three scores.

“He looked healthy tonight. We had some good blocking tonight. He ran the ball hard. He hit the holes quicker and he ran low,” James said. “All in all, it was a good setup. I think we kept them off balance with the motion and running to it and away from it.”

Hayden Hall had 11 total tackles to lead the defense. Thomas Etheridge added 10 stops. Kyle Adams had six tackles and a sack. Hayden Huckabee had eight tackles while Pritchett finished with seven.

The win by the Longhorns forced a three-way tie for the No. 2 seed in the region between MA, Sumter Academy and Sparta. According to the point differential tiebreak rules of the AISA, Marengo Academy will take the No. 2 seed and host the first round of the playoffs.

“We played like our back was against the wall. I could tell when we rode over there. There wasn’t any talking,” James said. “They knew we had to play well or we were going to be, probably, the fourth seed.”