Eagles beat Pirates for county middle school championship
HUNTINGTON — Despite a regular season loss to Barboursville, Gavin Lochow said he knew his Huntington Eagles would win the Cabell County middle school football championship Thursday at Huntington High’s Bob Sang Field and they proved him right with a 34-20 win over the Pirates.
Lochow, the Huntington quarterback, was a big contributor with a 5-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter plus two more in the second quarter as Huntington rolled up a 34-8 halftime lead. As it turned out, they didn’t score for the rest of the game.
Helping Lochow was running back Amari Felder who had two rushing touchdowns and 124 yards on seven carries to lead the Eagles offensive attack.
“Everybody was locked in from the start,” Lochow, an eighth grader, said. “We practiced hard this week.”
Huntington opened the game with a 10-play drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Felder. The Eagles defense then held Barboursville to a three-and-out on its first possession, then its offense drove 56 yards where Lochow
Huntington took advantage of numerous Barboursville penalties and turnovers including a fumble on the Pirates first play of the second quarter. That play set up the Eagles on the Barboursville 15-yard-line.
Lochow’s second touchdown of the game followed five plays later on a 4-yard run. On that drive, Barboursville nearly forced Huntington into a fourth-and-2 situation, but an offside penalty gave the Eagles a first down and allowed the quarterback to score on the next play.
An interception of Barboursville quarterback Ryan Wolfe at the Huntington 15-yard line set up Felder for an 85-yard touchdown run that gave Huntington a 26-0 lead.
Barboursville got on on the scoreboard with a 17-yard-run by Ethan Jeffrey, who also added the two-point conversion that cut the Huntington lead to 26-8. However, the Eagles added one last score with 35 seconds left in the first half on Lochow’s third score from 5 yards to make it 34-8.
Barboursville controlled the second half, but had fallen so far behind ran out of time.
The Pirates took the third quarter kickoff and drove 57 yards in 16 plays that took the entire third quarter. Wolfe finished the drive with a 1-yard scoring carry in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
Huntington’s only two possessions of the second half were in the fourth quarter. The first ended on a turnover on downs at the Barboursville 21-yard line and the second was a kneel by Lochow in victory formation to end the game.
A final Barboursville TD came with :32 left when Wolfe added a 1-yard TD run that set the final score.
Barboursville coach Chris Toppins huddled his team at the 25-yard line following the game and had the players watch Huntington celebrate with the championship trophy. He told his team to remember what the loss felt like.
“We’ve played in tight games all year, but let this one get away from us,” Toppins said. “We couldn’t overcome our own mistakes and miscues.”