Hornets get revenge, topple the Pioneers in 40-20 game

October 30, 2015

Harrison’s Kenny Haskell (10) runs through the middle of the line against Clare.

Harrison’s Kenny Haskell (10) runs through the middle of the line against Clare.

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

It took a year but Harrison got its’ revenge. The Hornets, having had to live with a 30-29 loss at Clare a year ago, had their turn to celebrate Friday night, as they topped the Pioneers 40-20. Harrison had already punched its’ playoff ticket with its’ week eight win, but did end Clare’s season short of making the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

“The kids played really, really well,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “They were very focused all week long. We had talked about what had happened the year before, in getting beat by one point. They came to play, I give them that. It was fun to watch them.”

The Pioneers knew they needed a win to make the post-season field and started well, as they took an early 7-0 lead. Travis Vida tossed an early 55-yard pass to Ryan Sersaw, which set up a short one yard touchdown plunge by Ben Bates. Camden Dice kicked in the extra point as Clare celebrated its score just over two minutes into the game.

Harrison chewed off an answering drive though, going 80 yards on 11 running plays, capped by an eight yard touchdown run by Cameron Sherrick. Brent Veite

Harrison’s Jeremy Yager (9) runs for a big gain during Friday’s key home win over Clare.

Harrison’s Jeremy Yager (9) runs for a big gain during Friday’s key home win over Clare.

put the Hornets ahead with a successful two-point conversion run at 8-7.

The Pioneers turned the ball over on downs on their next possession and Harrison made them pay quickly for it.
Quarterback Kenny Haskell ran a keeper for a 50-yard gain, setting up a short three yard scoring run by Blayne Fowler. Veite’s second two-pointer of the night put the score at 16-7.

Clare caught a serious case of the yips the rest of the half, as it fumbled the ball away a total of three times. Harrison cashed in on all three turnovers with scores, and made some history in the process.

Sherrick cashed in on the first turnover with a four yard touchdown run with 2:36 to go in the half. Then Jeremy Yager romped in from 21-yards out for another score.

Finally, with 42 seconds left in the second half, place-kicker Jens Oellers lined-up for a 46-yard field-goal. Oellers got every inch he could on the kick, getting it to bounce off the crossbar and over, making it 33-7 at the half. This set the school record for the longest field goal.

“I thought our line on defense and offense did a great job the whole game controlling the line of scrimmage,” Petrongelli said. “They did a great job blocking for the backs. When we’re able to do that we really well, give credit to the lineman.”

The Pioneers scored on a 26-yard touchdown run by Brandon Zinser in the third quarter to pull within 33-14, but that was as far as the comeback attempt would go.

Clare’s Hunter Schaaf (12) takes down Harrison’s Blayne Fowler (7) .

Clare’s Hunter Schaaf (12) takes down Harrison’s Blayne Fowler (7) .

Haskell responded with a fourth quarter touchdown run that made it 40-14, though Clare would score the last points of the night, getting Gabe Denton to return a fumble from 55-yards out to make the final 40-20.

The Hornets out-gained the Pioneers 402 to 206 in total yardage, with Fowler leading a well-rounded rushing attack with 96 yards on 18 carries, Haskell ran 10 times for 95 yards, Sherrick had 10 rushes for 80 yards, Veite ran 10 times for 51 yards, Jeremy Fillhard added 49 yards on seven tries and Yager was good for 38 yards on five carries. Haskell was also one-of-four passing for 19 yards, completing the pass to Jared Bennett.

Jared Given had eight tackles to lead the Hornet defense, Herrick had seven, Charles Cassidy had five, Zach Anderson had four takedowns and Reese Avery had four tackles and one fumble recovery.

For the Pioneers, Vida went 15-of-28 passing for 162 yards, hitting Sersaw five times for 85 yards, Denton had three catches for 37 yards, Hunter Schaaf had five grabs for 28 yards and Roel Castillo had two grabs for 12 yards.

Denton also led the ground game with 18 yards on nine carries and Zinser had 17 yards and a touchdown.
The Clare defense was led by Tyler Rodenbo with seven tackles, Castillo had six, Ryan Pummel and Bates both had five and Zinser, Brendon Mills and Eric Wezensky all had four tackles.

Clare finishes the season 5-4 and misses the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Harrison (7-2) travels to Kingsford (6-3) on Saturday for its division five pre-district contest.
“I thought the whole team played well in all aspects of the game, offense, defense and special teams,” Petrongelli said. “They were really fired up. Things started to go our way and it just started to roll. We’re hoping that it came at the right time for us, with playoffs coming up and hopefully it will continue.”

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