HUNTINGDON – It’s not a well-kept secret that Huntingdon High football is usually at its best when the line play is really good.
The Mustangs posted an undefeated regular season in 2011 and a run to the Class 1A state championship game in 2012 with one of the best lines in rural West Tennessee.
The big guys up front opened lanes for talented and speedy backs to get down the field through.
Three years later, Huntingdon head coach Eric Swenson isn’t ready to say this group will be better – or even comparable – to that group. But he does say the potential is there.
“When you look at our team and look down our roster, our line looks like it’s going to be the biggest strength we’ll have, and that goes for both sides of the ball,” Swenson said. “And our objective more times than not will be to control the line of scrimmage.
“That’s usually what we want to do no matter what our team looks like because there are a lot of different ways to win a football game. Controlling the line of scrimmage usually gives you the chance to do whatever it is you want to try.”
Eight starters are back on defense. Seven return on offense. Quarterback Dylan Johnson is back along with running back Tristan Norwood. Sophomore Kade Pearson will move back there as well to help headline a committee of backs who all have speed to burn.
Then the defense boasts of one of the blue chip athletes in rural West Tennessee this season. Sadarius Hutcherson has three NCAA Division I FBS offers and could garner more if his play this season looks good enough.
“He’s one that’s flown under a lot of radars, but he had a good combine in front of the right people and he’s out there now,” Swenson said. “But good for him because he’s worked for it.”
The schedule will be different this year for the Mustangs. Instead of being in a district in which half the opponents are in Carroll County and the other two are within 10 miles of the Weakley County line, Huntingdon and Bruceton are lumped in with a few Middle Tennessee schools in a region that stretches from Clarksville Academy to Collinwood.
“There are some good teams in this region with Wayne County and Clarksville Academy,” Swenson said. “We had some good games with Wayne County a few years back, and they could be as good as they were in 2011 when they won it all.
“The good thing is we just have to finish in the top four, and we know where we’re going for the most part after that. We’re ready to get this started.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751