GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Huntingdon football team's season opener at Guilford College on Saturday was declared a "no contest" due to extended weather delays and will not be counted as an official game.
With Huntingdon leading 58-48 with 13 minutes to play in the game, the game was suspended due to lightning. After close to a three-hour delay and no sign of the weather improving, the decision was made to declare the game a "no contest".
"It's unfortunate, but there was no end in sight for the delay," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk said. "Both teams made an attempt to go back on the field and resume the game. As soon as we got back on the field, there was more lightning and we had to leave the field.
"It wasn't an easy decision, but like I told the team, the decision was ultimately made with the players' welfare in mind. After playing for close to three hours and sitting in the locker room for three hours and with there being no sign that the weather was going to improve, we felt this was the best decision."
While statistics from the game will not count, the Hawks turned in a dominant offensive performance before the game was called. Huntingdon took a 20-0 lead in the first quarter led 41-21 at halftime and generated 538 yards of offense before the weather delay began.
"We played really well on offense. The numbers speak for themselves," Turk said. "We had a lot of guys who did good things for us. Sophomore Michael Lambert made his first start for us and he did a good job of spreading the ball around. Our receivers were consistent, our running backs ran well and the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. This won't count as a game, but it was good to see our guys perform like this in the heat of battle."
Making what would have been his first collegiate start at quarterback, Lambert performed like a veteran, completing 15-of-18 passes for 319 yards and five touchdowns, including scoring strikes of 75 and 73 yards. Lambert threw all five touchdown passes and completed 14-of-15 passes for more than 300 yards in the first half.
"Lambert played really well," Turk said. "And even though none of this will count as official statistics, he made those plays and he made them in a real game. For a young player, that experience matters and I believe it will be valuable as we go forward."
Huntingdon will now officially open the season on Sept. 8 at home against Birmingham-Southern. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.