"To me, that was huge," Seals said. "I thought they were going to punt it so I put my punt return team in. John Spence came into the game and he knows if [receiver] two runs vertical, he's got him, and he ran with him just enough that the ball fell incomplete."
The shift in momentum was instant. On the ensuing drive, Huntington's Charles Crawford carried four times and caught a 6-yard pass. He capped the drive with a 13-yard run that brought the Highlanders within 17-14.
South Charleston managed just one first down after that.
"We made mistakes on the field and we made coaching mistakes," Mays said. "They dropped Tubbs back and put [Spence] on Kevin. We knew when we saw that right there we had four verts and we've got to throw it fast to him. But we didn't throw it there.
"We hit that, and we're probably talking about 'Oh, that was a great call.' We make mistakes, and that was a coaching mistake on my part," Mays said.
It was not until the fourth quarter that Huntington took back the lead, though. Starting on their own 36, the Highlanders took 13 plays to drive the length of the field before quarterback Clark Wilson dived in from a yard out to put his team ahead for good.
Wilson, who was an all-state defensive back in 2012 as a sophomore, said the difference between his team's performance between the first and second halves was largely thanks to the defensive line.
"We didn't change up anything in coverage or anything," Wilson said. "It was just that our D-line was able to get more pressure on [Grier], and that made it a lot harder for him to find his receivers. We did the same thing against [Tyrhee] Pratt from Capital when they were here."
The Highlanders were led by Tubbs' 64 rushing yards on 11 carries. Crawford finished with 56 yards, Wilson with 42 and Paden Christian with 41, as South Charleston outgained Huntington 344 to 289.
Grier finished the game completing 11 of 22 passes for 211 yards. A.D. Cunningham led SC with 53 rushing yards on 17 carries.