Hurricane clinches playoff berth, routes St. Albans
By Trace Johnson
The Hurricane Redskins clinched a berth in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night for the first time since 2014 by blowing out the St. Albans Red Dragons 42-14 on the road to close out the regular season.
A dominant three quarters of football over St. Albans (1-9) propelled Hurricane (6-4) into its first playoff appearance since 2014 after missing the playoffs in 2015.
The Redskins’ defense made its presence felt early on when Charlie Womack intercepted a St. Albans pass on the Red Dragons’ first offensive possession of the game to give Hurricane’s offense the ball at its own 27.
Hurricane was unable to capitalize and St. Albans’ offense took over and drove the ball inside the Redskins’ 20-yard line.
But the Red Dragons squandered the opportunity when their 35-yard field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar and missed, giving the Redskins’ offense the ball back.
As the first quarter came to a close still scoreless, Hurricane’s offense was driving. And quarterback Dylan Plumley capped off the drive by connecting with Ben McAllister for a 28-yard touchdown to give the Redskins a 6-0 lead with 11:29 remaining in the second quarter.
St. Albans responded with a touchdown of its own when quarterback Jayson Barrett punched it in the end zone from 1 yard out to give the Red Dragons a 7-6 lead with 8:43 remaining in the second quarter.
The Redskins took the lead right back on their next offensive possession when Payton Lunsford found the end zone from 1 yard out to give the Redskins a 13-7 lead with 6:21 remaining in the second quarter.
Later in the second quarter, Plumley hooked up with McAllister for another touchdown, this time a 17-yard strike to extend Hurricane’s lead to 21-7 with 1:55 remaining until halftime after a successful 2-point conversion attempt.
The Redskins took their 21-7 lead into halftime and got the ball to start the third quarter. And the Plumley to McAllister duo connected for the third time on the night for a touchdown to open up the second half, this time a 14-yard strike to extend the lead to 28-7 with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter.
The Red Dragons cut into Hurricane’s lead late in the third quarter when Barrett found the end zone again from 1 yard out to cut the Redskins’ lead down to 28-14 with 2:28 remaining in the third quarter.
Hurricane added to its lead as the fourth quarter began when James McDougale found the end zone from 4 yards out to extend the Redskins’ lead to 35-14 with 8:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins set the final score late in the fourth quarter when freshman Christian Hill broke away from the defense for a 57-yard touchdown run to give Hurricane a 42-14 lead with just 2:26 remaining in the game and that would be the final score.
With the win, Hurricane clinches the 12-seed in the Class AAA playoffs and now heads on the road to battle the 5-seed University Hawks. Kickoff is set for Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.