Dreams of a trip to Cookeville and a possible state championship died Friday night at Paul Ward Stadium as the Huntingdon Mustangs ended their season with a 30-20 loss to the Lake County Falcons in the state semifinals.
After forcing the Mustangs to punt away their opening possession, the Falcons went straight on the attack as Larry Tubbs broke away and crossed most of the field for Lake County’s first touchdown. Quarterback Tanner Snyder ran in the conversion, and the Falcons were off to an early 8-0 lead.
The Mustangs, who seemed to be a little rattled after that, missed a field goal kick attempt on their next possession but still managed to score late in the first quarter on a keeper by quarterback Hunter Ensley. The two-point attempt failed, however, leaving Huntingdon behind 8-6 at the end of the first.
Snyder scored two touchdowns for the Falcons in the second quarter, including an 11-yard keeper and a 73-yard breakaway sprint, and ran in both conversions.
Late in the second quarter, Ensley aired one to Bo McLemore, who ran it on into the end zone. Huntingdon’s conversion attempt was stopped, and the Mustangs went to the locker room with a 24-12 halftime deficit.
The third quarter belonged to the defensive squads of both teams as the ball changed hands seven times without either team managing to score.
Taking advantage of a Huntingdon fumble, the Falcons tacked up their final touchdown of the game two minutes into the fourth quarter on a run by Tubbs, who was stopped by the Mustangs on the conversion attempt.
The Mustangs scored their last touchdown of the 2019 season with just over three minutes left in the game. From about six yards out, Ensley dived the last couple of yards and managed to get the ball in a corner of the end zone. He broke in again for the two-pointer, but that still left the Mustangs 10 points shy with little time left to turn it around.
The Falcons claimed Huntingdon’s onside kickoff at around midfield, and, from there, it was just a matter of keeping possession for three minutes to claim the win and a state championship berth.
See more highlights from this game, photos, and a recap of the Mustangs’ impressive season in next week’s News-Leader.