HONAKER, Va. - Two games into the fall season, Honaker has doubled its win total from the spring. The Tigers exploded for a 49-7 victory over visiting Castlewood on Friday.
“It’s always nice to get a win,” said Honaker coach Doug Hubbard. “We were sluggish at times, but the defense came up with some big plays to put us in some good positions.”
The Tigers had a total of six yards, their first two possessions, punting twice. It was scoreless after 12 minutes of play. But the Blue Devils also struggled to move the ball against the Honaker defense and senior safety T.J. Hubbard.
“This feels great,” said Hubbard. “Castlewood came out and gave us a beating last spring. We studied and practiced really hard this week.”
Honaker finally got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. They used the three-prong rushing attack of running backs Aidan Lowe, Skylar Miller and fullback Jax Horn to move 55 yards in eight plays. Lowe scored from one yard out and quarterback Sean Gill scrambled in for the two-point conversion for an 8-0 advantage.
Castlewood worked hard to answer and were moving the ball. They drove to the Honaker 16. On a 2nd-and-3 a bad snap was recovered by Honaker freshman Jaxon Dye. That’s when the tide turned on the Blue Devils.
“I’m happy with my kids effort, we played hard,” Castlewood coach Chris Lark said. “We’re just very, very young. We have some upperclassmen that are trying to lead, but we’re just so young and we don’t have a lot of depth. Turnovers are killing us, we fought and drive down and the ball hits us right in the face. All we can do is get better from here.”
On the second play after the turnover, Gill connected with Lowe on a 66-yard TD pass for a 14-0 lead with 2:29 to play in the first half. After a Castlewood punt, Gill found Lowe with a 42-yard strike and Horn rushed in for the two-point conversion for a 22-0 lead at intermission.
Castlewood (0-2) fought back with a nice 89-yard drive in the third quarter. Landen Taylor scored on a two-yard rush.
But Hubbard had a key interception to set up another Honaker score.
“Coach said to be ready for the pass,” Hubbard said. “I saw the ball, went for it, I was able to get it and take off.”
It led to a Horn score from one yard out. Horn then picked up a fumble and returned it 35-yards for another TD. Wesley Hurley added an 18-yard TD run and Nathaniel Deel added a final score on a 43-yard run.
Gill had an outstanding game going 4-for-9 passing for 116 yards with two TDs. Lowe had three receptions for 116 yards.
Freshman Slade Castle led the Blue Devils attack with 119 yards on the ground.
Honaker (2-0) travels to Twin Valley on Thursday and Castlewood will host Thomas Walker on an unusual Saturday afternoon contest.
Castlewood 0 0 7 0—7
Honaker 0 22 8 19—49
H—Lowe 1 run (Gill run)
H—Lowe 66 pass from Gill (pass failed)
H—Lowe 42 pass from Gill (Horn run)
C—Taylor 2 run (Gibson kick)
H—Horn 1 run (Lowe pass from Gill)
H—Horn 35 fumble return (Marsh kick)
H—Hurley 18 run (kick failed)
H—Deel 43 run (kick blocked)
First Downs: C 13, H 13; Rushes-Yards: C 61-184, H 22-205; Passing Yards: C 6, H 116; Comp-Att-Int: C 1-3-1, H 4-10-0; Fumbles-Lost: C 3-2, H 0-0; Penalties-Yards: C 4-40, H 7-55; Punts-Average: C 5-33.2, H 4-34.5.