By Ben Murphy
Harrison quarterback Jacob Stuhr ran in from eight yards out with three minutes to play in the game and added his own extra point to give the visiting Hornets enough icing for a 35-20 Jack Pine Conference football win Friday night.
“It feels good to have ended the season like we have,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “We were able to run the ball effectively most of the night. Our defense caused some turnovers that we were able to turn into points. The kids just kept playing hard.”
Justin Yager started the scoring on a three yard run with Stuhr adding the extra point to give Harrison a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, though Farwell’s Keegan Rohdy ran in from 35 yards out and added a Mitch Nordstrom extra point to tie it at 7-7 after one.
Cody Rodgers erupted for three second quarter scoring runs, the first from five yards, then from four and finally from 10 yards out to give Harrison a 28-7 lead at the half.
Rohdy added his second score of the night, this time from two yards out and Noah Wilson bounded in from 40 yards out to make it 28-20 after the third, leading to Stuhr’s score in the fourth.
“We had it rolling in the third quarter and made it into the game but we had a key turnover that probably really cost us,” Esterline said. “They very easily could have went into the tank but they didn’t do that. They kept fighting right until the end.”
Harrison had 231 yards on the ground and six yards passing for 237 yards of total offense compared to Farwell’s 225 yards rushing and 108 yards passing to finish with 313.
Rodgers ran 14 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns, Jake Walraven ran 12 times for 53 yards, Matt Haskell had eight runs for 36 yards, Stuhr had eight carries for 21 yards and one score, Yager had seven tries for 16 yards and one score. Stuhr completed one-of-four passing, completing a pass to Randy Johnson for six yards.
Bret Coughlin led the Hornet defense with 10 tackles, Nate Lipovsky had seven, Walraven had six, Dylan Laporte had five tackles and a fumble recovery, Justin Yager had five tackles and Matt Haskell and Jacob Summers both had fumble recoveries.
Farwell was led offensively by Wilson with 115 on 15 carries yards and Rohdy with 105 on 12 tries. Chris Lamerand was 12-of-20 for131 yards passing with Sean Robison making five catches for 39 yards.
Jake Turner had 12 tackels to lead the defense with Wilson taking down nine.
It was a season of marked improvement for the Hornets, who after starting 0-4 won three of their last five to finish 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the JPC.
“I am very happy with how we played our last five games,” Petrongelli said. “I was very impressed how our kids never stopped trying and kept together as a team. It was very rewarding to see their hard work and determination paying off the second part of the season. With the success of the junior varsity team and the improvement of the varsity team I am starting to see a change in the attitude of the football program. We need to use this as a turning point next year and start off where this season ended.”
Conversely the Eagles won their first two games of the season, before suffering setbacks in all seven JPC contests to end the year 2-7 overall and 0-7 in league play.
“We had a lot of close games, they just didn’t end up our way for whatever reason,” Esterline said. “We were a few plays away from having a pretty good record. We’re going to hit the weight room hard this winter and work on getting better.”