Harrison couldn’t end its season with a win on Friday night, falling to playoff-bound Gladwin 33-7 in a road Jack Pine Conference football game.
“We knew that Gladwin was pretty tough going in,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “They were just a lot quicker than we were. A lot of times on defense we were where we were supposed to be we just missed a lot of tackles and had a hard time bringing them down. They’re a good football team, they have some size and quickness, a pretty good combination.”
The Flying G’s scored twice in the first quarter, getting a 16-yard touchdown run and a one-yard run, and pulled ahead 19-0 at the half on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Gladwin pulled away with a pair of three-yard third quarter touchdowns to lead 33-0 entering the fourth.
The Hornets added their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, getting a 15-yard pass from Justin Yager to Bret Coughlin. Yager also kicked through the extra point.
“We had our chances,” Petrongelli said. “We got stopped inside the five on one drive and had another opportunity too. You just can’t make the number of mistakes that we made against somebody like that.”
Gavin Rhodes led Harrison with 32 yards rushing on four carries, Zack Nowland had 25 yards rushing on four tries, Justice Walraven had 22 yards on six carries and Josh Wilson had 19 yards on four carries.
Yager finished six-of-11 passing for 77 yards and one touchdown, with Coughlin making four grabs for 59 yards, including the touchdown.
Coughlin also led the Hornet defense with 13 tackles, Clay Dennis brought down nine, Yager had seven and Jerrod Given had five.
Harrison finishes the season 2-7 overall and 2-5 in the JPC, in a season mired by injuries.
“Our kids, they improved, they never gave up during the season we just had lots and lots of injuries,” Petrongelli said. “It just seemed like every week we ended up taking a kid to the hospital. The kids that were still there played hard, never gave up and didn’t complain. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.”
With a strong off-season and not to mention a healthier 2014, coach Petro believes next year should be better.
“We will be returning eight on offense and eight on defense so that’s a pretty good nucleus coming back,” he said. “We brought some sophomores up this year that ended up starting for over half the year… If we wouldn’t have gotten banged up so much this year who knows what would have happened.”