HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Capital continued its roll into the Class AAA playoffs Friday night, completing its regular season with a 48-18 rout of third-ranked and homestanding Huntington.
Freshman quarterback Tyrhee Pratt threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 42 yards in the rout. Pratt connected with his brother, junior wide receiver Cliff Pratt, on touchdown scores of 22 and 30 yards.
"I just keep my eyes closed and let him throw the ball," Capital Coach Jon Carpenter said of his freshman's performance, in which he threw more frequently than he had in any game during the second half of the season.
Pratt completed passes to six different receivers, and frequently made Huntington (8-2) pay for coverage breakdowns, especially on third down. The Cougars (7-3) converted seven-of-10 third-down attempts and scored two touchdowns on third down.
As a result, Capital rolled up the highest point total allowed by Huntington this season. The Highlanders entered the game having given up just 79 points all season. The previous high score against them was 22 points scored by Beckley on Oct. 5.
"Bottom line is this: we got our butts kicked tonight," Huntington Coach Billy Seals said. "I got outcoached. It's my fault. Don't blame our kids whatsoever. I didn't get the job done on the defensive side of the ball. You can look, we gave up 79 points in nine games and we gave up 48 tonight.
"I did a poor job of coaching. They're a good football team. They exploited us a little bit with some speed. We just didn't play very well."
The defensive statement was instead made by Capital. The Highlanders' double-wing offense was held to 44 total yards in the first half, as the Cougars built a 21-6 lead.
The aggressive defensive scheme showed its first signs of success on the game's opening drive, when Capital senior Davon Tyson came in on a corner blitz and dropped Huntington quarterback Mark Shaver for an 11-yard loss to force a three-and-out.
Huntington never really got going afterward.
"The defense has been moving. We've been playing well the last two games," said Tyson, who also grabbed one of three Capital interceptions of Shaver.
"Everybody's been playing hard, and everybody's been getting to the ball," Tyson said.
Capital had a 21-0 lead before Huntington gained its second first down of the game.
"It makes it easy to win football games when you're defense plays like that," Carpenter said. "I think our front is playing real well right now, and that's what we're going to hang our hat on."
Capital outgained the Highlanders, 418 yards to 171. Shaver was 2-of-9 passing for 25 yards and three interceptions.
James Richmond stepped into a starring role at running back for the second consecutive week thanks to an injury to Capital sophomore Kashuan Haley. The standout 10th grader left the game after the first play of the second half with an ankle injury, though Carpenter said after the game he would be fine for the playoffs.
In his absence, Richmond ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Charles Crawford led Huntington with 58 yards rushing on eight carries.
With the win, Capital stands to claim the No. 7 seed for the Class AAA playoffs, provided George Washington (7-2) beats Parkersburg (4-5) at 1 p.m. today at University of Charleston Stadium. If that happens, the Cougars will most likely play host to Musselman (8-2) in the first round of the playoffs.
CAPITAL 48, HUNTINGTON 18
First downs 16 8
Total yards 418 171
Rushes-yards 43-218 34-146