Over the top — Lion tight end Tyler McPeak (right) hauls in a two-point conversion pass over Huntingdon’s Torey Watson in the Mustangs’ 28-22 win over Dresden in District 13-A action on Friday night. Photo by Stephanie Sturgis
The Huntingdon Mustangs only completed five passes, but three of those connections went for touchdowns in their 28-22 win over the Dresden Lions.
Dresden appeared to have snared the momentum with a seven-play, 49-yard scoring drive. With the score knotted at 14-all, Eric VanDyke, who missed the prior game with an injury, gained 23 yards on a run through the right side. Daniel Harris picked up a dozen yards on a reverse to set up first-and-goal from the 9.
VanDyke, who scored twice from one yard out earlier, picked up a yard before quarterback Dale Hutcherson found tight end Tyler McPeak in the end zone for the go-ahead score. McPeak also caught the two-point pass with a leaping grab in the corner for a 22-14 lead with 7:47 remaining in the game.
Huntingdon didn’t flinch. Tyler Warbritton put the Mustangs in great field position with a 39-yard kickoff return, cutting through the Dresden special teams until he was hauled down at the Lion 36. Warbritton, the HHS signal caller, was sacked by Tyler Hawks for a four-yard loss on first down. On the next snap, Warbritton found a wide-open K.C. Miller behind the defense. Miller cruised untouched into the end zone.
The Dresden defense did step up and keep Warbritton from completing the two-point toss to maintain a 22-20 lead with 6:57 left in the game.
“The big play, once again. We went against them last year and they weren’t supposed to be able to complete the big pass. They burned us a couple of times last year and they did it again tonight,” DHS head coach Scott Hewett said.
Invigorated by the quick score the Mustangs forced the Lion offense into a three-and-out series.
Starting at their own 25 with 5:24 to play, the Mustangs went back to work on the ground. Bam Melton carried the ball on seven of the 12 plays. Warbritton kept the ball twice for gains of 15 and 13 yards. Melton finished the drive with a two-yard run to paydirt. Corbin Jordan caught the two-pointer for a 28-22 lead with just 51 seconds left.
“I thought we were going to win, 22-20. They took that ball and went the whole way. We had trouble even slowing them down,” Hewett noted. “Getting the cheap score on the pass (to Miller) gave them more time to score at the end. If we’d made them fight harder for that one, there wouldn’t have been as much time left.”
Jordan ended the Lions’ chances when he picked off a Hutcherson pass with 16 ticks remaining.
Originally, the Lions nabbed the lead on their first drive mixing runs and passes. VanDyke’s TD with 4:45 let in the first quarter gave the Lions a 6-0 lead.
The Mustangs moved on top in the second quarter. Warbritton hit Melton on a 33-yard post for a score and then a 16-yard TD strike. Jorge Perez kicked two PATs for a 14-6 halftime lead.
VanDyke’s second TD and a McPeak two-point catch evened the score at 14-all four minutes into the third quarter.
Huntingdon 0 14 0 14 — 28 Dresden 6 0 8 8 — 22
DHS — Eric VanDyke 1-yard run, (pass failed), 4:45.
HHS — Bam Melton 33-yard pass from Tyler Warbritton, (Jorge Perez kick), 6:45.
HHS — Melton 16-yard pass from Warbritton, (Perez kick), 0:33.
DHS — VanDyke 1-yard run, (Tyler McPeak pass from Dale Hutcherson), 7:54.
DHS — McPeak 8-yard pass from Hutcherson, (McPeak pass from Hutcherson), 7:47.
HHS — K.C. Miller 40-yard pass from Warbritton, (pass failed), 6:57.
HHS — Melton 2-yard run, (Corbin Jordan pass from Warbritton), 00:51.
First Downs 15 19
Rushes-yards 41-183 37-145
Passing yards 111 107
Comp-Att-Int 5-8-0 13-19-1
Punts 4-31.3 4-32.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 4-1
Penalties-yards 9-70 4-30
Rushing — Huntingdon, Tyler Warbritton 12-82, Bam Melton 16-60, Logan Diebold 6-22, Chance Carlton 5-17, Corbin Jordan 1-2, Jamal Currie 1-0; Dresden, Eric VanDyke 17-91, Dale Hutcherson 14-53, Daniel Harris 3-11, Colin Kanehl 3-(-10).
Passing — Huntingdon, Warbritton 5-8-0 — 111; Dresden, Hutcherson 13-19-1 — 107.
Receiving — Huntingdon, Melton 2-49, K.C. Miller 1-40, Brandon Huss 1-16, Jordan 1-6; Dresden, Harris 6-54, Kanehl 3-25, Tyler McPeak 2-16, Gatlin Hatchel 2-12.
Records — Huntingdon 3-4 (3-0 District 13-A), Dresden 5-2 (1-2 District 13-A).
Next Game — Huntingdon will visit Dyer County with kickoff at 7 on Friday night, while Dresden will travel to take on Riverside with kickoff at 7:30.