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— Gentry defeated. Mission accomplished for Huntsville.

For the second straight year, Huntsville needed to defeat Gentry to advance to the Class 4A playoffs, but this time around the Eagles had to win by at least 13 points to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Quarterback Cody Stevens and running back Wilson Phillips delivered the goods for Huntsville when it mattered most.

Stevens passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns and Phillips rushed for 123 yards on 27 carries to lead Huntsville to a 42-28 victory over the Pioneers. Huntsville will be the No. 5 seed from the 4A-1 and will likely play Osceola in the first round.

Huntsville led 14-0 early and the Eagles then scored the games’ final 14 points to qualify for the playoffs for the second straight year.

“Really proud of our kids because they got presented, ‘You got to win, you got to win by 13,’” said Huntsville coach Ken Harriman. “Really proud of the way they played tonight.”

Gentry tied the game at 28 early in the second half, but the Eagles’ defense kept the Pioneers out of the end zone on the Pioneers’ final five possessions of the game. Defensive back Joe Burger stopped one drive with a nice tackle on fourth down and the senior then all but sealed the game with an interception with less than 6minutes left in the game.

“Real proud of the defense,” Harriman said. “We made some good adjustments and after that we played some really good defense.”

Gentry coach Brian Little said the Pioneers responded from being down 14-0 early but couldn’t match Huntsville late in the game.

“It got away from us (early) but we responded,” Little said. “We made some poor decisions as players and coaches (in the second half) and you can’t do that in this type of game.”

Huntsville used a long kickoff return and an onside kick to score twice for a 14-0 lead before Gentry even touched the football.

Sean Furr returned the opening kickoff 73 yards to the Gentry 17 and Stevens completed the short drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Phillips with 9 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first quarter.

Huntsville then recovered the onside kick and Stevens completed a seven-play, 40-yard drive with a scoring run from the 1 for a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

But Gentry regrouped and tied the game at 14 behind a 4-yard run by Nick Weeks and a Ramsey to Weeks touchdown reception that covered 8 yards late in the opening quarter.

The second quarter was also an offensive show as Phillips gave Huntsville a 21-14 lead with a short run. But Gentry countered and tied the game at 21-21 when Ramsey hit Justin Stewart for a 4-yard touchdown.

Huntsville then took a 28-21 halftime lead on another Stevens touchdown run from the one. That run completed a 68-yard scoring drive that saw Stevens complete four straight passes.

Gentry tied the game at 28 on the fourth play of the second half when Ramsey tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Robert Henderson.

Stevens started a game ending 14-point outburst with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Furr before Phillips put the game away with a 1-yard run with 6:24 left in the game.

Phillips’ touchdown came after Burger stopped Weeks for a 2-yard gain on fourthand-4 from the Gentry 13.

Sports, Pages 7 on 11/11/2009

Print Headline: Season Over

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