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|New faces at Huntington|
After one of the most successful campaigns in years, Huntington High head football coach Chad Harkins will be regrouping after the loss of 13 seniors.
"All of our guys have played football, but not together," Harkins said. "Kevin Brown is the only player here who has played for me for three years."
It didn't take Harkins long to come up with the top highlight of 2008, one which saw the Hounds finish 9-4. falling to Porter's Chapel in the second round of the playoffs.
"Certainly it was a big deal to win a playoff game at home," Harkins said of the Hounds' 44-24 win over Newton Academy in the first round of the playoffs. "The school really needed that."
Before the first round game in November, Huntington had not hosted a playoff game since 1988 when that team lost to Plain Dealing in the Louisiana Independent School Association finals.
The win over Newton was the first-ever MPSA home playoff game in Ferriday.
This year, Harkins will use quarterback by committee with senior Jess Dossett (6-0, 185), senior Eric Bowens (-10, 205), junior Kevin Brown (5-10, 180) and junior Andreas Swanson (5-6, 140).
"It will just depend on the situation," Harkins said. "When we go under center, it will be Jess. When we go to shotgun or spread, it will be Kevin or even Eric or Andreas."
Bowens, a transfer from Jena, Brown and Swanson will make up the backfield. Bowens rushed 221 yards against Vidalia last year.
"They all look good running the football," Harkins said. "Kevin and Andreas look a little more shifty this year."
Sophomore DeVante Wallace, also a Jena transfer, and sophomore Jeremiah Powell are at wide receiver.
"We need to get the ball to DeVante because he is such a big target and runs well with it," Harkins said. "Both guys have good hands."
Sophomore Dalton Corbett (5-9, 165) is at center and will be joined on the offensive line by sophomore Caleb Gillespie (5-11, 175), freshman Jared Hedrick (5-10, 160), junior Hunter Knapp (5-11, 180), junior Connor Hamilton (6-1, 275) and sophomore Quinn Johnson (6-0, 170).
"We have to figure out what we are going to do up front," Harkins said. "It doesn't matter what kind of formation we are in, we still have to have some guys block up front. We need some guys who can make things happen."
Powell, Gillespie, freshman Joseph Bonnette (5-7, 145), Corbett , Johnson and Hedricks will be on the defensive front.
Linebackers are Bowens, Powell, Brown and Dossett.
Defensive backs are Swason Wallace, Jadarius Greeen.
Brown finished with 70 solo tackles, 20 assists and two sacks. He also had one interception and forced three fumbles.
"We want to be competitive in our first games, but the main thing is we want to be ready to play by our first district game," Harkins said. "We want to be ready to play by the time we get to district. Those are the games that count."
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