NORTH COURTLAND – On a cold Friday night, the R.A. Hubbard Chiefs started on hot. Unfortunately, they were unable to keep the momentum.
The Chiefs fell to the Meek Tigers in the first round of the AHSAA state playoffs. Hubbard led early 12-0, but were outscored 52-8 the rest of the way, resulting in a 52-20 loss.
“Mistakes,” said R.A. Hubbard head coach Mac Hampton. “That was the issue tonight. After we got hit with adversity, we never bounced back.”
The Chiefs started the game on fire.
On the first drive, quarterback Cookie Cobb connected with Quintez McCoy for a 68 yard touchdown pass to give them a 6-0 lead. After forcing a turnover on downs inside the redzone, Hubbard wasted no time scoring again as Cobb found Kyle Hampton for a tipped pass touchdown to make it 12-0.
Then, as Hampton said. adversity struck.
Meek scored their first touchdown to cut the lead to 12-6, then grabbed their first lead 14-12 on a 20 yard scoop and score.
Hubbard answered when Cobb found Tyran Murphy to allow the Chiefs to retake the lead 20-14. However, the Tigers surged back ahead 30-20 by halftime with two touchdown runs, the latter of which was set up by a long interception return inside the 10 yard line.
“Our quarterback mishandles the snap, it gets picked up and scored. Then we had an (almost) pick six,” Hampton said. “That was a two touchdown swing.”
The second half was all Meek.
The Tigers scored three touchdowns as depth became a serious issue for the Chiefs.
“It definitely played a part in the second half,” said Hampton. “We started having guys go down with injuries and it became a big deal.”
Cobb finished his final game as a Chief with three passing touchdowns. The senior put together a strong season after being forced into the role due to the tragic passing of teammate DJ Wiggins over the summer.
“Considering the circumstances, he did a good job,” Hampton said. “If he had been able to play there a little longer, he probably could have been even better. But given the situation, you couldn’t have asked for more out of him.”
R.A. Hubbard finishes the season 6-5.