HUNTINGTON - Winfield didn't come close to knocking Huntington off its hilltop perch Friday night, but coach Craig Snyder's team could claim some consolation.
Snyder wasn't doing cartwheels of joy over the Generals' 21-3 loss, but his disposition was sunnier than his counterpart.
"We have come a ways in the program," said Highlander coach Billy Seals. "But I tell you what: We just didn't play very good. And give credit to Winfield, I thought they played well tonight, and I'll take full blame for our performance.
"It wasn't good enough, and that all starts with me. We had a bad week at practice; I warned the kids that the way you practice is the way you're going to perform on Friday night, and you know what? That starts with me."
Seals wasn't pleased with his team's first half, even though the Highlanders romped to a 21-3 lead. After Aaron Sadler's 32-yard field goal gave the Generals (1-2) a 3-0 lead, Huntington (3-0) answered with three rapid-fire drives to set the halftime score.
The first scoring drive went 74 yards on six plays, with Donte Hendricks scoring on an 18-yard run. The second went 58 yards in five plays, bolstered by Mark Shaver's 24-yard pass to Jarod Martin. Brandon Morrison covered the final 7 yards.
Clark Wilson set up the final drive with his interception of Winfield passer Toby Show, with a 29-yard return to the Generals' 18-yard line. Four plays later, Shaver scored on a quarterback sneak with 6:16 left in the first half.
The game shaped up to be a blowout, but a funny thing happened: The score remained frozen the final 30 minutes. And before you knew it, the game was over - so economically, it ended at 9:35 p.m.
Winfield adjusted to the Highlanders' speed and moved the ball well in the second half. The Generals just couldn't score, fumbling one good chance inside the Huntington 10.
"I knew it would probably take awhile to adjust to their athleticism," Snyder said. "They're also physical - their fullback's good, and the timing of their offense just makes it difficult. Defensively, it's the same thing.
"We moved the ball well, Seth [Lewis] ran the ball well, Toby threw the ball well. We had some protection issues but we overcame those. I felt we couldn't finish; we shot ourselves in the foot a few times."
But Huntington shot first after halftime, driving from its 20 only to fumble at the Winfield 2. Lewis jumped on Christian's fumble, giving the Generals the ball on their 9 after consecutive personal fouls on both teams.