MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon running back Trevor Manuel has
had some big games during his career at Huntingdon.
Saturday’s performance was the biggest yet.
Manuel scored four touchdowns and accounted for 236
all-purpose yards as the Hawks beat nationally ranked Wittenberg 38-20 on
Homecoming. Wittenberg was ranked No. 11 in the American Football Coaches
Association’s poll and 14th in the D3football.com poll.
“This was a huge win for us and it was great to be able to
do it in front of so many fans,” Manuel said. “We hope this is a win that will
turn some heads. We feel like we have a good team, but a lot of people don’t know
about us nationally. We’re just trying to keep working hard and trying to get
the word out about our program by winning games like this.”
This was the second time in three weeks that Huntingdon (5-1)
has knocked off a Top-15 Division III team at Samford Stadium. Huntingdon beat
then-14th ranked Hampden-Sydney 34-27 on Sept. 24.
“I think this is the biggest win we’ve had,” senior and
preseason All-American Keith Anthony said. “We were the underdogs but we knew
we could pull it off. To be able to do it on Homecoming, in front of so many
fans and alumni, that made it even better.”
The win snapped Wittenberg’s 25-game regular-season winning
streak that dated to Nov. 15, 2008. Earlier this season, the Tigers (5-1)
became the first Division III program to reach 700 wins.
“We beat a very good team today,” Huntingdon head coach Mike
Turk said. “They are what we want to be. They’re a model for all Division III
teams and today doesn’t change that. We’ve still got a lot of work to do and a
lot of improvement to make, but this was a good step for us. This was a big win
for our kids and our program.”
On Saturday, Manuel finished with 152 yards rushing and two
touchdowns on 34 carries and two receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
For the season, he has rushed for 663 yards this season and
eight touchdowns. His second touchdown on Saturday, a 24-yard run in the third
quarter, was his 20th career rushing touchdown. He is tied with Alex
Baronich for Huntingdon’s career record.
Manuel needs 28 yards to become Huntingdon’s career rushing
“He’s been a heck of a player for us since his freshman
year,” Turk said. “He’s made all kinds of plays for us and he has the ability
to make a lot of guys miss. He is one of those players that can turn a bad call
into a really good call.”
Manuel was part of a an overall dominant offensive
performance. The Hawks, who have averaged a little more than 477 yards per game
this season, rolled up a season-high 635 yards of offense on 104 plays.
Huntingdon’s time of possession was more than 39 minutes and the Hawks rushed
for 329 yards on 66 carries.
Quarterback Neal Posey was 29-of-38 for 306 yards, three touchdowns
and two interceptions. Posey connected with Manuel for a 68-yard touchdown and
a 10-yard touchdown. Posey hit Willie McDowell for a 9-yard touchdown.
H-Back Tyler Hall led the receivers with four receptions for
Corey Robertson capped Huntingdon’s scoring with a 25-yard
field goal, the team’s first of the season, early in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Huntingdon frustrated Wittenberg. The Tigers averaged
a little more than 427 yards per game in the first five games. Saturday,
Huntingdon held Wittenberg to 223 yards of offense on 63 plays, including six
yards rushing. At the end of three
quarters, Wittenberg had minus-28 yards rushing on 15 attempts and 158 yards of
offense on 48 plays.
“The defense played extremely well,” Turk said. “We’ve been
playing better every week and that’s a credit to the defensive players and
coaches. We haven’t had the missed assignments and we haven’t been doing the
things that will get you beat.”
Justin Brown led the defense with seven tackles and Anthony
and Xavier Singleton each had five tackles. Anthony also recorded his 18th
As a unit, the defense had three sacks and eight tackles for
loss. The 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage dropped Wittenberg for a loss
of 76 yards.
Next up for the Hawks is another ranked opponent. Huntingdon
travels to San Antonio, Texas, to play Trinity University on Oct. 15 at 1:30
p.m. Trinity is ranked 18th in the AFCA poll.
“We’re going to enjoy this one for a little while but then
we’ve got to get ready for the next game,” Turk said. “We’ve still got some big
games left to play and we’ve got to continue to prepare and try to get better