By Ben Murphy
After two weeks of frustration Harrison had its chance to celebrate Friday night, topping visiting Farwell 37-7 in both team’s Jack Pine Conference football opener.
“We have been improving, and it showed on Friday,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “We feel good about the win, hard work pays off.”
The Hornets controlled the night form the start, scoring twice in the opening quarter to lead 16-0 entering the second.
Harrison got its scores on a pair of eight yard runs, the first by Josh Wilson and the second by Ryan Johnson. Johnson also ran in the two-point conversion on the first score, with Justin Yager running in the two-pointer after the second.
Harrison didn’t slow down in the second quarter, getting a two yard run by Justice Walraven and a two point conversion pass from Yager to Bret Coughlin to put them up 24-0. Josh Wilson scored the last points of the half, scoring from three yards out to make it 30-0 at the break.
“Unfortunately it was turnovers again,” Farwell head coach Alan Esterline said. “We had some kids that were banged up from the prior week. That didn’t help the scenario but Harrison played awful well and we just didn’t execute as well as we needed to.”
In the third quarter, Yager ran in from three yards out and also added the extra point to finish off the Hornet scoring, up 37-0.
Farwell got its lone score late in the contest, on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Turner to Walter Mosby.
“They did a nice job running the ball,” Esterline said of Harrison. “We just had a hard time making tackles. We would get a decent set and then they’d run and get a first down. They just did a nice job running the football and we had a hard time making a key tackle.”
Harrison finished the night with 224 yards rushing and 49 yards passing and totaled 270 yards of total offense. Farwell had 102 yards on the ground and 110 through the air to finish with 212.
Yager finished four-of-four passing for 49 yards, Zack Nowland ran seven times for 62 yards, Johnson ran 59 yards on 12 tries and Yager ran six times for 30 yards.
Zack Anderson made two catches for 29 yards and Coughlin caught two balls for 20 yards.
Nowland led the team with nine tackles, Wilson had seven tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception, Josh Kiger had three tackles and recovered two fumbles and Walraven had two tackles and had one fumble recovery.
Noah Wilson led the Farwell offense with 35 yards on the ground on four carries and Dylan Brown ran six times for 33 yards.
Brandon Turner finished 10-of-18 passing for 127 yards, with Seth Baginski making three catches for 31 yards. Mosby had three catches for 28 yards and Brown led the team with four grabs for 68 yards.
Dustin Weber led the defense with 10 tackles, Wilson brought down eight, and Shane Wiley and Baginski both had seven.
Harrison (1-2 overall, 1-0 JPC) plays at Roscommon (1-2, 0-1) tonight (Friday. The Bucks are coming off a 37-30 loss to Meridian last week but won last year’s meeting between the teams 30-8.
“Roscommon will be a tough game,” Petrongelli said. “We will have to control the ball and make few mistakes.”
Farwell (1-2, 0-1) hosts Meridian (3-0, 1-0) tonight (Friday). The Mustangs won last year’s meeting 52-0.
“We have an awful tough Meridian team coming to town,” Esterline said. “They’re big and physical. We will have to work on keeping our shoulder pads down this week. We’ve had a good week of practice and the kids seem excited about the challenge so we’re going to go and give it everything we’ve got. If we cut our turnovers down we’ll have a chance to be in the game.”