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updated: 2/24/2011 4:33 PM

Huntley's new scheme working just fine

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By Matt Stacionis

Chris Cunningham likes the switch Huntley made from a spread offense to the power-I.

So does left tackle Brandon Gaston.

After Huntley rushed for 339 yards in its 34-16 Fox Valley Conference victory at Woodstock, there weren't too many Red Raiders who weren't basking in the success Huntley's running game produced.

"The holes are getting wide open," said Cunningham, who finished the game with 217 yards on 23 carries. "The line is blocking It helps out a lot with our offense."

The Red Raiders (2-2) were able to wear down the host Blue Streaks as Cunningham rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The senior dashed in from 69 yards out to put the Red Raiders up 28-9 with 8:56 left in the game and then responded to a Woodstock (1-3) touchdown with a 13-yard run with 1:10 left to play. The senior averaged 9.8 yards per carry in the victory.

After Woodstock running Drew Walkington put the Blue Streaks up 9-7 with a 72-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, Huntley's Tim Lycos answered.

The Red Raiders' quarterback scored on a 72-yard touchdown run of his own to give Huntley a 14-9 lead. He added a 1-yard scoring run with 6:31 left in the third quarter, finishing the game with 79 yards on the ground.

But it wasn't just the backfield that was enjoying the new offensive formations.

"It's a lot more fun to hit people," Gaston said. "In practice we were pushing the sleds forever."

Gaston also put Huntley up 6-0 when he intercepted a screen pass from Woodstock quarterback Pat Santucci and ran it in 18 yards for a touchdown. Danny Nottolini's extra point put Huntley up 7-0 with 7:44 left in the first quarter.

Gaston added 1.5 sacks as Huntley twice held Woodstock from scoring a touchdown while in the red zone. The Blue Streaks had to settle for 20-yard field goal from Anton Abdulai after have a first-and-goal from the 10. The Red Raiders did one better by holding Woodstock scoreless after a first-and-goal from the 5 with 22 seconds left in the first half. After rushing for 152 yards in the first half, Huntley limited Woodstock to just 79 total yards in the second half.

"That's the first time our defense has responded like that with their backs against the wall," Huntley coach Matt Gehrig said.